McGuire Entrepreneurship teams make stellar showings — again
Eller College business plans wow judges at prestigious competitions in Indiana, Idaho, and Texas
TUCSON, Ariz. – APRIL 5, 2006 – Entrepreneurship students counted on the love of art, the health benefits of an ancient Aztec seed, and the ubiquitous need to “recharge” to garner the judges’ nods at recent competitions.
Eller College of Management seniors Alex Farkas, Stephen Tanenbaum, Greg Rosborough, and Jonathan Pucciarelli earned top honors once again with Original Theory, a business plan for an online service to promote, publish, and sell student art, this time at the prestigious Enterprise Creation Competition which took place at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. (The team won 1st place in early March at the Queens Entrepreneurs’ Competition in Kingston, Ont.) The finals of the competition were March 24–25 and included nine teams from across the U.S.
Original Theory was pitted against undergraduate teams across the country to reach the final nine invited to Ball State University. The team was awarded $7,500 for its 1st place finish and will add the money to previous winnings to launch the venture upon graduation.
During the same week, another Eller College undergraduate team — Strengo — earned 2nd place for its business plan at the Northwest Venture Championship at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. The international competition began with 24 teams, with six making it to the final competition in Boise.
Seniors Douglas Allen, Wei-Liang Kao, Amanda Stubbs, and Matt Van Horn developed their business plan based on the American Heart Association’s assertion that adding Omega-3 fatty acid to the diet can help lower the risk of heart disease. Currently there are only two commercial sources of Omega-3 — fish oil and flaxseeds — and there are inherent problems with each. The team is counting on the promise of an ancient Aztec seed called salvia hispanica L as a viable alternative. Team members have trademarked the seed as Strengo.
“Developing the business plan was a rewarding experience because it is real,” said Stubbs. “Strengo is not just another case study but an actual business. Working hard on something that can be a future career provides great motivation and extra incentive for success. The program allows us to move away from theory and towards practical application.”
The Strengo team reached the final competition emerging from a semi-final field of 24 undergraduate teams from the U.S. and Canada. The 2nd place award package included a team cash award of $1,000, the Consulate General of Canada award, and the Hewlett-Packard award.
In the very competitive Rice Business Plan Competition, March 30–April 1, the Eller College graduate team InterKinetic Technologies won a $2,000 award for the Best IT/Wireless Business Plan. Thirty-five teams from graduate business schools across the U.S. and Canada were invited to attend the competition at Rice University in Houston, Tex. Graduate students Nick Amatuzzi, Chip Bacon, Chaitanya Bhuskute, Josh Hill, and Jeff Hughes developed a business plan, tagged Recharging Lives, that proposes the development of a universal wireless power platform for charging mobile devices.
Graduate and undergraduate entrepreneurship teams from the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the Eller College will be competing in several more national and international competitions during the month of April.
The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship is a National Model Program of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and is home to the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, ranked the #2 public undergraduate and #1 public graduate program in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review. Established in 1984, it was one of the first university-based entrepreneurship centers in the country. Today, the Center offers entrepreneurship education for any graduate program at the University of Arizona and reaches more than 1,000 undergraduate students every semester. With courses in business, law, science, engineering, health, medicine, arts, and humanities, the McGuire Center advances the state and regional economy, advances entrepreneurship education nationwide, and teaches life-long problem solving for economic, social, scientific, and environmental progress.
The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #12 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #48 in the U.S. The College is among the leaders of business schools generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the 25th ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and a satellite campus in Phoenix.
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
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