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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > McGuire Center hosts showcase event

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

UA's top-ranked McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship hosts showcase event

  • McGuire graduate and undergraduate teams vie for top honors in championship round of business plans competition
  • Middle and high school students present entrepreneurial business proposals
  • McGuire Center honors Tucson business leaders for contributions to Arizona’s economy

TUCSON, Ariz. – April 16, 2007 – Capping a year of achievement marked by a #1 ranking from Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the Eller College of Management is hosting its year-end celebration and business plans showcase event on Friday, April 20. The event will spotlight entrepreneurial achievement across the age spectrum, and is open to the public.

“Innovative ideas exist regardless of age. The ability to capitalize on these ideas and realize the social and economic contributions of innovation should not be limited by age either,” said Sherry Hoskinson, director of the McGuire Center. “Middle school, high school, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and seasoned executives all have great ideas, and McGuire exists to help move these ideas forward. We are thrilled to bring these populations together to celebrate what has already been accomplished, and the entrepreneurial dreams yet to be realized.”

McGuire Graduate and undergraduate teams vie for top honors in championship round of business plans competition

Six student teams — three undergraduate and three graduate — will compete for top honors in their respective divisions during Idea to Reality: The 2007 CB Richard Ellis/McGuire Entrepreneurship Business Plans Competition.

The finalists – selected from 19 teams participating in the preliminary round held in late March – include the undergraduate teams All Abroad, LLC, which designs international teaching and learning opportunities; MotionBay Sports, a plan for an indoor sports instruction facility; and RediRipe, featuring a patented fruit ripeness indication system. The three graduate teams finalists are ExploreIt Innovations, educational software based on learning styles; Innovis Technologies, offering diagnostic kits to identify microbial contamination; and Vidrio Communities, which builds housing communities for the gay and lesbian populations.

“The students advanced all of these innovative concepts through the Idea Path - a method that mirrors the real-world entrepreneurial process,” says Hoskinson. “It’s always exciting to watch new ideas develop and realize their social and economic value.”

All student presentations and the award reception – held in McClelland Hall – are open to the public. RSVP requested: or 520.621.2576.

Middle and high school students present entrepreneurial business proposals

This year, two pilot programs have been introduced to encourage high school and middle school students in entrepreneurial thinking.

In the Pistor Middle School GATE Entrepreneurship Challenge, the McGuire Entrepreneurship program partnered with Pistor teachers to show GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) students how exploring and validating science fair projects are similar to assessing and validating business ideas. The GATE students developed their own business ideas and will present them on-campus during the McGuire year-end event. A panel of business leaders and McGuire students will view the presentations and provide feedback and mentoring.

The inaugural Arizona Youth Entrepreneurship Award program — made possible by funding from 1st National Bank of Arizona — invited high school students from across the state to submit ideas for new businesses. Six finalists were selected to visit campus and present their concepts. Awards totaling $5,000 will be presented to the finalists, who will also benefit from the feedback of a coaching panel.

“Incorporating these middle and high school programs into our year-end event is a terrific way to showcase the entrepreneurial potential of a new generation,” says Hoskinson.

UA men’s basketball coach Lute Olson will address the high school and middle school students before they present their concepts to the coaching panel. McGuire Entrepreneurship student and Pistor Middle School alum Joseph Smith, along with Pistor GATE teachers Rosina Stevenson and Mistral Davis, will present the middle school awards at lunch, and Ray Lamb, president of 1st National Bank of Arizona, will present the high school awards at a 4:00 p.m. reception. The awards reception is open to the public; RSVP requested: or 520.621.2576.

McGuire Center honors Tucson business leaders for contributions to entrepreneurial growth and Arizona’s economy

A highlight of the year-end event is the recognition of business and academic leaders who contribute significantly to Arizona’s economy and entrepreneurial potential.

“We have recognized extraordinary entrepreneurs, educators, and committed underwriters and supporters of entrepreneurship since 1985,” says Hoskinson. “This year’s honorees continue the tradition of fostering innovation.” The following individuals will be recognized at a 4:00 p.m. award reception in the Estes Atrium in McClelland Hall (more information below):

  • 2007 Entrepreneurial Fellowships: Lawrence M. Hecker (Hecker & Muehlebach) and Lea Márquez-Peterson (Greater Tucson Leadership)
  • 2007 Technology Transfer Fellowship: Patrick L. Jones (UA Office of Technology Transfer)
  • Inaugural Entrepreneurial Promise Award—Rural Entrepreneurship: Michael Proctor (UA Academic Outreach and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)
  • Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame
    • Entrepreneurial Leadership Award: Sarah Brown Smallhouse (Thomas R. Brown Foundation)
    • Supporter of Entrepreneurship Award: Donald V. Budinger (Rodel Foundation)

To attend the award reception, RSVP by email to or call 520.621.2576.

About the 2007 Honorees

2007 Entrepreneurial Fellowships

  • Lea Márquez-Peterson is a 1992 McGuire Entrepreneurship alumna of The University of Arizona, a business broker with the Business Source, and the owner of Márquez-Peterson is the executive director of the Greater Tucson Leadership, the founder and past chairperson of the Pima County Small Business Commission, and the past chairperson of the City of Tucson’s Small Business Commission. She was recently recognized as one of the 2006 40 under 40 named by Tucson Business Edge. Márquez-Peterson earned her MBA from Pepperdine University.
  • Lawrence M. Hecker is a principle of Hecker & Muehlebach LLC, a law practice focusing in the areas of corporate law and securities regulation, business start-up, public and private offerings, and transactions involving capital formation, corporations, corporate finance, and real estate. Hecker has experience in representing publicly held companies and compliance with the reporting and other requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Hecker is listed in the 1993-2007 editions of Best Lawyers in America in the area of corporate law. He is a frequent panelist and speaker on securities regulations and corporate law and capital formation education seminars.

2007 Technology Transfer Fellowship

  • Patrick L. Jones is the director of The University of Arizona Office of Technology Transfer, responsible for all phases of operation and management of the intellectual property management and licensing teams. He is the president of The Association of University Technology Managers, and has worked in both the public and private sectors. Jones is a frequent speaker on intellectual property and technology transfer, and a lecturer at the McGuire Center. He holds a BSCI in chemistry; a Ph.D. in chemical physics, and an MBA from the University of Washington.

Inaugural Entrepreneurial Promise Award—Rural Entrepreneurship

  • Michael Proctor is Associate Dean for External Relations at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at The University of Arizona. He manages public policy and legislative issues, strategic initiatives for the College, and relationships with industry and community contacts across Arizona. He is also an extension specialist in Watershed Management in the School of Natural Resources, and teaches Environmental Law in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science. Since July 2006 he has also served as UA Associate Vice President for Academic Outreach.

Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame

Supporter of Entrepreneurship Award  

  • Don Budinger is founder and immediate past president of Rodel, Inc. – the world’s largest manufacturer of high precision surface finishing chemicals used in the manufacture of computer chips, silicon wafers, and rigid memory discs. Budinger is a visionary and supporter of entrepreneurship, the stimulation of economic growth through entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurship education and opportunities.

Entrepreneurial Leadership Award  

  • Sarah Brown Smallhouse is a Tucson native and received her undergraduate degree from The University of Washington in economics and her MBA from The University of Arizona in 1988. She started her first business, Cool Tower Systems, based on the business plan she developed while in the McGuire Entrepreneurship program. Smallhouse has extended her personal entrepreneurship experience to the cultivation of entrepreneurship and opportunity, significantly affecting the region’s economic development goals as president of The Brown Family Foundation in Tucson.

For more information and a complete schedule of activities for the 2007 CB Richard Ellis/McGuire Entrepreneurship Business Plans Competition and year-end celebration, visit or download the brochure.

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 #11 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 5,800 undergraduate and 750 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and a satellite campus in Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

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