UA McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship concludes banner year
Center celebrates upward movement in rankings, 25th anniversary of venture plan competition.
TUCSON, Ariz. – May 6, 2009 – The University of Arizona’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the Eller College of Management closed the academic year on a high note Friday, April 24, with the 25th anniversary of the year-end entrepreneurship celebration and competition. Just one day earlier, U.S. News and World Report released its graduate rankings, in which the entrepreneurship program moved up to #10 overall and #4 among U.S. public institutions. The magazine’s undergraduate rankings place the program at #2 among publics and #6 overall.
“This exciting rankings news is a great way to close the academic year,” says Sherry Hoskinson, director of the McGuire Center. “The U.S. News graduate ranking was the last major ranking that the program had to crack, and movement among the top 10 is very difficult in the type of reputational assessment that the ranking uses. It’s particularly gratifying in that it shows that our peers are indeed aware of the caliber of our program.”
The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship was also awarded The University of Arizona Department Award for Excellence, given in recognition of its excellence in managing people and resources.
This year also featured a change of format in the April 24 competition. All 21 student venture teams presented their concepts to the judging panel in a three-minute “rocket pitch” format. The judges then invited five teams to present ten-minute summaries of their ventures, and selected the winner from among them. Verdant Earth Technologies, a manufacturer of turnkey crop growth systems that are scalable and environmentally friendly, took top honors. Runners up included BigFootHD, BonVita Workshops, Owl Towels, and Superior Medical Instruments. The Verdant Earth team of Josh Hottenstein (MS MIS ’09) and Myles Lewis (master’s in applied biosciences) shared a $1000 award.
In addition to the showcase event, the McGuire Center recognized entrepreneurial leaders including:
- Paul Portney, dean of the Eller College
- Toni Massaro, dean of the James E. Rogers College of Law
- Greg Coxon of Grubb & Ellis
- Marie Wesselhoft, director of the Arizona Center for Innovation
- Charles and Candace Nelson, co-founders of Sprinkles Cupcakes
- Stephen O’Neil of the UA Office of Technology Transfer
- Mark and Jacques Cook of Coronado Vineyards
The 25th annual year-end entrepreneurship celebration and competition was supported by Grubb & Ellis. Winners and runners-up were recognized during an afternoon awards presentation and reception at McClelland Hall, The University of Arizona.
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 #44 in the U.S. The College leads the nation’s business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers an 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.
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
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