Friday, December 13, 2013

COBI sponsors fourth annual business innovation competition for UT community

If you have a great business idea, you may be part of a team that wins up to $10,000 to help make your idea a reality in the fourth annual business innovation competition sponsored by The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI).

The competition is open to all UT students, faculty and staff, while alumni can participate as a member of a team involving current students, faculty or staff.

“The first three years of the business competition were a remarkable success as we received dozens of entries from across the UT campuses,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, Chair of the COBI management department.  “We are expecting another tremendous array of entries this year and trust the contest will continue to advance a creative culture of growth in all areas of the University” 

“The spirit of entrepreneurship is critically important to the ongoing success of every university and every community,” noted interim COBI Dean Thomas Sharkey. “That is why the College of Business and Innovation has stepped forward to be the sole sponsor of this event, providing all of the prize money.”
“We strive to live up to our name, which incorporates both business and innovation,” Dr. Sharkey added. “COBI is increasingly recognized on both national and international levels for providing a premier business education and for helping our students obtain internships while here and jobs upon graduation. This business competition truly reflects our emphasis on supporting innovation, fostering creative thinking and nurturing the entrepreneurial environment which is so essential for the life and growth of this region.”

Dr. Ariss added that “Entrepreneurship within the corporate business structure, known as intrapreneurship, is also important today because corporate America is looking for innovative thinking from their employees.”
Dr. Ariss explained that competition entries must be submitted using Lean Launch Pad concepts which enables people to develop their business model upon nine basic building blocks: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships and cost structure.

“COBI is ready to offer guidance to help these teams effectively implement their plans, emerge beyond the University, create jobs and enhance area economic growth,” Dr. Ariss added.
There is no cost to enter the competition. Registration must be completed online. Winners must prove that they have formed an LLC or S Corp in order to receive the financial award.

The College of Business and Innovation at The University of Toledo is providing the following prize money:
• First place: $10,000
• Second place: $5,000
• Third place: $2,000
• Honorable Mention: $500

The timeline for the 2014 competition is:
         Those planning to enter the competition need to attend a mandatory workshop sessions which will be offered on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, Room 3100, Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement
         Entries must be submitted by February 21, 2014
         Finalists will be announced on March 21, 2014
         Finalists will make an oral presentation about their business using the business model canvas       on April 8, 2014 between noon and 5:30 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, Room 3100,
Savage & Associates Business Complex
         Winners will be announced April 15, 2014

To register or for more information, go to



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