Thursday, May 28, 2009

University-Wide Challenge Promotes Student Venture Creation

The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IEI) at UMKC’s Bloch School announced the winners of the 2009 Regnier Family Foundation’s Venture Creation Challenge (VCC) on Monday, April 27. Five winning teams were selected from 24 original UMKC student venture creations.

The Venture Creation Challenge is a university-wide competition that encourages student venture creation, and provides tools and opportunities for students to excel as the next generation of entrepreneurs. Michael Song, executive director for the Institute, expects the challenge will eventually lead to the launching of four to eight new businesses per year. Ultimately, the Institute aims to create 100 exceptionally well-trained entrepreneurs and 10 high-growth ventures every year.

Investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals from across the Kansas City area volunteered to judge this year’s student ventures. The winning teams each received a launch package valued at $15,000 to start their business. The launch packages include placement in IEI’s Student Ventures Program incubator track, along with accounting, legal, capital access and other resources to aid in the businesses’ launch.

This year, students from a variety of disciplines participated in the challenge, including students from the Bloch School, the School of Law and the School of Computing and Engineering. The following teams took top honors for their winning venture concepts:

· Banana Basket – a patent-pending appliance that dramatically extends the life of all types of fresh fruit
· Go Say Hi! – a mobile dating service that utilizes advanced global positioning software to alert members to potential meeting opportunities through their mobile phones
· ChefBurger – a fast-casual dining franchise providing high-quality, chef-designed burgers at a reasonable price
· Lovesick Clothing – an apparel company that focuses on casual tops for men and women which carry a subtle Christian-themed message
· Fun Flotations, LLC – a corporation featuring the INFLOTABLE™, a motorized, social watercraft that allows multiple people to sit in one round flotation device

Congratulations to all students who participated in this year’s challenge – for additional coverage please visit:

For information regarding the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s 2010 Venture Creation Challenge please e-mail or contact Phil Needles at 816-235-6720.

-Written by Victoria Prater, Senior Information Specialist, Bloch School of Business, and Maurine Kierl, University Communications

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