New Venture Competition launched with $30,000 first prize for students

A university-wide business plan competition with a first place prize of $30,000 has been launched by the College of Business Administration.

The New Venture Competition allows students from all fields of study to create a business plan to better the success of Central Michigan University students and Michigan’s economy.

CBA Dean Charles Crespy is enthusiastic about the opportunity the competition offers students.

“You can dream your own dream, start your own business and live that your whole life,” Crespy said. “You can be your own boss.”

Participants can include all undergraduate and graduate students attending CMU in the spring 2011 semester. Those interested can attend an informational seminar about the competition at 11:30 a.m. Friday in Grawn 278.

Prizes will be given for the top three business plans — $30,000 for first place, $10,000 for second and $5,000 for third. The prize money comes from private donors within the community.

“It’s a lot of money,” Crespy said. “The goal is to get it in the hands of students who will create more jobs in Michigan.”

Teams of two to five students will develop business plans of their choice. Plans may be for profit or nonprofit.

Business plans will be judged by senior-level investors and industry leaders. Each plan will be evaluated based on the investor perspectives of bankers, angel investors and venture capitalists.

“It’s great to get all the departments working together to bring their best ideas forward,” said Robby Roberts, associate director of the LaBelle Entrepreneurial Center. “Demonstrating student success at CMU is a success.”

Teams must submit an intent to present form signed by a mentor or team leader by Dec. 10. Business plans will be presented and judged on April 8, 2011.

Crespy said students are showing interest and are starting to form groups on campus.

CBA will offer free seminars, guest speakers and mentors to guide students in creating a successful business plan. Speakers include in-state investors and business executives.

“I think it’s a really exciting opportunity,” Roberts said. “Many students may have the expertise and don’t know what to do with it.”


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