Additional sponsors are helping Wichita State University to up the ante with its retooled business plan competition.
Seven new sponsors are helping WSU to nearly double the amount of prize money that will doled out, Lou Heldman, interim director of WSU’s Center for Entrepreneurship, tells me.
He expects the prize pool to be about $30,000 this year, up from $16,000 in 2013.
Wichita State’s business plan competition, now called the Shocker New Venture Competition, judges teams on their business plan or product design. But this year organizers wanted to emphasize the creation of businesses that are scalable and could create jobs to fuel the state’s economy.
The idea is to build on the success of previous competitions while placing more emphasis on economic growth.
In January, I wrote about how WSU is adding a new twist to its seven-year-old business plan competition by placing greater emphasis on encouraging college students from across the state to create new businesses that are in rapid-growth sectors, such as technology and health care.
Heldman says 68 teams, consisting of more than 150 participants, filed intent to compete forms ahead of the Feb. 28 deadline. Those teams have until Friday to complete their two-page executive summary outlining what they hope to accomplish.
Judges will then select 32 teams to move forward in the competition.
Heldman says special awards for technology and health care innovation were created because of the additional sponsorships for the competition.
Here’s a rundown of the competition’s sponsors (* denotes a new sponsor):
2014 Shocker New Venture Competition sponsors
Foulston Siefkin LLP.
Mitchell & Richards.
Technology Innovation Award sponsors
Curt Gridley & Tracy Hoover.*
Healthcare Innovation Award sponsors
Delta Dental of Kansas.
Riverside Health Foundation.*
Wesley Medical Center.*
Director’s Award for Trade Show Excellence
Lou and Terry Heldman.*