Central Michigan University is helping enrich the economic environment in Michigan by working with teams of students to create new businesses.

The College of Business Administration’s New Venture Competition concludes this Friday when the state’s next entrepreneurs compete for top honors and cash awards totaling $45,000 and a chance to launch their own companies.

More than 24 teams are participating in the competition, which began last October. Faculty mentors have worked with the teams of two to five students from multiple academic disciplines in developing a business plan, which will be evaluated by senior-level investors and industry leaders.

The judges, who include Michael Finney, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.; Ken Kousky, CEO of MidMichigan Innovation Center; and Jackie Goforth, partner at PricewaterHouseCoopers, will review the business plans, pick the top three teams, and award cash prizes of $30,000, $10,000 and $5,000.

The New Venture Competition begins at 9:30 a.m. April 8 with rounds of competition scheduled for 9:30 a.m., and 2 and 5 p.m. A panel discussion on economic development featuring Finney and Kousky is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and an awards dinner will be held at 7 p.m. All events are held in CMU’s Education and Human Services building.

Business concepts competing in Friday’s competition range from a storage system for excess electricity that consumers can capture andsell to a smartphone application that allows you to track your diet and exercise. Other ideas include creation of an educational center for inner-city youth in Detroit and creation of a firm that would utilize unused farmland to grow bamboo to help meet growing demands.

More at www.cmich.edu.


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