ANN ARBOR — More than 140 students on 80 teams are competing in the first annual China Business Challenge at the University of Michigan, organizers say.

A total $6,000 in prize money is offered to the top four teams with the best business models for booming China, which many economists believe will soon overtake the United States as the world’s biggest economy.

“China is such a growing market, and entrepreneurs should be identifying opportunities in growing areas of the world,” said Cameron Smith, an MBA student and an organizer of the competition.

In the preliminary round on Nov. 2, teams must present a two-page business model proposal that describes their business opportunity, customers, marketing channels, key revenue and costs.

Only six teams will make it to the final round, which involves submitting a more detailed five-page proposal on Nov. 10 and giving a 10-minute presentation on Nov. 12.

A panel of six judges — all entrepreneurs and business leaders — will select the winning teams on Nov. 12. The grand prize winner gets $3,000, while winners in three separate categories — social, high-tech and environmental — each get $1,000.

The contest is sponsored by the China Entrepreneur Network, a student group founded at UM in 2009.

The grand prize winner will also be eligible to do a one-month field study trip to China next summer, said Wang Kedao, an organizer and engineering student. The team will be paired up with NGOs or companies that will help the group do market research for its business model.

“It used to be study abroad and internship or work abroad,” Wang said. “Now it’s startup abroad.”

China Business Challenge:


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