Undergraduates: New Spartan Challenge entrepreneurship competition offers more than $20,000 in prizes

Undergraduate students from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Music are invited to participate in the inaugural Spartan Challenge, a mentored entrepreneurship competition.

The competition consists of two stages: Business Concept and Business Planning and Mentorship.

The Business Concept stage of the competition involves multi-disciplinary teams of undergraduate students forming and working in teams on a business concept. Teams will develop oral “elevator pitches,” a one-page written executive summary and a two-page presentation describing their concept and ideas.

The second stage of the competition—Business Planning and Mentorship—will include mentoring of teams on the business planning process with a focus on identifying their first “critical path” milestone. Teams will define the overall scope of work, the management and human resource contributions needed to launch the product or service, and the multitude of ways in which the plan can fail (assess risk). Successful teams will have identified the funding and external resources required to take their plan to the next level.

The top three teams from the Business Planning and Mentorship stage will be awarded funding ($10,000, $5,000, $2,500) to enable them to begin implementation of the business concept; additional cash prizes will be awarded. A business mentor will be a part of the team going forward to ensure team success.

Teams interested in applying to the 2014 Spartan Challenge are asked to register and submit a “Letter of Intent” electronically to Colin Drummond, associate professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, at colin.drummond@case.edu by Jan. 17, 2014.

More information regarding specific guidelines and dates for the Spartan Challenge will be provided in The Daily at the start of spring semester.

The competition was established by alumna Joyce Erony (WRC ’81) and is supported on campus by Drummond; Bob Sopko, director of Blackstone Launchpad; and Joseph Jankowski, the university’s chief innovation officer.