Posts Tagged ‘Tulane Business Model Competition’

Three finalists announced for 2014 Tulane Business Model Competition

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Judges of the Tulane Business Model Competition’s semifinals round emerged from an upstairs room in New Orleans’ historic Gallier Hall on Tuesday (March 25) with three named finalists: Tympanogen offers a new treatment to replace surgery for chronic tympanic membrane perforations or holes in the eardrum; InVision Biomedical offers a device designed to help alleviate common tracheostomy complications; and Million Dollar Scholar hopes to help educate high school students on how to fund their college educations.

 Tulane Business Model Competition finalist Ras Asan, chief operating officer of Million Dollar Scholar, presents to the judging panel at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. (Photo by Maggy Baccinelli)


Tulane Business Model Competition finalist Ras Asan, COO of Million Dollar Scholar, presents to judges at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. (Photo by Maggy Baccinelli)

These businesses were chosen from a diverse group of eight startups, including a latke cart and catering service, a sugar cane juice drink and a volunteer management service, all of which presented at the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week event.

Finalists won an additional $2,000 each and the chance to win $25,000 more at the closing event on April 11.

Of the winners, competition judge and president of Medline Industries Andy Mills said, “There is a great understanding that products that improve health care, either by lowering costs or eliminating pain through a less invasive procedure, will inherently succeed.”

He added, “There is also a great need for Million Dollar Scholar, which was a well established, buttoned-up group. They are selling a book, they’ve won awards, and they have a good web presence.”

Ras Asan, chief operating officer of Million Dollar Scholar, appreciated the judges’ support. “We’ve received a lot of good feedback on the services we provide, but having such an esteemed group of entrepreneurs validate what we are doing was really rewarding,” Asan said.

The judging panel included eight professional entrepreneurs representing a wide range of industries, and all are proud Tulane alumni.

“I really appreciated the opportunity to see what the students are doing,” Mills said. “It made me feel good about the future and all that is happening at Tulane.”

–Maggy Baccinelli


Tulane Business Model Competition announces semi-finalists

Friday, February 28th, 2014

The Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) has announced eight semi-finalists for the group’s newly revamped Tulane Business Model Competition.

The Tulane Business Model Competition will award $35,000 to startups with customer-tested business ideas.

The 2014 Tulane Business Model Competition will award $35,000 to startup ventures with consumer-tested business ideas.

After a 13-year-run, the contest was redesigned to better reward the practical aspects of what make startups successful – the ability to rapidly adapt to customers’ needs. It offers a $25,000 grand prize and $10,000 for the runner-up.

“From food carts and hospitality ventures to educational technology and biomedical devices, our eight finalists truly represent a cross-section of the New Orleans startup scene,” says Ralph Maurer, executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship. “I’m looking forward to seeing how these talented young entrepreneurs hone their business models in preparation for the final competition on April 11.”

The semi-finalists are:

ComeFail, a space for college students to fail safely and a platform for supportive learning and exploration.

CCC, a venture that offers customized volunteer and hospitality experiences for customers so that they can easily enjoy, learn, and support New Orleans like never before.

Fleur de Latkes, a new food cart and catering business in uptown New Orleans that specializes in bringing a modern take on your “bubbe’s” Jewish cooking down to NOLA.

InVision Biomedical, a firm that takes existing innovative procedures and implements novel medical devices, expanding patient safety and hospital cost efficiency.

Million Dollar Scholar, an education technology and services venture that addresses higher education affordability by providing students with an online platform to learn how to become successful in the scholarship application process

Threadix, an event management and data analytics company utilizing the latest technological innovations in near field communication to allow advertisers and event organizers new methods to expand branding opportunities.

Tympanogen, a firm commercializing a gel patch developed at Tulane University, called Perf-Fix™, for non-surgical repair of chronic tympanic membrane perforations.

US Fresh Cane, a sugar cane drink company that provides consumers an alternate and natural drink that can improve their health and fitness levels.

Semi-finalists receive $1,000 each and get to pitch, receive mentoring and network with a variety of lean startup experts on Tuesday, March 25, during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the sixth annual premier showcase event for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Ultimately, three finalists will present their business models at Tulane University on Friday, April 11, 2014.

Tulane is now taking after the International Business Model Competition, a contest that wants ventures to prove customer validation and adapt to the process of creating a business model. Instead of intensive library research, student entrepreneurs will get out in the field and prove their assumptions.

TEA President Adrian Mendez believes the competition provides a deeper learning opportunity and a more guided process for those interested in launching and running a company. “Essentially what we’re doing is creating an evolution of what has been established at Tulane, allowing for students to quickly prototype and execute ideas instead of just participating in a one time pitch.”

“The competition has always been a flagship event that supports local–now regional– entrepreneurs and programs,” Mendez says. “As the program grows, we hope to continue to motivate and inspire students to be on the forefront of entrepreneurial activity with the resources we provide.”

Follow the Tulane Business Model Competition on Facebook at facebook.com/tulanebusinessmodelcompetition and on Twitter at twitter.com/tulanebmc.

 


TEA offers more than $35K in revamped business venture contest

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

After hosting one of the region’s premiere college business plan competitions for 14 years, the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) has completely redesigned the contest to better reward the practical aspects of what make startups successful – the ability to rapidly adapt to customers’ needs.

business-model-competition-

The 2014 Tulane Business Model Competition will award more than $35,000 in prizes to new business ventures demonstrating a customer-validated business model.

Instead of rewarding the theoretical, the new contest wants ventures to show they’ve worked with potential customers to vet their services, adapted to those needs and shown the ability to quickly change course if the market disproves their assumptions. The new Tulane Business Model Competition offers a $25,000 grand prize and a $10,000 award for runner-up.

“In this contest, sleek presentations are not going to cut it,” said Ralph Maurer, executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. “Participants won’t be rewarded for overly ambitious sales projections, drawing fancy graphs or crafting the perfect pitch to venture capitalists.”

Instead the contest rewards teams for breaking down their idea into a key business model hypotheses; testing their assumptions with customers; applying Customer Development/Lean Startup principles to make sure they nail the solution; and learning to pivot until they have a customer-validated business model.

The contest is open to any team led by at least two or more students enrolled in a college or university. To enter, teams must submit a video presentation – normally a voice annotated slide deck no longer than 10 minutes – online by 11:59, Feb 14. More details on submission criteria are available at: http://tulane2014.istart.org/ .

“Entering the first round of the competition doesn’t require a significant time investment, and it’s a worthwhile exercise for anyone working on a startup,” Maurer said.

TEA will select eight semi-finalists who will win $1,000 each and get to pitch, receive mentoring and network with a variety of lean startup experts on Tuesday, March 25, in New Orleans. Ultimately, three finalists will present their business models at Tulane University on Friday, April 11, 2014.

- Keith Brannon



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