Cedarville holding entrepreneurship challenge

CEDARVILLE — Inspired by the television show “Shark Tank,” Cedarville University’s school of business administration (SBA) will offer the “Entrepreneurship Challenge” for students, faculty and staff who desire to see their business model become a reality.

The innovative learning style will allow expert judges to review proposed business plans 7 p.m. Monday, March 19 in Milner Hall.

“The primary purpose of our event is to identify one or more startup businesses that can serve as the focal project for one or more teams of Cedarville students participating in the SBA Entrepreneurship Practicum and is compatible with the Cedarville mission,” said Dr. Jon Austin, associate professor of marketing.

A student team, as part of the entrepreneurship practicum, will work with the winner(s) of the “Entrepreneurship Challenge” during the 2018-19 academic year to help launch the business. The winner(s) will also receive guidance from a professional mentor and potential financial support.

The judges of the challenge include two 2009 Cedarville alumni and entrepreneurs, Jesse Lear and Matt Hollis. Lear is co-founder of V.I.P. Waste, a provider of door-to-door trash pickup in multi-family housing units. Hollis is president of Elytus, Ltd. which creates an innovative link between facilities management, the solid waste and recycling industry, and environmental sustainability using a web-based software solution. The other judges are Dr. Jeff Haymond, dean of the School of Business Administration, Dr. Jeff Guernsey, assistant professor of finance, and Austin.

The judges will look for business ideas that have a clear and feasible description of the business concept within the presentation and fit the SBA entrepreneurship practicum.

The competition is open to students, faculty and staff, both individually and as teams. Participants must submit a business proposal to Austin or Haymond by Tuesday, March 13. The contest is limited to 10 entrepreneurship proposals. The approved business proposals will be presented at the event March 19.

“The essence of entrepreneurship is the vision-directed creation of a new business or nonprofit organization that meets one or more unfulfilled needs combined with the responsible and effective stewardship of financial, human and brand-related resources,” Austin said. “Entrepreneurship is the foundation of our economic system and the means for solving many problems people encounter. When done correctly, it is a God-honoring enterprise.”