The Austin Entrepreneurship Program Hosts the Inaugural New Enterprise Challenge


CORVALLIS, Ore. – For the first time campus-wide at Oregon State University, students will compete in a business plan competition, called the 2008 New Enterprise Challenge. Hosted by the Austin Entrepreneurship Program, the event started on Jan. 15 and continues through March.

The New Enterprise Challenge is a business plan competition created to highlight OSU innovators and further its mission of fostering entrepreneurship.

The challenge is an opportunity for OSU students to present their new business ideas to experts including successful entrepreneurs, senior executives, venture advisers, and investors.

“One major focus at the Austin Entrepreneurship Program is on experiential learning,” said Christopher Klemm, director of the program. “There are certain outcomes that you simply can’t achieve working from a book. To realize them, you have to get out and do them. For example, there is a big difference between reading about a business plan and actually writing one, and then presenting it to investors.”

The event will take place in several phases.

Team-building sessions, held recently on campus, were designed for participants interested in meeting fellow students who are looking to build teams or who come with ideas seeking additional team members.

Weekly skill-building sessions will be held 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Jan. 22 through Feb. 19 in Weatherford EG01 to help students become more proficient at building business plans.

The business plan deadline is March 21. All submitted business plans will be reviewed by a panel of judges from the business community.

The 12 best business plans will move forward in The New Enterprise Challenge and will be paired with a mentor to help them refine their business plan presentation. Each of the 12 final teams will present their business plans in a trade-fair format to a panel of judges on April 18. They also will be allowed time to take questions from the judges. The winning teams will be selected based on the potential success of the new business enterprise.

For information on how to get involved, e-mail: margo.procopio@bus.oregonstate.edu.