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Wayne State University

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Students compete in E2adventure: Detroit’s “Apprentice” at the E2detroit symposium

September 6, 2007
DETROIT, Mich. -- September 4, 2007--E2detroit has created Detroit’s own “Apprentice” competition for Wayne State University students, E2adventure. E2adventure will be held during E2detroit, the most distinguished two-day entrepreneurial and excellence symposium held at Wayne State University on October 1 and 2, 2007.

E2detroit provides entrepreneurs and small business owners an invaluable experience by bringing together investors and other regional leaders in the business community to share ideas about launching a successful business. The E2adventure competition as a part of the E2detroit symposium will give Wayne State University students the experience to see exactly what the entrepreneurial process entails. This reality-based experience will provide students with the insight into the importance of management, leadership and raw courage necessary to enter into the marketplace with a truly competitive idea. From product conception to conclusion, the E2adventure teams will be challenged to not only create, plan and sell their product on the campus of Wayne State University (WSU), but to compete against other teams to win sponsored prizes.

E2adventure will pit five teams against one another to develop a business plan and implement their products into a true marketplace. Each team will consist of one faculty coach, one Equity Investor mentor, one law student and two business school students. The teams will each receive $100 in seed money to begin their product idea. After creating a product or service to sell on campus, write a business, marketing and sales plan, and then sell that product or service on the WSU campus. A portion of the business plan will include legal considerations and issues based on the product and WSU rules and regulations. In addition, teams must write a marketing plan for their product and objective. The marketing plans will be presented to the public and the E2adventure judges shortly before the competition begins. These elevator pitches will constitute as a portion of the judging criteria to determine an E2adventure winner.

Each competing student will leave the competition with unparalleled experience of the real world components necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. In addition, the top two teams in the competition and the top elevator pitch will receive great prizes for their education. First prize will be laptops to students as well as a $3,000 research grant to the faculty advisor sponsored by Delphi. The runner-up team will each receive a Palm Treo sponsored by Wireless Toyz, and a $1,000 grant to the faculty advisor also sponsored by Delphi. Finally, the student winners of the elevator pitches will receive gift packages from Barnes & Nobles. In addition to prizes, the E2adventure is a WSU “tuition ticket” event. All registered students will have the opportunity to enter to win free tuition up to a certain value.

Professional judges will determine the winners of the E2adventure competition by using a series of criteria, based on the content of the teams’ business plan in addition to the units sold. Priority one will be based on idea innovation, creativity and marketability; Priority two will be decided by return on investment, making money for the investors. Priority three will be based upon the two-page business plan and elevator pitch presentation prior to the competition; Priority four will be judged upon the leadership and team culture of the students, while Priority five will be based on the legal considerations in the business plan. All of the priorities upon which the winner is based are criteria which the experts have determined to be most important for new entrepreneurs. Winners will be announced on Day two of E2detroit, and celebrated during the E2detroit cocktail reception. The E2adventure judges include: lead judge, Jack Ahrens, TGAP Ventures; Don Reimer, Small Business Strategy Group; Mark Lundquist, Fulcrum Edge Inc.; and, Steve Davidoff, Wayne State University Law Professor. The equity investor mentors include: Carl Meyerling, pioneer venture capitalist; Fritz Spademan, MoneyFinders Inc.; Toby Dahm, Hennessey Capital; Dick Beedon, MacBeedon Partners LLC; Don Baker, Safford & Baker, PLLC.

When asked why he would encourage law and graduate business students and/or his investor peers to consider participating in this “Apprentice-like” competition, “There are two reasons,” Dahm said, “the first is that it is tremendous fun for those with an entrepreneurial bent. It is a chance to start with a clean slate and create a micro business that faces many of the challenges and excitement of a real business. The teams get to put their planning and execution skills to the test against their peers and get quick feedback with limited risk. The second reason is that it gives all participants the chance to contribute to a team. On a 5 person team, each contribution is critical to the team’s success. My experience as a coach last year far exceeded what I had anticipated. The satisfaction of creating the plan and seeing it unfold greatly exceeded the time that I spent. We all thoroughly enjoyed last year’s event.”

The host of E2detroit, Wayne State University Venture Development Office, works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni to leverage Wayne State innovations and create early-stage technology companies. The goal of the Venture Development Office is to establish the tools and relationships necessary to launch a successful business. Judy Johncox is the WSU Venture Development Office Director and has brought countless companies to market.

For rules and registration instructions for the E2adventure competition contact www.e2detroit.com. Registration remains open for the E2detroit two-day symposium as well. The cocktail reception with an opportunity to mingle and network with the student teams and regional leaders has recently been opened to the public. Visit www.e2detroit.com for more information and to register for the symposium or the cocktail reception.
  • Contact: Beth Messacar
  • Voice: (248) 765-2936
  • Email: bmessacar@e2detroit.com
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