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Cincom to Host 8th Annual University of Cincinnati Spirit of Enterprise Competition

International software provider Cincom Systems will once again play host to the University of Cincinnati (UC) Spirit of Enterprise Graduate Business Plan Competition on Thursday, February 24 and Friday, February 25.

The event, in its 8th year, provides the winning team an automatic bid to the Venture Labs Investment Competition, formerly Moot Corp, which is considered the “Super Bowl of Investment Competitions.”

What is the Spirit of Enterprise?

Over the past eight years, the Spirit of Enterprise has exposed the Greater Cincinnati area to more than 125 teams and nearly 400 students representing a collaborative array of disciplines including business, medical, arts, sciences and design.

“It is an outstanding opportunity for the Greater Cincinnati area to see and hear these ventures of the future,” says Dr. Charles H. Matthews, Executive Director of the UC Center for Entrepreneurship. “It’s also a very good way for the teams to learn about the great entrepreneurial ecosystem and location we have here in Cincinnati.”

This year’s competitors include teams from the University of Cincinnati,  Kennesaw State University, the University of Florida, Rice University, Purdue University, Brigham Young University, the University of Oregon, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Iowa, the University of Louisville, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Manitoba and North Carolina State University.

The teams are bringing venture plans in the critical fields of healthcare, medical devices, education and even consumer-based products.

Why is Cincom Involved?

Each group is also exposed to an entrepreneur who has been in their shoes at the dawn of a new industry and succeeded – Cincom CEO Tom Nies.

“Greater Cincinnati is blessed to have an entrepreneur of the caliber of Mr. Nies,” Matthews says. “His willingness to share his incredible experience and expertise with the student entrepreneurs of today and the future is a strong testimony to his unselfish corporate and community spirit.”

 How Does it Work?

The winning teams are identified through a competition format consisting of four intense and challenging brackets of a preliminary round – very much like the NCAA Basketball Tournament. At the conclusion of the preliminary round, the top four teams will advance to the final round’s bracket, where they will again have 25 minutes to sell their venture – this time to a new panel of judges.

Those not chosen for the final championship round will move on to the consolation track: the Limo Ride Competition. Mirroring a chance encounter with a potential angel investor, teams must try to sell their business plan’s viability within 10 minutes on the road without the use of presentation tools.

What Do They Win?

This year’s competition features cash prizes totaling $20,000, with first place being the Cincom Spirit of Enterprise Champion Prize and an automatic bid to the 2012 Venture Labs Investment Competition (formerly Moot Corp.). Other cash prizes will be allotted to the second and third place recipients of the Finalist Round, first place in the Limo Competition and the winner of the Best Technology Plan. The Exhibition Round will garner cash prizes for the top three teams for best exhibit.

About the UC E-Center

 Founded in 1997 by Matthews, the E-Center’s mission is to provide a state-of-the-art entrepreneurship curriculum and research base not only for potential student entrepreneurs and scholars, but also for people in the many organizations that interact with small, entrepreneurial and family-owned businesses. Success magazine has listed The University of Cincinnati as one of the top 50 programs for entrepreneurship in the U.S., and in 2008, The Princeton Review ranked UC the 21st best Undergraduate Entreprenurship program in the country.