UST Fowler Business Concept Challenge Awards $39,000 in Scholarships

University of St. Thomas Students Competed Friday in the 4th Annual Fowler Business Concept Challenge

The fourth annual Fowler Business Concept Challenge was held at the UST Schulze School of Entrepreneurship on October 19, 2012, with teams representing undergraduate and graduate divisions from across the University of St. Thomas. More than 66 business concepts were entered by teams comprising one to three persons, with four teams in each of the graduate and undergraduate divisions taking home scholarships ranging from $10,000 per person to $1,000 per person.

The Fowler Business Concept Challenge is named in recognition of Ron Fowler ’66, chairman and CEO of Liquid Investments Inc., whose generous gift to the university has made this and future competitions possible. Fowler says, “Entrepreneurship has been what my life is all about and we want to encourage people to do that… This country is going to grow by small business people coming up with new ideas and taking them to market. That’s what this is all about.”

Focused on energizing the entrepreneurial spirit of UST students across campuses and colleges, the Fowler Business Concept Challenge asks students to develop a business concept that has the potential to become a viable, high-growth business. Over the past four years, 261 teams have entered, 559 students have participated, and $182,000 in University of St. Thomas scholarships have been awarded.

Concepts are judged on their originality, clear and compelling value proposition, competitive advantage, market opportunity and feasibility by a panel of judges including Ron Fowler; Ben Anderson, founder and CEO of Cinemotion; Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners; Dennis McFadden of Ativa Medical; Jeff Liebl of TST Media; and other leading entrepreneurs. The award scholarships were made possible by generous contributions from Ron Fowler and Alan Bignall.

The Fowler Business Concept Challenge was open to all UST students registered for the fall 2012 semester, including undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

This year’s winners include:

Graduate Division
Aaron Engler - First Place ($10,000 scholarship) + Best Presenter ($1,000 scholarship) for his concept, Coach, “A restaurant manager data consolidation dashboard.”
David Berglund - Second Place ($5,000 scholarship) for his concept, SmartPark.
Kasey R. Grams and Jennifer Victor-Larsen - Third Place ($2,500 scholarship) for their concept, Art Space.
Matt Joyce - Fourth Place ($1,000 scholarship) for his concept, Crowd Digs.

Undergraduate Division
Keona Tranby - First Place ($10,000 scholarship) for her concept, Pink Bow City Fashion Truck, “A fashion truck featuring handmade vintage-inspired clothing.”
Jesse Stone and Mariann Kukielka - Second Place ($5,000 scholarship) + Best Presenters ($1,000 scholarship) for their concept, Superhero Simulation Service.
Joe Famalette - Third Place ($2,500 scholarship) for his concept, One Music Portal.
Dennis Gisch, Jacob Rocheford, Benjamin Bloomquist - Fourth Place ($1,000 scholarship) for their concept, ConnecTherapy.

Learn more about the Fowler Business Concept Challenge: