The Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba along with the University of Texas at Austin, University of Oregon and Carnegie Mellon University will partner with the NASDAQ Stock Exchange, intellectual property law firm Ropes and Gray and several major venture capital firms to launch a new program for student entrepreneurs.
The program will target MBA students who have created companies to commercialize technologies developed on university campuses.
Asper School of Business students will be invited to pitch their proposed venture to a panel of venture capitalists; firms will fund a minimum of one of the presented ideas. Unlike traditional business plan competitions, there will be no prizes; only investments.
The first competition is slated for May of 2008 in New York City and will be hosted by Carnegie Mellon University. The Asper School of Business is scheduled to host the 2010 competition in Toronto.
The Asper School of Business was asked to join the group based on its studentsí record for launching businesses and for its reputation for hosting high profile international business competitions. The Stuart Clark Venture Challenge, now in its third year, has become one of the top-ranked business plan competitions in North America.
To date, 18 companies, ranging from the agricultural sector to construction, have been launched by students. Toronto-based Novadaq Technologies is one such company. Originally presented by Manitoba student Rick Mangat in 1999 at competitions across North America, Novadaq now trades on the TSX and was recently identified as one of the fastest growing technology firms in Canada.
To help launch the new program, the four partner schools, along with the 2007 MOOT Corp. Global Business Plan Competition champions from San Diego State University will ring the opening buzzer for the NASDAQ tomorrow, Friday Aug. 10. Robert Warren, Executive Director of the Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship will represent the University of Manitoba.