UT Holds Student Venture Competition (235)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A fish farm, an arts camp and a pet food delivery service are among entrepreneurial ideas being pitched by University of Tennessee students in a business planning contest.

Dr. Thomas Dean, UT-Knoxville associate professor of management, said student teams from his MBA venture management course are competing to create the best business concept.

The winning team will receive $1,000 from Venture Exchange Forum, a local entrepreneurial enterprise group sponsoring the competition, Dean said.

The projects will be shown at 5:30 p.m., April 29, in the University Center Shiloh Room to judges from Innovative Ventures Corp. of Oak Ridge, UT-Knoxville’s Graduate School of Planning, and Venture Exchange Forum.

Scheduled presentations include business plans in health care management education, aquaculture, Internet services, pet food delivery, and a performing-arts summer camp.

“In the venture management class we introduce MBA students to opportunities available through entrepreneurial endeavors and give them some of the tools needed to start their own businesses,” Dean said.

“The involvement of VEF in the class and the competition has given students added incentive and valuable exposure to the local business community.”

Dean’s venture management class is part of the College of Business Entrepreneurship Program which recently was ranked 21st among all U.S. universities and 6th among public universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Venture Exchange Forum was founded in 1985. Its corporate members include Technology 2020, Innovative Ventures Corporation, BellSouth, CROET and the Foster Wheeler Group.

Contact: Dr. Thomas J. Dean (423-974-1673)