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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Freed
561-297-3022, lfreed@fau.edu

FAU Hosts Business Plan Competition

BOCA RATON, FL (January 12, 2009) – Florida Atlantic University’s Adams Center for Entrepreneurship and the Barry Kaye College of Business are pleased to announce the return of the FAU Business Plan Competition, to be held in the spring of 2009. In this competition, FAU students, faculty and members of the business community work together to create innovative business plans and are eligible to win prizes totaling more than $15,000. A distinct feature of this competition allows members of the business community to team up with FAU students to enter the competition and compete.

The program necessitates community support and provides an opportunity for participants to compete and test their business innovations. A screening committee made up of faculty and south Florida business leaders will narrow business plan submissions from many to a total of 16 business plans. The event will host 8 teams in each track, investment intensive plans and limited investment plans.   Investment intensive plans are those that would likely require rounds of venture capital investment (capital intensive) of $1M or more.  Limited investment plans are those that could launch and grow successfully based on revenue, personal funds, loans or angel investments (considered not capital intensive) under $1M.

Teams participating in the competition have the opportunity to meet and network with experienced venture capital principals, early stage angel investors, successful entrepreneurs, and senior business leaders who will serve as judges for the competition. FAU faculty and staff will select judges based on their business experience and investing expertise, particularly in connection with entrepreneurship, and their interest in supporting early stage entrepreneurs. Past judges included representatives from Fortune 100 companies, prominent local law firms, financial consultants and venture capital investors. The competition provides an unparalleled experience for the participants, providing time to interact with the judging panel and receive valuable feedback.

Competition highlights include: 

  • Real-world opportunities to learn what is required to successfully launch a new business venture;
  • A chance to receive mentoring and feedback from investors and experienced entrepreneurs; and
  • Prize money totaling more than $15,000.    

Initial sponsorship comes from The Research Parks at FAU, operated by the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority.   Bob Swindell, board chair for the Authority, emphasizes the support is consistent with the mission of the organization, “Economic Growth through Research and University Involvement in the business world.”

 Steven R. Sponder, a business plan competition judge and sponsor, is an entrepreneur and investor who was selected to partner with Microsoft and AOL Time Warner. Sponder, who wrote a business plan that received several rounds of venture capital funding totaling more than $10 million, stated, “I’ve experienced first-hand just how difficult it is to secure investor funding for a new business.  I look forward to sharing with aspiring entrepreneurs the methods that worked for me.”

Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart, P.A. is also one of the leading sponsors of the Business Plan Competition.   “Gunster is very pleased to support FAU’s Business Plan Competition, which is a terrific resource for building and fostering the entrepreneurial landscape in South Florida,” said Nicholas W. Robbins, an attorney in Gunster’s Technology & Emerging Companies Practice Group and business plan competition judge. Gunster was established in 1925 and offers a broad range of legal services to its impressive client base of businesses, institutions, local governments and prominent individuals. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Stuart, Vero Beach, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and West Palm Beach. 

For information on how to participate, contact Kimberly Gramm at 561-297-3628 or register at www.fauadamscenter.org/BPC.

- FAU-

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serv es more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,   the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

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