Entrepreneurship Thrives at Darden


Entries for the Darden School of Business’s Entrepreneurial Concept Competition shattered records for the second consecutive year. Seventy one entrepreneurial ideas were submitted this year, up from 54 in 2008 and 30 in 2007.

Seven teams were selected to present their ideas to the judges in Darden’s final competition, which will take place Friday, November 6, from 2–5p.m. in Darden Classroom 130.

Four First Year teams will pitch their ideas: Carlo Woods by Carlos Camacho and Jamaica Wood; KaioTeas.com by Georgi Yanchev; PattonsList.com by J. Clark Herndon, Michael P. Fallon and Steven D. Cunningham; and Pushing Hope by Natalie Schafer and Brianne Warner.

They will compete against three Second Year teams: Outfit Genius by Catherine Sproul and Leif Glynn; Split My Check by Jamie Bothwell and The Gas Stabilizer by Matt Gunther and Josh Burke.

The winner of Darden’s Entrepreneurial Concept Competition will go on to compete in the new, University of Virginia-wide U.Va. Cup on November 20.

In addition to Darden, for the first time, five other schools at the University are holding Entrepreneurial Concept Competitions of their own: Curry School of Education, School of Engineering & Applied Science, McIntire School of Commerce, School of Law, and the School of Medicine and Nursing.

The winner from each school will compete in the Final Event of the U.Va. Cup. The champions will receive cash awards totaling $10,000 and a statuary designed by U.Va.’s Sculpture and Engineering Departments.

Philippe Sommer, Darden’s director of entrepreneurship programs and the organizer of the event, has actively cultivated a broader entrepreneurial ecosystem at U.Va.

“Imagine the breadth and depth of new venture concepts that can be developed when students collaborate across disciplinary boundaries in the various schools and graduate programs at the university,” said Sommer. “When scientists talk to architects and artists about potential new ventures, or nurses vet their ideas for improving patient care with engineers and MBAs, innovation will happen.”

The U.Va. Cup builds on the growing, university-wide interest in entrepreneurship which was evidenced last spring by the founding of the E*Society, a student club that connects students with faculty and other entrepreneurs across the University, the first annual U.Va. Venture Summit, as well as the long-standing support of the Darden Entrepreneurship Program.

Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business improves society by developing principled leaders in the world of practical affairs.

For additional information, contact communication@darden.virginia.edu.

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