McColl School team advances to finals in Charlotte Venture Challenge
Group’s business plan earns final berth in Charlotte Venture Challenge with a grand prize of $50,000 in capital
First, there were 117; then there were 40; now there are only 18; and on April 19 one start-up company will be chosen as the Charlotte Venture Challenge start-up competition Grand Prize winner and receive $50,000 from Vaterra Capital. Another $50,000 in prize money will be awarded thanks to the Hauser Family Fund.
Among the finalists is the InstructHealthcare team from the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte. They are Saad Hamdan, Shannon Perrin, Steadman Sugg, and Brannon Williams. This group is comprised of Executive MBA students that will be graduating this May.
As part of a capstone project for the Executive MBA, participants work in teams to develop a business plan for an original business idea or a new take on an existing idea. Participants work on this project throughout their second year of the EMBA program in coordination with their entrepreneurship class. The project integrates all aspects of the coursework they have covered in the program, and for some participants, it is the first step towards a new career as an entrepreneur. This team independently entered their business plan project in the Charlotte Venture Challenge 2012.
The team created InstructHealthcare, which is an online education services company that provides one-on-one tutoring and webinars (recorded training sessions) to physician assistants preparing for their mandatory recertification exams.
"Participating in the EMBA program at Queens has provided me with a new perspective on my performance in business environments," Perrin said. "Developing the business plan for InstructHealthcare in Dr. Chuck Bamford's entrepreneurial class has been a wonderful experience. I hope that my team will receive the required funding to actually start this company."
Charlotte Venture Challenge (CVC) Finals will be held Thursday, April 19 at 4 p.m. at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and is open to public. During the event, teams must make a bid before a panel of Venture Capitalists, display a five-minute presentation, and take part in five-minutes of rapid-fire questions.
The founders of YAP, a 2006 competition alumnus who was recently sold to a Fortune 100 Tech Giant, will present a keynote speech, and awards will be presented at a reception to follow.
This year's finalists are: InstructHealthcare, PipePro, The Pucker Butt Pepper Company, iBid2Save.com, CanDiag, Inc., InfoSense, DealCloud, Parasol Technologies, and YOUniversity, all from Charlotte; Qualiber, Inc., Proximitas, Good Fit and Directed Deposits, all from Chapel Hill; Orthovative Technologies from Winston-Salem; Bamboo Apparel from High Point; Dynamo Micropower from Durham; Mobile Potential from Asheville; and Friendeo from Blacksburg, VA.
"With more prize money than ever before and over 100 community members that have volunteered their time to mentor and work with these early-stage companies, it just goes to show that entrepreneurship is alive and highly supported in our area," says Devin Collins of UNC Charlotte, the founding organization of the competition.
Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-ed, Presbyterian-affiliated comprehensive university with a commitment to both liberal arts and professional studies. Located in the heart of historic Charlotte, Queens serves approximately 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students through its College of Arts and Sciences, the McColl School of Business, the Knight School of Communication, the Cato School of Education, Hayworth College for Adult Studies, and the Blair College of Health which includes the Presbyterian School of Nursing.
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