Meet the VTKW Global Student Challenge Teams – PattonsList.com

As part of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge, August 29 – September 4, 2010, you're invited to attend and observe student teams from around the world compete for a $25,000 grand prize and trophy at the Global Student Business Concept Challenge on September 2, 2010 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center

You can also attend "Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century," a workshop led by Jim Flowers, Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, on September 1, 2010 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. Please register for the Challenge and Workshop by August 25.

Please meet Team PattonsList.com, University of Virginia Darden School of Business, USA!

PattonsList.com is a free online classified website serving the United States military servicemen/women and families of the active duty, reserve and contractor communities. Contouring services and managing limited user access, PattonsList.com creates a select, trusted community online dedicated to military lifestyle, geographic location and needs.

Our team members:  Steven Cunningham is currently a 2nd year student at Darden School of Business and holds a B.B.A. in Computer Information Systems from James Madison University. Mike Fallon is a 2nd year student at Darden School of Business, holds a B.A. in Analytical Finance from Wake Forest University and served as an artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps with 2d battalion, 11th Marines.

The concept of PattonsList.com came about through shared experiences of its two founders.

Steven Cunningham needed to find a tenant for his Arlington, VA condo during his two year tenure at UVA. Having grown up in an Army household, his family and friends advised finding a trusted and reliable military tenant. Using the most popular classified posting website, Steve developed an advertisement with inviting lead-ins, intricate descriptions, and colorful pictures with the hope of finding a tenant. It took 2 hours to draft and post his advertisement and only 15 minutes for his listing to go from the top of the Page 1 to the unnoticeable doldrums of Page 2. Posts from property management firms and large condominium development agencies flooded the pages. Steve searched other posting services and noticed similar trends.  What was once a powerful tool for specialized, grassroots commerce within a community had lost the essence of what made it special.

Prior to business school, Mike Fallon was a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps when he received orders to move to Camp Pendleton, CA. Knowing he would move again in 4 months, Mike needed to find temporary housing and used furniture for his stay. He spent hours browsing the sublet and temporary postings on Craigslist and ventured to the Military.com classifieds to no avail. After a frustrating search and several days in a motel, Mike settled on paying more than he wanted for rent just because he needed a place to stay.  He knew that there had to be Marines who were seeking to offload a room, furniture or other personal belongings because they were slated to leave Camp Pendleton as he was arriving, however, there was no market to connect these seemingly known buyers and sellers.

Steve and Mike met at the University of Virginia – Darden School of Business and shared their different experiences around needs for both advertising to and purchasing from the military community. They soon realized the need for an efficient market bringing the trusted military community to the web. 

PattonsList.com placed 1st in the Student Business Concept Competition at the 2010 VT KnowledgeWorks Entrepreneurship Summit.  The competition was open to student teams in Virginia and western North Carolina.

PattonsList.com also competed in the 2009 UVA-Darden Entrepreneurial Concept Competition and placed 2nd out of 71 applicants. Applicants consisted of teams representing current UVA graduate, undergraduate, doctoral, or post-doctoral student, faculty, or staff members. Finalists were based on a written business concept submission and selected to present in front of a panel of entrepreneur and venture capital professionals.

What do we hope to achieve by participating in the VTKW Global Student Challenge?

Steve: I hope to gain ideas and insight from other entrepreneurs who have started or are currently working on web start-up ventures. I would like to learn about the aspects of implementing an idea on the web from a technical standpoint as well as how to market an online business successfully.

Mike: I hope to inspire and be inspired – as a budding entrepreneur, I’ve been fortunate, partly through my experience at the VT Knowledgeworks competition in the Spring of 2010, to be around some amazing people that are leaders in the venture capital and entrepreneurial community, and there is nothing more inspirational than being around successful entrepreneurs.  I hope to repeat this experience via the Global Student Challenge, but on an international level.  I also am really looking forward to meeting students from other countries and cultures and gaining their perspective on entrepreneurship and also finding out what ideas and concepts that they are working on.

Good luck to Team PattonsList.com!

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To fully experience the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge, you're invited to:

Learn about "Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century," in the workshop led by Jim Flowers, Director of VT KnowledgeWorks during the day of September 1 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, attend the NCTC Fall Gala on the evening of September 1, lodge that night at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, then attend and observe student teams from around the world compete for a $25,000 grand prize and trophy at the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge beginning the morning of September 2, 2010.

Here's more about The Challenge and the schedule of events, here's where to register for the Workshop, Challenge, or as an advertiser, and here's where to register for the NCTC Fall Gala.

Learn more about the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge on the VT KnowledgeWorks site, through individual posts with news and updates via VTKW Global Student Challenge on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks, and by visiting the VTKW Global Student Challenge on Facebook.

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The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge is made possible thanks to the generous Global Challenge Event Sponsors, including COTA, G.J. Hopkins Inc., HCA VA Health System, Interactive Achievement, Novozymes, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Rackspace, TechLab, and The Branch Group Inc.

Virginia Tech Office of Outreach and International Affairs, Montgomery County, Virginia, Panera Bread, and Custom Catering will sponsor meals during the Global Challenge Celebration. 

Welcome bags presented to each student finalist are sponsored by University Bookstore/Volume II Bookstore, the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., Virginia Tech Graduate School, the Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech, and Mountain Lake.

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