VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Challenge Creates Personal Global Networks

From VT KnowledgeWorks:

The First Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge held on August 29 – September 4, 2010, provided a unique opportunity for student teams from all over the world to compete for the $25,000 grand prize and the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy.  Students from England, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Uruguay, and the USA took advantage of this unique opportunity to initiate personal global networks through learning, socialization, and friendly competition. 

Top honors went to Colm Connolly and Vincent Murray of team Ecosy representing Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Their winning concept is a wood pellet fueled patio heater that reduces fuel costs, increases mobility, and reduces the environmental impact of patio heaters used for outdoor dining and entertaining.  As a permanent tribute to their outstanding effort, their name and university will be etched into the base of the travelling trophy.  The large, custom-designed trophy will reside at their home institution until next year’s Second Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge.  At that time, it will return to Blacksburg for presentation to the next winner.

Two runner-up teams, EasyCheck of the Ruppin Academic Center in Emek Hefer, Israel, and team T2T of the University of Kent, England, each received $2,500.  Efrat Nel, Shahar Peled, Hadas Geva, and Inbal Gutman, of team EasyCheck presented a reliable, non-invasive device that enables early detection of breast cancer before the tumor evolves.  Sinan Assaf and Ben Giambrone of team T2T presented a revolutionary, convenient, and safe method for arranging and paying for taxi rides using a mobile telephone.

The competition finals at Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center on September 2, 2010 were part of a week-long celebration of student entrepreneurship and students’ important contributions to the global economy. At Hotel Roanoke, student attendees participated in an Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century Workshop led by Jim Flowers, Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, and attended the NewVa Corridor Technology Council (NCTC) Gala Dinner on September 1, 2010. 

During the rest of their visit to Virginia, international teams remained in Blacksburg, housed by local families.  They spent interactive time with successful technology companies and enjoyed fellowship with Virginia Tech students.   Activities included a campus tour, a downtown souvenir shopping experience, and a tailgate celebration at The German Club.    Festive meals highlighted the entire week, including a formal welcome dinner and flag presentation ceremony at The Inn at Virginia Tech hosted by the Virginia Tech Office of Outreach and International Affairs.  

Pictures of the Global Challenge Celebration, videos of each finalist team presentation, and more on the Challenge are available at VT KnowledgeWorks on Facebook and VTKW Global Student Challengeon Facebook.

Our guide lists all participating finalist teams in the Global Challenge and our video introduces the Challenge.  A series of posts chronicles the Challenge on the VT KnowledgeWorks blog, Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.

Thanks to these Contributing Sponsors

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge was 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.

Meal sponsors include Virginia Tech Office of Outreach and International Affairs, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development, MCDED, Panera Bread, Custom Catering,  Allegheny Brokerage Company, Inc., and Sub Station II.

Allegheny Brokerage Company, Inc. sponsored the winning student team, Ecosy from Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.   Special thanks to the i3Network for their collaboration and support during the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge. 

Welcome bags presented to each student finalist were sponsored by University Bookstore/Volume Two Bookstore, the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., Virginia Tech Graduate School, the Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech, and Mountain Lake Conservancy & Hotel, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, and VT KnowledgeWorks.

Finally, other contributors to the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge include Schultz-Creehan, Matthew Moore, Industrial Design Student at Virginia Tech, East West DyeCom, Inc., Paul Fleming, The German Club, Handshake 2.0, New River Valley Economic Development Alliance, Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Office for Research, Virginia Tech Graduate School, and Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.

VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Programs for Members are divided into two categories according to the evolutionary status of the member company.  Pre-Launch program components are carefully constructed to help market-worthy ventures organize, formulate strategy, obtain outside investment, and launch in an efficient manner.  Enterprise class members benefit from emphasis on strategic support for ongoing growth, continuing intra-preneurship, and professional development for the corporate leader.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law GroupLeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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