Global Challenge Semifinals Deadline Extended – Now Free to Enter

The Global Challenge Semifinals are now free to enter!
The deadline has been extended to February 11, 2015.

VTKW Global Challenge Semifinals

VT KnowledgeWorks will host its annual Global Challenge Semifinals at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech student teams will compete for the chance to win one of three scholarship prizes, including:

  • $10,000 Plastics One Advanced Manufacturing Award for the most outstanding tangible product
  • $10,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award for the most outstanding intangible product or service
  • $5,000 grand prize to one of the two teams that receive the Advanced Manufacturing and the Information Technology awards
  • $5,000 People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business

Student teams are also competing for an opportunity to compete on a world stage in the $25,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge this August.

A generous donor has enabled us to eliminate the entry fee. To enter, student teams should register by completing the Intent to Compete form and submitting a one-page summary by February 11.  Attendee tickets are also free and include access to the Global Challenge Semifinals, networking reception, and awards presentation. Register as a contestant or attendee online at http://www.vtknowledgeworks.com/gcsemifinals/2015/registration.

The competition is open to all graduate and undergraduate students at Virginia Tech. All participants must be full-time, registered students at Virginia Tech with an average team age of 27 years or less to participate and receive prizes if selected as a finalist team. Up to six finalist teams will be selected to present at the Challenge.

Businesses can get details about advertising during this event by contacting Christine Spalding at 540-443-9100 ext. 3 or via email at christine.spalding@vtknowledgeworks.com.

VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Semifinals Sponsors include Plastics One Inc. and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business, and the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, BB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Plastics One Inc., Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, UXB International, Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint

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Announcing the New Global Challenge Virtual Preliminary

VTKW Global Challenge SemifinalsVT KnowledgeWorks presents the inaugural Global Challenge Virtual Preliminary, where university teams from anywhere outside the U.S. have the opportunity to test the strategic essence of their business concept for a chance to compete on a world stage this August at the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge. The Virtual Preliminary celebrates the energy and creativity of university students and their important contributions to the global economy, while encouraging them to develop their entrepreneurial ideas.

Preliminary contestants compete to earn up to $5,000 in air-travel reimbursement to attend the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge Finals, August 16-22, 2015, in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, USA. The winning team of the Virtual Preliminary will compete against other student teams from around the world for the $25,000 grand prize and VT KnowledgeWorks trophy. During this week-long celebration of entrepreneurship, students are housed with local families, spend interactive time with successful technology companies, and enjoy fellowship with each other and with Virginia Tech students during festive meals and social gatherings.

For more information on the eligibility requirements, rules, and guidelines for the preliminary go to www.vtkwglobal.com/2015/prelim. The first deadline to apply and submit a one-page summary of your business concept is April 1, 2015.

The Global Challenge Virtual Preliminary is in cooperation with Télécom SudParis, University of Kent, University of Trento, and Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, BB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, CIT GAP Funds, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Plastics One Inc., Rackspace, Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, UXB International, Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint

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Sign Up for Startup Chatup at CoffeeWorks Free

Join in informal chats about startup issues and discuss your entrepreneurial aspirations with Jim Flowers, executive director of VT KnowledgeWorks. Meet with Jim at CoffeeWorks, located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center at 1901 Innovation Drive, Suite 1100.

Startup Chatup @ CoffeeWorks: Register for a time slot on Friday mornings from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at CoffeeWorks in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center at 1901 Innovation Drive, Suite 1100.

FREE!

register

 

For more information contact Jim Flowers, Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, at 540-443-9100, extension 1 or at jim.flowers@vtknowledgeworks.com.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, BB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, CIT GAP Funds, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Plastics One Inc., Rackspace, Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, UXB International, Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint

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Entrepreneurship, Employment, and Economic Growth: Some Useful Definitions

This article, composed by Jim Flowers of VT KnowledgeWorks, was originally published on Source Link Virginia.

When considering local or regional initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship, it is important to understand clearly the true objectives. Most of these efforts are really aimed at economic development by way of job creation. They are not aimed simply at encouraging independent behaviors, for example. Occasionally, there is a socio-political undercurrent of encouraging personal self-sufficiency in a general sense. In any case, if the defining point is to increase employment through entrepreneurship initiatives, entrepreneurship itself must be well understood.

The words entrepreneur and entrepreneurship are currently popular, but widely misused, because they are being applied in bulk to several quite different business and personal behaviors. Suppose we define an entrepreneur as “someone who conceives and launches a significant new initiative, and takes personal responsibility for its success or failure.” The initiative could be a whole new business, an extension of an existing business, a Boy Scout project, a garden club, whatever. Since we’re talking about job creation, let’s take a closer look just at the businesses.

First, it’s important to address different points of view. The early-stage investment community, including both angels and venture capitalists, tends to draw a broad distinction between emerging enterprises that appear to have an opportunity to grow quickly toward an eight or nine digit payoff and those that, while potentially worthy, are likely to top out either too small or too late to be of interest to high-risk investors. They often label the second group as life-style businesses. And the labeling is often at least mildly derogatory.

It can be argued, however, that all entrepreneurial businesses are “life-style” businesses in that the entrepreneur’s payoffs are personal. If, at any point, she decides that it is unlikely that those personal payoffs will be realized, she will abandon the venture. The energy and focus required of successful entrepreneurs demands high motivation. If the objectives of that motivation fade into the distance, the energy disappears. This is not speculation; it is observable history.

Public figures with interest in economic growth and development, on the other hand, are typically interested in job creation and retention, rather than high-gain exits. The current common wisdom is that corporately small and young companies are creating the most jobs. That makes it easy to generalize to entrepreneurship as being a major positive force that deserves encouragement and support. In a time when automation, information, and communication advances have vastly increased individual worker productivity, job creation is much less automatic than it was in the 20th century.

Wealth creation, on the other hand, has at least the opportunity to generate jobs steadily over time as that wealth is distributed throughout the economy. So local wealth creation has become another favored target for some. Unfortunately, that also means wealth re-distribution, at least in relative terms. The owners get rich; and that money eventually gets re-invested to create another round of growth. This is the essence of the trickle down arguments.

Let’s presume, for our immediate purposes, that increases in jobs and/or wealth are positive outcomes as regards long-term economic well-being. What does that mean for the design and funding of entrepreneurship encouragement initiatives?

There are, in fact, radically different types of entrepreneurs. Here is a short list. It is not meant to be academically complete, or exhaustive in any sense, but rather to point out the complexity of the entrepreneurial landscape, particularly as it relates to job and wealth creation.

  • Solo-preneurs
  • Network-preneurs
  • Org-preneurs (at least four sub-types)
    • Mainstreet-preneurs
    • Expert-preneurs
    • Busi-preneurs
    • Invento-preneurs
  • Fun-preneurs

The simplest are solo-preneurs operating as professional service providers, launching single person service businesses. The personal life-style payoff for which they strive is just that, personal. And it is at least unfair, and perhaps foolish, to judge them on the basis of some standardized, presumptive payoff that is “good for the economy.” They want to make a living, doing what they choose, unencumbered by direct supervision.

By the way, if these folks bother to set up an LLC to limit their personal liability, or register a Federal Employer Information Number (FEIN), they are counted by the SBA as a new business establishment, just as if they were General Electric. Think what this does to all those statistics regarding business start-ups and failures.

There are also network-preneurs launching multi-person/entity service or product businesses without formally employing others in the traditional sense. Loose associations of subject matter experts who come together to execute large projects are a common example of this behavior. Their selected payoffs are also personal, and, again, not to be judged by some general set of standards. They are related to the busi-preneurs (see below), but more autonomous, unconventional and free-spirited.

There are org-preneurs who elect an enterprise strategy to achieve their personal payoffs – with traditional employees and a fixed place of business. In fact, often, the organization itself is part of the desired payoff. They enjoy leading a team. There appear to be at least four sub-species of this type.

There are copycat, mainstreet-preneurs, who open hair salons, restaurants, and auto repair shops. They usually follow growth in local/regional wealth, rather than creating it. So, in a very real sense, they don’t matter, at least from an increased prosperity standpoint. They don’t bring any new money to town. They just help re-allocate local money. Growth in the numbers or size of such businesses, including the jobs they provide, must, by definition, follow some increase in the local money supply.

There are expert-preneurs who must fund and assemble a team in order to achieve personal satisfaction and recognition in their desired field of expertise, such as the microbiology of pathogens. The financial aspects of these businesses are often personally secondary to the founders, especially in view of the fact that they are often tenured professors with financial stability in place. The businesses themselves tend to remain small, even when they are stable and successful. Growth per se is not a primary objective for them. They do bring new money to town – often as federal grants.

There are busi-preneurs who are somewhat market-neutral, in that their personal payoff is related more to measuring achievement by traditional business metrics than to personal autonomy. They make money for others (investors) in order to make money for themselves, and to receive recognition and approval for having done so. Their personal payoffs are related to the risk capital culture and its social structure. Often they become what investors like to call serial entrepreneurs, cashing out various ventures and moving on to others. They generally bring new money to town by selling to widely dispersed markets and clients; but they can actually be serving locals and sending the profits out of town, like Wal-Mart.

And there are invento-preneurs, who really do come up with better mousetraps and take them to market. Often they partner with busi-preneurs. Venture capitalists like this combination. And with innovative products and venture capital, they can create more jobs, more quickly, than most other types. Their clients are almost always out of town, and their profits come to town, except for the venture capitalists’ share. It’s important to point out, however, that these companies usually are acquired by larger ones. At that point they often disappear into the larger entity, and the new jobs disappear and the founders move to better weather.

And, finally, there are serial, recreational, fun-preneurs, who start low risk ventures (usually internet-related) for fun, and occasionally pop out of the pack, almost by accident, to become fabulously wealthy. They are similar to the people who like to walk the beaches and fields with metal detectors and occasionally find a gold coin or a sale-able meteorite. Or, we might compare them to the people who play slot machines. Any given coin placed in the machine has a low chance of being a winner; but it’s only a small investment. Once in a while, someone wins the jackpot. By the way, have you noticed how the casinos make sure everyone hears about the big winners? And how they do not mention the billions of attempts that go unrewarded? Silicon Valley is like that, too.

Two commonly used terms are incubator and accelerator. A practical distinction is that incubators emerged from the economic development community and accelerators from the investment community. Incubators tend to be place and job oriented. Accelerators tend to be wealth oriented. Incubators are generally established and run by economic development professionals. Accelerators are commonly established and run by cashed out mentor/investors. Incubators strive for employment growth and sustainability. Accelerators strive for speedy return on investment.

Fast-paced startup brainstorming events can certainly create fresh local energy and attention to entrepreneurship in general. To the extent that they actually spawn enterprises, their offspring are more commonly accelerator material than incubator material.

Business plan contests also build local awareness; and they generally deliver more fully-formed, investment-grade enterprise opportunities that have the potential to grow into permanent contributors to a local economy.

So, as regards job creation and increased prosperity, all entrepreneurship is not created equal. With this understanding, localities and regions have the opportunity to direct various growth and development initiatives with more focused effect, if they address, encourage, and support the various types of entrepreneurs separately and appropriately.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, BB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Plastics One Inc., Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, UXB International, Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint

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Announcing the 2015 VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions.

Our sponsors make that possible.

We are delighted and grateful to announce the 2015 sponsors of VT KnowledgeWorks.

2015 VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Semifinals Sponsors include Plastics One Inc. and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, BB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, CIT GAP Funds, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Plastics One Inc., Rackspace, Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, UXB International, Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint

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Announcing February’s Startup Readiness Workshop at Virginia Tech

VT KnowledgeWorks is holding a Startup Readiness Workshop on Friday, February 6th on the Virginia Tech campus, ICTAS Kelly Hall, Suite 310, 325 Stranger Street, from 12 – 4PM.

This workshop helps prospective entrepreneurs test the strategic essence of their business concept, tighten up on managerial focus, and review the overall business start-up process.  Also, get the details on how your innovation might win you up to $40,000 by participating in the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Semifinals.

VT KnowledgeWorks Startup Readiness Workshop

Who should attend? Anyone considering the launch of a technology-based business.

  • Inventors with exciting technological developments
  • University faculty members with revolutionary research results
  • Web developers with fresh business concepts
  • Career shifters thinking about starting a company

When you should attend? Very early in the planning process.

  • When your business concepts are still forming
  • Before you incorporate, write a business plan or launch a web site
  • Before you spend any significant time or personal money

What you’ll learn…

  • The Four Fundamental Factors that govern startup success
  • The Strategic Essence of every successful business
  • Five Powerful Habits used by good managers
  • The power of full Commitment
  • How the Money really moves around
  • The MOXIE secrets
    • What it is
    • Why you need it
    • Where it comes from

For more information contact Jim Flowers, Executive Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, at 540-443-9100, extension 1 or at jim.flowers@vtknowledgeworks.com.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Semifinals Sponsors include Plastics One Inc. and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, BB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Plastics One Inc., Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, UXB International, Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint

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Announcing the Second Annual IdeaFest

The 2nd Annual IdeaFest kicked off with the IdeaJam on Thursday the 8th, as entrepreneurs gathered to pitch their ideas to experts and peers at 2 Witches Winery and Brewing Co.  IdeaJam was an informal meetup to spark connections between aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs, including an optional open-mic style opportunity to share business ideas with those in attendance. IdeaFest

IdeaFest itself will take place on Friday, February 27th from 11AM to 6PM at the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research, 150 Slayton Ave., Danville, VA.

The 2nd Annual IdeaFest will feature a free entrepreneurship skill-building workshop, a business pitch competition with $10,000 in prize money, and a networking reception. The main event is the fast-paced business pitch competition, in which 20 entrepreneurs will present a startup idea to a panel of judges and live audience.

Pre-registration is requested for workshop attendees, business pitch competition audience members, and reception attendees. Applications to pitch are due by February 1st. Pre-register and/or apply at www.ideafestdanville.com.

For more information please contact Lauren Mathena, project coordinator, at (434)250-1749 or ideafestdanville@gmail.com.

This event was made possible by Southern Piedmont Technology Council (SPTC), VT KnowledgeWorks, The Launch Place, Davenport Energy, First Piedmont Waste Solutions, American National Bank, Danville Regional Foundation (DRF), Donnachaidh Associates, LLC, and Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, BB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Plastics One Inc., Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, UXB International, Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint

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Announcing the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Semifinals

VTKW Global Challenge SemifinalsVT KnowledgeWorks will host its annual Global Challenge Semifinals at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech student teams will compete for the chance to win one of three scholarship prizes, including the Plastics One Advanced Manufacturing Award for $10,000, the $10,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award for the most outstanding intangible product or service, and the $5,000 People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business. One of the two teams that receive the Advanced Manufacturing and the Information Technology prizes will earn the grand prize and receive an additional $5,000 in scholarship assistance, as well as the opportunity to compete on a world stage in the $25,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge this August.

The competition is open to all graduate and undergraduate students at Virginia Tech. All participants must be full-time, registered students at Virginia Tech with an average team age of 27 years or less to participate and receive prizes if selected as a finalist team. Up to six finalist teams will be selected to present at the Challenge.

The Global Challenge Semifinals contestant registration deadline is February 6, 2015. Attendee tickets are free and include access to the Global Challenge Semifinals, networking reception, and awards presentation. Register as a contestant or attendee online at http://www.vtknowledgeworks.com/gcsemifinals/2015/registration.

Businesses can get details about advertising during this event by contacting Christine Spalding at 540-443-9100 ext. 3 or via email at christine.spalding@vtknowledgeworks.com.

VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Semifinals Sponsors include Plastics One Inc. and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, BB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Plastics One Inc., Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, UXB International, Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint

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VT KnowledgeWorks Announces Major Sponsor

VT KnowledgeWorks is pleased to announce that Plastics One Inc., a medical component and cable manufacture company based in Roanoke, Virginia, will sponsor two 2015 VT KnowledgeWorks Advanced Manufacturing Awards.  A $25,000 grant from Plastics One Inc. will provide a $10,000 scholarship stipend to the most outstanding tangible product at the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Semifinals in April, as well as a $15,000 cash award at the Global Student Business Concept Challenge Finals in August, again for the most outstanding tangible product concept.

On April 8, 2015, VT KnowledgeWorks will host its annual Global Challenge Semifinals at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Blacksburg, Virginia.  Virginia Tech student teams will compete for the chance to win one of three scholarship prizes, including the Plastics One Advanced Manufacturing Award for $10,000, the $10,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award for the most outstanding intangible product or service, and the $5,000 People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.  One of the two teams that receive the Advanced Manufacturing and the Information Technology prizes will earn the grand prize and receive an additional $5,000 in scholarship assistance, as well as the opportunity to compete on a world stage in the $25,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge this August.

The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge, August 16-22, 2015, celebrates the energy and creativity of university students and their important contributions to the global economy by encouraging them to develop their entrepreneurial ideas.  The Challenge provides a unique opportunity for student teams from all over the world to compete for a $25,000 grand prize and VT KnowledgeWorks trophy.

The Global Student Challenge in August will recognize and award two teams $15,000 each, the Plastics One Advanced Manufacturing Award for the outstanding tangible product, and the VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award for the outstanding intangible product or service.  One of the two teams that receive the Advanced Manufacturing Award or the Information Technology Award will receive an additional $10,000 grand prize.  As a permanent tribute to their exceptional efforts, the winning team’s name will be engraved on the permanent VT KnowledgeWorks trophy.  Finally, one more team will receive the $5,000 People’s Choice Award sponsored by Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, BB&T, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, National Bank, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Plastics One Inc., Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, UXB International, Inc., Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint

VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Semifinals Sponsors include Plastics One Inc. and Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business.

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View the Latest from Explee: a 2012 Global Partnership Participant

View this recently launched video from Explee, who participated and competed in the 2012 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge in Blacksburg and Roanoke, VA, USA.

What is Explee?

Video is a powerful teaching tool. 90% of the information absorbed by the brain is visual. Explee is a cloud-based presentation software that allows you to create mind-blowing and wonderfully animated videos. You can choose animations that suites your speech and produce your video. The result will be a beautiful and effective video presentation.

Explee was founded two years ago in November 2012 by Thomas Olivier and Morgan Giraud, who at that time were not graduated yet from their engineering school. Explee is now a team of seven, talented people dedicated to help people share their ideas in a visual and effective way.

Team Explee from the 2012 Global Student Business Concept Challenge

For more information about Explee, visit their website, check out their blog, or follow them on Twitter. Explee has also compiled a press packet replete with useful information about the company.

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VT KnowledgeWorks

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks Sponsors

Allegheny Logistics Group, Automation Creations, Inc., BAE Systems, Bloomfield Partners, LLC, The Branch Group, Inc., Brown, Edwards & Company, City of Roanoke, Fox 21/27, G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, Interactive Achievement, Inc., Latimer Intellectual Property Law, LLC, Meridium, Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Phoenix Packaging Operations, Rackspace, Shentel, SunTrust Bank , TechLab, Third Security, Town of Blacksburg, Town of Christiansburg, Union First Market Bank, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Virginia Tech Outreach and International Affairs, VPT, Inc, Wordsprint.

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