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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > UA students take top competition honors

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

The University of Arizona students take top competition honors

McGuire Entrepreneurship at the Eller College is crème de la crème in producing top business plan competitors

TUCSON, Ariz. – MARCH 14, 2006 – Late nights, early mornings, team disputes, foreign travel, pride, and achievement — this is one student’s summation of an intense semester culminating in the birth of a plan for an entrepreneurial venture and the realization of a dream.

Two student teams from the nationally ranked McGuire Entrepreneurship Program at the Eller College of Management took 1st place and 2nd place in separate intercollegiate business plans competitions in the same weekend. McGuire undergraduate team Original Theory received top honors at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, triumphing over a field of more than 50 competitors from business schools throughout the U.S. and Canada. The multidisciplinary graduate team MSDx, LLC — with students from biology, medicine, and business — placed second at the prestigious Spirit of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (SEED) business plan competition sponsored by Westmont College, Santa Barbara, Calif. The SEED competition included more than 80 teams.

Capitalizing on the art background of art history and entrepreneurship major Michael Farkas, team Original Theory developed a business plan for an online service to promote, publish, and sell student art. Team members Farkas, Jonathan Pucciarelli, Stephen Tanenbaum, and Greg Rosborough, all seniors, received an award of $15,000 which they plan to use toward the launch of their company.

“It was like one of those big checks you see pro golfers take home from tournaments,” laughed Rosborough, senior marketing and entrepreneurship major. “It was funny carrying it through the airport because it drew a lot of attention. We go to the Enterprise Creation Competition, hosted by Indiana, Ball State, and Syracuse Universities in a couple of weeks, and if we win that we will have almost enough money to really make some things happen with this venture.”

MSDx, LLC continued a McGuire tradition of earning a spot among the top eight teams in the SEED competition, and achieved the program’s best finish yet. Team members Stephen Basset, Allan Conger, Simran Nirh, and Marie Wesselhoft developed a business plan for a patented blood test to detect Multiple Sclerosis. Bassett brought his biology expertise from the College of Science to the table to facilitate the project conception.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of these students. Both awards show that good things happen when students with very different backgrounds are exposed to a curriculum that mimics the integrated way in which real-world business problems are solved. The success of Team MSDx, LLC highlights the real value of integrating science and business management,” said Paul Portney, dean of the Eller College of Management.

SEED Competition Finalists

  • Allied Polymer, Inc., Duke University
  • Berz Perspective Designs, Inc., Washington State University
  • Bosna Sauna, LLC, Syracuse University
  • Internet Security Company, Inc., University of Georgia
  • Just Kidding, LLC, University of Houston
  • MSDx, LLC, The University of Arizona
  • Polaris Athletic Training Systems, LLC, Westmont College
  • Safe and Happy Foods, Inc., Columbia Business School, NY
  • Waste Wide Technologies, Inc., Rice University

The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship is a National Model Program of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and is home to the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, ranked the #2 public undergraduate and #1 public graduate program in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review. Established in 1984, it was one of the first university-based entrepreneurship centers in the country. Today, the Center offers entrepreneurship education for any graduate program at the University of Arizona and reaches more than 1,000 undergraduate students every semester. With courses in business, law, science, engineering, health, medicine, arts, and humanities, the McGuire Center advances the state and regional economy, advances entrepreneurship education nationwide, and teaches life-long problem solving for economic, social, scientific, and environmental progress.

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #48 in the U.S. The College is among the leaders of business schools generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the 25th ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 750 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and a satellite campus in Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

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