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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > 2009 New Venture Showcase

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

UA’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship hosts 2009 New Venture Showcase

  • 21 student teams present rocket pitches to judging panel, open to public
  • McGuire Center recognizes entrepreneurial leaders in awards ceremony
TUCSON, Ariz. – April 13, 2009 – The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the Eller College of Management will host its 25th annual new venture competition and celebration on Friday, April 24, culminating another stellar year for the top-ranked program. The entrepreneurial achievements of business leaders and collegiate innovators will also be recognized.

“Entrepreneurial thinking is the cornerstone of a vibrant economy,” said Sherry Hoskinson, director of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. “At the McGuire Center, we work hard to advance innovation, and every spring since 1985 we have come together as a community of students, mentors, and business leaders to celebrate the year’s progress.”

The Showcase is sponsored by Grubb & Ellis, and all events are free and open to the public. An RSVP for the reception is requested: or 520.621.2576.

The Showcase runs from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on April 24 at the UA’s McClelland Hall (1130 East Helen Street):

12:30 - Rocket Pitch: 21 teams present three-minute pitches to angel investors
2:30 - Awards
3:00 - Finalist venture pitch
4:30 - Awards and reception

Student teams vie for top honors in new venture competition

This year’s 21 McGuire Center student venture teams will compete for top honors, starting with public rocket pitch presentations. The judging panel will invite top-performing teams to come back and deliver complete presentations.

This year’s ventures, like past years, encompass a range of business concepts and technologies. Examples include:

  • Jumpistics, an express courier company utilizing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology to meet the diverse logistics needs of customers.
  • PhoneMe, a mobile phone rental service aimed at international students residing in the United States.
  • Verdant Earth Technologies, a manufacturer of turnkey crop growth systems that are scalable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.

All student teams in the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program develop their ventures using The Idea Path®, a method that mirrors the real-world entrepreneurial process. “Students are challenged to identify a problem and craft a unique, market-driven solution to address that problem,” says Hoskinson. “Everything comes together during the final presentations — it’s a very exciting time for everyone: the students, their mentors, and the community.”

McGuire Center award and recipients

The annual year-end event is also an opportunity to recognize the outstanding contributions of community members, alumni, business leaders, and collegiate innovators. The award ceremony will follow the judging panel deliberations at the end of the day. The 2009 award recipients are:

  • Business/Law Exchange Award
    Paul Portney, Dean of the Eller College
    Toni Massaro, Dean of the James E. Rogers College of Law
  • 2009 Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Inductees
    Greg Coxon, Grubb & Ellis
    Marie Wesselhoft, Director of the Arizona Center for Innovation
  • 2009 Entrepreneurial Fellows
    Charles and Candice Nelson, Co-founders of Sprinkles Cupcakes
  • 2009 Technology Transfer Fellow
    Stephen O’Neil, UA Office of Technology Transfer
  • Entrepreneurial Promise Award
    Mark and Jacques Cook, Coronado Vineyards

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 No. 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 No. 48 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 25-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

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

For additional information, please contact us.