McGuire Entrepreneurship Program's Onward Packs team wins on viability plus values at TCU international new ventures competition
TUCSON, ARIZONA – April 25, 2012 – The students behind the new venture Onward Packs belong to a generation that's redefining the popular concept of entrepreneurship, blending sustainable profit with strong social values to change the lives of people in need.
In April, they were awarded $5,000 for their vision, winning third place in the international Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition hosted by the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University (TCU).
What is Onward Packs?
To consumers, Onward Packs is a retailer, offering high-quality backpacks. To communities, Onward Packs is education champ, using a portion of its proceeds to directly donate books and equipment to music, sports, and art programs to U.S. schools in need.
Onward Packs finds the schools. Consumers choose what programs they wan to support at the point of purchase. Teachers get the tools they need but often can't afford. Children get a richer and more fun and inspiring education.
It's a simple but powerful connection you can see for yourself in this video of the company's first donation to Picture Rocks Intermediate School northwest of Tucson, Ariz.:
You can also learn more about Onward Packs' on Facebook, Twitter, and the company's placeholder site:
- @OnwardPacks, #onwardpacks and #makeyourmark on Twitter
Meet the Team
Four undergraduate students created Onward Packs as part of the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management:
- Amanda Wieland, a business management and entrepreneurship major with experience in social and business initiatives in Japan, Hong Kong, Jamaica, and South America
- James Taylor, majoring in finance with concentrations in global business and Mandarin and work experience ranging from retail to corporate finance
- Zach Lewis, a marketing major minoring in Spanish with retail experience and a passion for consumer products
- Jacklyn Hall, a marketing major with minors in global business and Mandarin with sales experience in consumer packaged goods and financial services
Each year's class in the McGuire Program learns problem-solving, analytics, communications, strategy, and other life-long skills needed to turn an idea into a sustainable initiative, using new ventures they create as applied, real-world learning vehicles in the second semester of the program.
“We want o make this our future,” Hall said during the Neely School competition. “Every action this year has been to make Onward Packs a viable, successful business so we can go out in the world and make a difference for education.”
A New Kind of Competition
The Neely School launched the Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition in 2011 to recognize undergraduate entrepreneurship ventures that combine viability and values with business plans that demonstrate specific ways the businesses will improve quality of life.
At the 2012 competition, 22 teams from around the world competed, including winners from the University of Houston, University of Oklahoma, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (Mexico), and Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada). Five business leaders from consulting and investment firms judged the 2012 competition.
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 #12 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 5,000 undergraduate and 600 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and a satellite campus in Phoenix.
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
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