Posted by Kara Kennedy on 2012-03-30

Samford University's Brock School of Business students will have the opportunity to participate in two business plan competitions inApril: the Regions New Venture Challenge and the Ventures and Values Competition at Texas Christian University (TCU). 

First, the Brock School and Regions Bank have teamed up again this year to host the fourth annual Regions New Venture Challenge business plan competition.  Regions Bank has supported this competition since 2009 with both in-kind and financial contributions, and students will present their plans at the company's Birmingham headquarters during the final round of the competition on April 25. 

Undergraduates, graduate students and recent Samford alumni are encouraged to submit plans for the competition. The teams with the winning business plans receive seed capital from Regions Bank to help fund their new business ventures, and several past winners have opened businesses in the Birmingham area. 

There are two divisions for students to enter: the BUSA 100 Division is open to freshmen enrolled in the Brock School's World of Business course this spring and the Open Division is for other interested Samford undergraduates, graduate students, and recent alumni. 

"A competition division dedicated to freshmen business students is unique to the Brock School's entrepreneurship program," said Howard Finch, Dean of the Brock School of Business.  "In fact, we have received inquiries from universities across the country asking how we teach our BUSA 100 class.  Training our students to write preliminary business plans and then putting the top teams through a full-blown competition their first year in college was one reason we were a finalist for a national entrepreneurship education innovation award last January." 

The deadline for submitting business plans to the Regions New Venture Challenge is April 6. 

Second, a student team from the Brock School will be competing in the TCU Ventures and Values Competition on April 19th and 20th.  Each spring, TCU invites undergraduate student teams from universities around to world to participate in a unique competition for values-based business plans, which focus on balancing a company's financial, social, and environmental outcomes. 

"We have several student teams interested in going to to the TCU competition" said Franz Lohrke, Brock Chair in Entrepreneurship, "Because of the increasing national recognition of our social entrepreneurship program, we've been invited to compete against U.S. schools like Wake Forest, Syracuse, and Loyola Marymount University as well as Monterrey Tech (Mexico) and Erasmus University (the Netherlands).  We were the only team from Alabama and one of only three schools from the southeastern U.S. to be invited, and we're looking forward to taking our top team to TCU next month." 

The deadline to submit a business plan for consideration to compete in the TCU competition is April 2. 

Brock School of Business students, who write business plans focused on social entrepreneurship can enter their plans for consideration for both competitions. 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.