Entrepreneurship Center to host business plan tournament

In its 13th year, the Entrepreneurship Center is taking its annual business plan tournament back to Ball State University.

For the last three years, the Enterprise 8 tournament was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This year, it will be held at Worthen Arena. The tournament will include teams from eight colleges and universities across the U.S. As the host, Ball State students are unable to participate.

Maggie Ailes, program coordinator for the Entrepreneurship Center, said the program tries to highlight Indiana's heritage through the contest venues.

"When we were thinking of venues for this year, we asked ourself, ‘What does Indiana have to offer? What's our claim to fame? What does Ball State have to offer?'" she said.

The answer was basketball. The contest starts today with a free-throw tournament to determine each team's place in the bracket. On Friday, there will be three rounds, including a Bracket Buster, Entrepreneurial Four and Championship Round. The winning team will receive a $1,500 cash prize. There will also be a net cutting ceremony Friday evening.

For the first time, the general public will be able to view the final round of the tournament. Ailes said 150 seats will be pulled out in the west side bleachers, and she hopes to see most of them filled.

Students in a course called New Venture Creation will help facilitate the competition. On Thursday night, they will take students from visiting schools out to eat at Beef O'Brady's. During the tournament, they will give a presentation about the Ball State Entrepreneurship Center.

New Venture Creation is a pass/fail course, and senior Paul Francis said he doesn't know of any time when everybody in the class passed. Last year was the first time that everyone who turned in a final project actually passed the course that he knows of.

"It's stressful, but it's worth it," Francis said. "It actually gives us real-world experience. Either your business goes on, or it goes out of business."

Entrepreneurship 8 tournament
What: Business model tournament
When: Today and Friday
Where: Worthen Arena
Why: To encourage the creation of college-level business plans


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