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News Bites: MWest Challenge Sparks Immersive Entrepreneurial Education

Posted November 25, 2014 in News Bites

Do you have an idea for a new business that you want to get off the ground?

KCAD students are again joining their peers from around the region in the MWest Challenge, a student business plan competition that invites entrepreneurial-minded students to collaboratively develop and grow new business ventures.

The competition recently kicked off with an event at KCAD that brought students from eight West Michigan colleges and universities together to meet one another, trade ideas, and learn more about how the competition works.

MWest Challenge Kickoff eveentA packed house for the MWest Challenge kickoff event in the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building

For the 2015 MWest Challenge, students (working alone or on teams of up to five) must create a business model and plan for a new entrepreneurial venture, including a product, a for-profit service, or a non-profit service. More than $20,000 in cash prizes is on the line, and students will have access to resources, mentors, educational workshops, and opportunities to network with angel and venture capital investors.

KCAD Industrial Design Program Chair Jon Moroney believes that the experiences students have throughout the course of the competition are just as valuable, if not more so, than the prize money. He sees KCAD’s involvement in competitions like the MWest Challenge and Grand Rapids’ annual Startup Weekend event as part of a larger entrepreneurial vision for the college.

MWest Challenge Kickoff eventKCAD Industrial Design Program Chair Jon Mornoey addresses the crowd at the MWest Challenge kickoff event

“Events like the MWest Challenge and Startup Weekend create educational experiences that build on the work that we do in our classrooms,” said Moroney. “There’s plenty of programming to support that by giving students a supplemental business education, creating opportunities for them to collaborate with other non-creative disciplines, and exposing them to valuable community resources and versatile learning spaces outside of campus.”

One of those spaces is Grand Rapids’ own Start Garden, which any team or individual competing in the MWest Challenge can take advantage of for free throughout the competition.

If you missed the MWest Challenge kickoff event, don’t worry – there’s still time to get involved. Be sure to attend the team-building event on December 4 from 5-7pm at Start Garden and get the ball rolling. You must sign a form indicating your intent to compete in the competition by February 2, 2015.

For more info, go to mwestchallenge.com.