The Next Launch, a regional business idea competition hosted by The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur, will be expanding to include 24 teams from eight high schools in Indiana and Illinois.
At Culver Academies, the top three finishers in the Miclot Business Plan Competition will present their business ideas to a panel of professional business leaders. Other participating schools include the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (Aurora, Ill.), New Trier High School (Winnetka, Illinois), Christ the King Jesuit Prep (Chicago), International School of Indiana (Indianapolis), Shortridge IB Magnet School (Indianapolis), Fishers High School (Fishers, Indiana), and Providence Cristo Rey High School (Indianapolis).
The Miclot Business Plan Competition is open to all students on campus. It requires entrepreneurial individuals or teams to work with a mentor. Endowed by Culver parents Andy and Sharlene Miclot of Warsaw, Indiana, the competition requires the students to devise a product or service, work on a business plan, and do field research, all under the guidance of their mentor.
Each team must submit a written summary of the product, company, or service in no more than 300 words by Feb. 20. Eight teams will be selected to participate by Feb. 23. The teams then make their 10-minute presentations before a panel of Culver alumni or parent entrepreneurs, who act as the judges, on Sunday, March 11.
In addition to competing for the Miclot’s top prize of $5,000, the winning team or student will have the opportunity to earn $25,000 at The Next Launch. The Next Launch winners will also the opportunity to make their presentation in front of professional investors.
The other seven schools will also conduct similar competitions, with the top three teams from each institution moving on to The Next Launch, which will be conducted at Launch Fishers, a business incubator, in Fishers, Indiana.
“Creative innovation mixed with business strategy guides students to find success in the real business world later in life,” said Alex Kurrelmeier, director of The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur. “The Next Launch will prepare students for the ambitious, professional working world through intensive peer unity and progressive competition.”
This level of competition provides real-world experience for teamwork, collaboration and field research typically only found at the university level. In fact, the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Lacy School of Business at Butler University, Miller College of Business at Ball State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and the Byrum School of Business at Marian University are all supporting sponsors of the program.
The Next Launch will follow the basic Miclot guidelines. Any student at the participating schools is eligible to compete. Teams will be comprised of one, two, or three students and will be supported by a mentor entrepreneur. Each team will submit a business idea that includes a description of the product or service, and its market need. The business idea will also include selling propositions, along with the future growth characteristics of the product or service. A panel of independent judges will grade the competition and select the winning team.
Other sponsors of The Next Launch include Launch Fishers, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce; OneZone (Hamilton County chamber), Lazard financial advisers/asset management; and Elevate Ventures venture capital group.