Competitions hosted by the UofL College of Business:

Business Competitions

Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge Business Plan Competition

The Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge represents a prestigious, global academic competition with real-world opportunities and experiences designed to stimulate and reward innovative thinking and entrepreneurial persistence. As a regional qualifying event for the international “Super Bowl” of business plan events, Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, the University of Louisville Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge showcases new business concepts presented by MBA and graduate students from 12 of the country’s leading university entrepreneurship programs, including UofL. The Cardinal Challenge offers teams the opportunity to win over $15,000, an invitation to the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, and the lucrative “Launch in Louisville” Package. Cardinal Challenge website.

Ballard Morton New Venture Competition

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The Ballard Morton New Venture Competition is an annual business plan competition featuring teams of UofL College of Business MBA students competing for start-up capital for their innovative business concepts. In addition, winners have the opportunity to move on to regional and national competitions such as the Brown Forman Cardinal Challenge and Venture Labs Investment Competition.  This year’s competition will be held at the University of Louisville College of Business in the PNC / Horn Auditorium.

Keg of Nails Sales Competition

The first Keg of Nails Sales Competition between students from the University of Cincinnati and the University of Louisville was held on in 2012 at the UofL College of Business.  Students presented a role play of selling a product. Each sales process was videotaped and presented to the buyers and judges, a team of sales professionals from the supporting companies. Keg of Nails website.

Walmart Better Living Business Challenge

The Walmart Better Living Business Challenge features teams of business school students presenting business plans to a panel of judges. The plans must be for sustainable, profitable new products or business processes with measurable positive environmental benefits.  The Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship hosts the Challenge Midwest Regional Competition at Harry Frazier Hall in the UofL College of Business.  Walmart Better Living Business Challenge website.

2014  Competition Results

Entrepreneurship MBA teams compete in regional, national and global competitions. Giving our student teams opportunities to learn and start-up.

Ballard Morton New Venture Competition
Louisville, Ky, October 10-11, 2014

First Place: InScope Medical Solutions – $8,000 and Mountjoy Chilton and Medley, LLP, Tax Service Package

This annual business plan competition features teams of UofL MBA students competing for start-up capital for their innovative business concepts. 2014 RESULTS

Alltech Innovation Competition
Lexington, Kentucky, April 26

Alltech Competition -Trifecta Cooking Equipment teamTrifecta Cooking Equipment claimed first prize of $10,000 against eight Kentucky universities in Lexington at the Alltech Innovation Competition!  The team’s product, FuturFry, is a deep fryer that could save restaurants 40 percent on annual cooking oil costs.   Read more.


Global Venture Labs Investment Competition
May 1-3, Austin, Texas

Venture Labs Competition - Systemica Health and TheraBraceletSystemica Health and TheraBracelet represented UofL well in the premier world-wide investment competition in Austin, Texas.  GVIC is the longest-running investment competition for graduate student entrepreneurs. Half of the 2014 teams came from outside the U.S., representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Jamaica, Norway, Sweden and Thailand.  TheraBracelet came in third out of 40 teams from 12 countries in the competition and received a check for $3,000.

Rice Business Plan Competition
Houton, Texas, April 10-12

TheraBracelet at Rice CompetitionThe Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition open to university students from around the world who are seeking funding for their new venture. The event was held in Houston, Texas on April 10–12.  TheraBracelet won the Mercury Fund Tech Transfer Investment Prize of $100,000, first place in the PWSP LLP Challenge Round – $1,000, and Nick got 4th place in the Austin Ventures Elevator Pitch.

Idea State U
Lexington, Kentucky, April 11-12

Teams at Idea State UIdea State University, held in Lexington April 11 & 12, is Kentucky’s statewide business plan competition designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by rewarding student teams from the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities. Four teams from the UofL College of Business will be competing against a record 29 teams of undergraduate and graduate students from across the state.

Our four UofL teams won big!  Trifecta Cooking won more than $21,000 for best graduate business plan for its idea to market an open fryer using 40 percent less cooking oil than standard fryers.  CypressMD won more than $3,800 for best graduate concept for its plan to  commercialize a new intubation technology.  PocketParkU won more than $3,800 for best undergraduate concept for its plan to sell a mobile app that helps faculty, staff and students park on college campuses.  Jockey Analytics won more than $11,000 for second-best undergraduate plan for its horse racing industry system  that rates jockeys on a race-by-race basis.

Oregon New Venture Championship
University of Oregon (Portland), April 3-5, 2014

TheraBracelet team at Oregon ChampionshipThe NVC is considered the premier business competition in the Pacific Northwest.  Sixteen teams from the best MBA programs worldwide, including US, Hong Kong, India and Thailand, will compete in Portland.  Our MBA team, TheraBracelet (Matthew Raggard, Kacie Neutz, Leah Enders and Nick Phelps and Faculty Coach Professor Van Clouse) did an excellent job at the 2014 Oregon New Venture Championship. They advanced to the four team finals and finished as runner-up, taking home $2,500. Congratulations to our team – great job!  The KGW news station did a story about the event and talked to a few of the 16 teams from around the world attending:–253845121.html

Nebraska Innovation Competition
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, March 19 & 20, 2014

SmartLanes Technologies in Nebraska CompetitionThe University of Nebraska-Lincoln Global New Venture Competition provides university students from all over the world the opportunity to compete in a business planning competition and get feedback and funding.  Our UofL MBA team, SmartLanes Technologies was one of 12 MBA teams invited to compete in Lincoln, Nebraska, along with an additional 12 undergraduate teams. The 24 total teams at the competition included Johns Hopkins, Kennesaw State, University of Texas, Austin, Arkansas, UT  Houston, Vancouver, and others.  Team Coach Professor Suzanne Bergmeister, who accompanied the team, remarked, “It was a very tough competition, and SmartLanes made the best presentation I’ve ever seen them make.  The judges had a hard time deciding, and gave them some great feedback.”  The team that beat SmartLanes in their track went on to win the overall competition.

Stu Clark Investment Competition
University of Manitoba, Canada, March 14-15, 2014

Systemica Health at Stu Clark Investment CompetitionSixteen grad student teams competed for a $20,000 grand prize in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada at the Stu Clark Investment Competition including two UofL teams, Appro Therapeutics and Systemica Health.  Systemica went on to win the Idea Pitch ($1,000) and placed third in the finals ($5,000) at the Stu Clark Investment Competition. Read more.

Cardinal Challenge Business Plan Competition
University of Louisville, Marriott Louisville Downtown, Feb. 14-15, 2014

Appro Therapeutics at Cardinal ChallengeThe competition was fierce in snowy Louisville, KY and the distinguished judges had a difficult job in selecting the top four teams from Round 1 to move to the finals.  NanDio, from the University of Notre Dame won first-place team in the Business Plan Presentation Competition and receives $15,000, an invitation to the 2014 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, and the lucrative “Launch in Louisville” Package.  Our UofL team, Appro Therapeutics (pictured) received a first place win in the Fast Pitch Competition.  Read more.

Georgia Bowl Business Plan Competition
Kennesaw State University, Georgia, February 7-8, 2014

TheraBracelet at 2014 Goergia BowlThe Georgia Bowl is one of the state’s largest and one of the country’s oldest intercollegiate competitions for entrepreneurs.  Two UofL College of Business Entrepreneurship MBA teams competed – SmartLanes Technologies and TheraBracelet.  TheraBracelet brought home a first place win and received an automatic invitation to compete in the 2014 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition.  SmartLanes Technologies, who presented to Bluegrass Angles last month and won a $25,000 investment, placed fifth.  Read full news story.

IBK Capital – Ivey Business Plan Competition
Ontario, Canada, January 25-26, 2014

Top graduate schools across North America competed for a $20,000 grand prize and automatic entry to the Global Venure Labs Investment Competition in Texas at the Ivey Business Plan Competition in Ontario.  Three of our UofL Entrepreneurship teams, SmartLanes, Systemica, and TheraBracelet were among the teams selected to compete. TheraBracelet advanced to the finals, and although our teams didn’t collect the first prize winnings, Professor Clouse reported that all our teams did an outstanding job in the competition.

Student Venture Open
UC SanDiego, October 22-23, 2013

UofL teams at Student Venture OpenSystemica Health, introducing PlaqAway won 1st place ($1,500) and an invitation to the 2014 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition.  TheraBracelet won 2nd place ($500) and Elevator Pitch ($500).  Only seven teams were invited to compete and two were from UofL.  News Story.




Ballard Morton New Venture Competition
University of Louisville, Louisville, October 10-11, 2014


College of Business

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College of Business
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Louisville, KY 40292
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