The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at MCC. The school’s entrepreneurs’ club, EcX, is hosting a business model competition in conjunction with MCC. Kristine Ouzts, a member of the business department faculty and director for the East Valley Entrepreneurship Center at MCC, played a major role in getting the competition up and running. Ouzts was asked what got her involved with EcX and what value she thinks it holds for the participants.
“I am the Club Adviser for the MCC Entrepreneur’s Club. The competition challenges students to validate new business ideas and creates an opportunity for students to create more successful businesses,” Ouzts said. “The ECX Business Model Competition is unique in that it fully engages students in the principles familiar to lean startups and aims to educate, inspire and create smarter, more agile and successful entrepreneurs,” she went on to say. There is a $500 scholarship award for each student who is a member of the winning team.
Teams must have a minimum of two students and a maximum of four. “The ECX Business Model Competition rewards student for identifying and tracking key business model hypothesis using the business model canvas; testing and validating those hypotheses with customers using feet-on-the-street, hands-on testing with real people; learning, pivoting and changing their business model based on customer interactions,” Ouzts explained. “Teams will be judged by a group of four to seven people primarily from the business community,” Ouzts said.
“College and university faculty will also be represented on the judging team,” she added. “Teams will be judged on the originality of the business concept, evidence of significant involvement by each team member and application of lean startup principles.” There are two teams competing this year. Kristian Charboneau, one of the competitors, described his team’s business idea. “Our idea is a new take on the shower experience,” Charboneau said. “By using modern technology our shower not only takes up less room, making it ideal for apartments and hotels, it also saves you time by automating much of the showering process.”
“Our design has great potential not only for residential applications, but industrial situations as well,” he said. Charboneau heard about this this competition through my friend Joseph, another student who worked on this product idea with him a few semesters ago as part of a class project.It is the hope of the competitors from both teams in the competition to turn these ideas in to successful ventures and that is why the ECX Business Model Competition is so useful.
The main goal is to validate business ideas, failing early, and making changes that will result in a successful business venture. The ECX Business Model Competition is open to all MCC students. The 2016 competition will be held at MCC on Saturday, April 30.