2017 Winners Continue To Test Their Product In Local Markets

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The University of Southern Indiana is now accepting applications for the 2018 Eagle Innovation Business Model Competition (BIZCOM). Applications are open to the public, the USI community and students of all interests and will be accepted until Saturday, September 15.

BIZCOM is a business-model competition designed to solicit innovative business ideas and connect those ideas to teams, mentors and resources to develop the business model. Each BIZCOM team must consist of at least one USI student.

As a result of the 2017 competition, winners Dana Tang ’17, a graduate student pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree from USI, and local entrepreneurs Edgar Hilton and Jenn Moorhead founded their app, JimBot which is now being tested in new markets.

“We created an app that will allow gym members to make teams so they can compete, meet and chat with other members who have similar interests, such as a running team,” said Tang. “The app also allows members to check attendance within the gym.”

“Working with Dana has been a complete pleasure! I’m ashamed to say that my first impression of Dana was that she was a shy and quiet college kid,” said Hilton. “But not much later I found out how truly off the mark I was. Even at an early stage, I learned Dana is one of those rare individuals who observe, calculate and take action.”

Unique business ideas are encouraged, as BIZCOM is a great way for students to showcase their knowledge while connecting with people in the community. Students who may not have an idea but wish to contribute to a team are also encouraged to apply.

“I would definitely recommend this to other students of any major!” said Tang. “The experience taught me about business, opened many doors of opportunity and gave me many great mentors.”

BIZCOM semi-finals will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, October 19 in the USI Performance Center. Finals will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, November 2 in the USI Griffin Center.

BIZCOM is one piece of a series of initiatives designed to inspire and cultivate innovation both on campus and in southwest Indiana. Participants in BIZCOM will have the opportunity to advance their potential business through USI’s programs such as the Eagle Innovation Accelerator and APPCOM, during the academic year.

“We participated in APPCOM in 2016 and then joined BIZCOM in 2017,” said Tang. “APPCOM really helped us work on our pitch and app idea, so that we were more prepared for the BIZCOM competition.”

Together, the Eagle Innovation programs give USI students, faculty and the community a platform to launch new ventures capable of growing the local economy and providing exciting opportunities for USI graduates.

For more information about BIZCOM and to apply visit USI.edu/BIZCOM or email Josh McWilliams, technology commercialization coordinator, at jdmcwilla@usi.edu.

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