UVA Hosts 4th Annual Entrepreneurship Competition

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For some University of Virginia students and faculty, taking their ideas to the next level can literally pay off.  The university hosted its fourth annual Entrepreneurship Competition or E-Cup Friday afternoon.

Eight final teams from each of the schools at UVA presented their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges Friday.  Each group had just a short time to impress those judges in hopes of raking in some big bucks to jump-start their business ideas.

Friday, $20,000 was up for grabs at UVA's E-Cup Competition.  With just 10 minutes to present their business ideas, all eight teams had their eyes on the prize.

"Our primary drive is to take the results of creative endeavor and discovery that take place at the university and drive them into a commercial market place," said E-Cup organizer Michael Straightiff.

Competition judge Robert Patzig says he is glad to see students and faculty get the chance he was never offered in school.

"When I went to school, there was no talk about how to start a business," said Patzig.  "It wasn't understood that if you have an idea, you can do something. At UVA what we've seen over the last four years is that students have started to realize good ideas can come from anywhere."

Patzig says there are a few important factors in the decision-making process.  He said, "We're really looking sort of at the viability of the idea and not just is it an interesting idea, but how do you make money if you take that idea and bring it to a market?  Who wants to pay for it?"

Entries ranged from organic food delivery service to group bill payment businesses.  Organizers say no matter the outcome, the ideas won't stop after the competition.

Straightiff said, "The competition doesn't end today and that the key is that we want to bring together people that can help the students drive their technologies and their opportunities further and further along."

"PhageFlag", a health systems team, came in first.  Second place took home $10,000 and two teams received an honorable mention along with $5,000.