University of Colorado students from the colleges of business and engineering have presented the city of Boulder with a proposal, created during a business plan competition course, for a state-of-the-art indoor soccer field.
The students designed the Boulder Valley Sports Complex to alleviate the growing demand for indoor recreational facilities in Boulder. The plan features two state-of-the-art soccer fields in Valmont City Park.
The city currently is studying the students' plan, which responds to the city's request for proposals addressing use of land in the park. A decision is expected by fall.
"Our hopes are high that our proposal will be chosen," said Mark Sorenson, a graduate student in civil engineering who contributed to the plan. "We plan to take the proposal through the development process."
The students created the proposal as part of a Business Plan Preparation course offered jointly by the colleges of business and engineering. The course culminated in a business plan competition in May, in which students presented a comprehensive business plan for an innovative concept for a product or service. The competition requires students to research all aspects of starting a business, from marketing to manufacturing and operations.
Teams in the class -- this year comprised of 27 business students and six engineering students -- usually include at least one if not two engineering students. Teams with a combination of engineering and business backgrounds produce the most viable plans, said class instructor Frank Moyes.
"While business students bring a customer-oriented mindset to the table, engineering students excel at the financial aspects of business formation," Moyes said. "When the two emphases are combined, the result is often a viable business plan."
That was the case with the Boulder Valley Sports Complex team, comprised of engineering students Mark Sorenson and Chris Madigan and business students Mark Kranjcec and Stacie Teuscher. The team won second prize and $1,250 for its plan.
The first-place winner, Ascent Aviation, won $3,000 for its plan. Ascent offers business travelers premium-priced direct flights between private airports in major cities, alleviating the unpredictability of commercial airline flights. The team was comprised of business students David Sinkey, Michael Teague, Bradley Crawford, Yaela Shamberg and Michael Steyaert.
Summit Packs took third place and $750 for its plan to sell ergonomic backpacks with support features that eliminate back pain in children resulting from poorly designed backpacks.
The business plans were judged by representatives from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce and companies including Ereo, Spectra Logic, The Stiles Group and Transition Points. The Ray and Dottie Joyce Business Plan Endowment donated the prize money totaling $5,000. The course is sponsored by the CU-Boulder Robert H. and Beverly A. Deming Center for Entrepreneurship.
The Deming Center is a joint program of the colleges of business and engineering at CU-Boulder. The center supports entrepreneurship studies at the graduate and undergraduate levels.