VERMILLION, S.D. -- Young entrepreneurs mean business at The University of South Dakota. The Entrepreneurship Team (E-Team) at USD has been active on campus hosting the group’s second annual Entrepreneurship Evening as well as awarding more than $3,000 to eight USD students through the Extraordinary Idea Competition.
Utilizing a variety of programs and competitions throughout the academic year, the E-Team promotes the advancement of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship activities across the state of South Dakota. The E-Team recently awarded $3,800 in prizes to eight students, including Mindy Lysne who received the top cash prize of $1,100 for her entrepreneurial idea – a toy box with the capability to disinfect toys. With the lid closed, the temperature inside the toy box would generate enough heat to kill 99.9 percent of germs. Lysne’s proposal would greatly benefit places like daycare centers and doctor’s offices. Other winning ideas included a toothpick that, once inserted into food, can determine specific food allergies; an all natural cemetery; a bakery for pet owners offering healthy homemade recipes; and a reusable trash bag system at the bottom of a waste basket that automatically replaces a used trash bag.
"We are an action oriented group that focuses on getting results by utilizing the broad range of talents that each one of our members possesses," stated Mike Maloney, E-Team president. "Members of the team are not strictly business majors and range in experience from freshman to senior. The only requirement to be on the E-Team is to show up to meetings regularly and participate. No fees, dues or prerequisites. Everything is based on how much you want to volunteer."
In addition to the E-Team’s Extraordinary Idea Competition, the organization is hosting a Web contest – Extraordinary Elevator Pitch Competition – that will allow students to upload their overview of USD for alumni, faculty and potential investors to view. Students can upload their ideas on the E-Team’s Web site, CoyoteVentures.com, where they will be judged by students and faculty.
"We plan to launch the Web site at an event this month where we will also announce the winners of the Extraordinary Elevator Pitch competition," Maloney explained. "The top three videos will receive prize money for our Students Investing in Students (SIIS) project."
Through the Beacom School of Business Opportunity Fund, SIIS provides the E-Team with an opportunity to award prize money to students to launch their potential business endeavors.
"We have seen that students don’t always realize that they have the ability to create a new business and by awarding cash for their ideas, they come to the sharp realization that it really is possible and the resources needed are right here on the USD campus," Maloney added.
For more information about USD’s E-Team, including projects such as CoyoteVentures.com or the upcoming Extraordinary Elevator Pitch Competition, please visit the E-Team’s Web site at www.usd.edu/orgs/eteam/.