Topic: Miller College of Business

March 17, 2008

The nation's top collegiate entrepreneurs will have 500 seconds to pitch their business ideas while turning a lap around the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway March 28 during the second annual Nascent 500 Business Plan Challenge.

The students and their business executive judges won't be riding in race cars, but in limousines.

"Entrepreneurs must be ready to take advantage of new and challenging situations," said Larry Cox, director of Ball State's Entrepreneurship Center and sponsor of the Nascent 500. "This program gives students the opportunity to address potential investors in a situation far outside the office or classroom."

Interested students from colleges and universities across North America were asked to submit a business plan. Teams qualified to move into the "limousine pitch round" include Ball State University, Grove City College, Illinois Institute of Technology, Illinois State University, University of Central Florida, University of Houston, University of Manitoba, University of Michigan, University of Saint Francis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vanderbilt University and Western Carolina University.

After the initial trip around the track by each team, four will be selected by the judges to make a full business plan presentation in the "homestretch round." The winning team will receive $10,000, a quart of milk and a victory lap around the historic track.

Achieving top national rankings since it was founded more than 20 years ago, Ball State's entrepreneurship program has become well known as the "ultimate entrepreneurial experience" because of the immersive learning opportunities provided to both undergraduate and graduate students, Cox said.

Additional details may be found at

(Note to Editors: For more information, contact Cox at or 765-285-9004.)