Ball State students explore business solutions in competition

Topic: Miller College of Business

February 16, 2009

Five Ball State students recently collaborated with students from various colleges along the Interstate 69 corridor to develop entrepreneurial innovations in Indiana.

Junior Zachery Alexander brought home the gold from the I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge, on the winning team alongside students from Taylor, Huntington, Indiana Wesleyan and Anderson universities. Each member of the group received a gold coin valued at $500.

The winning team developed the business idea of Personal Pantry Solutions, a company that uses a query system Internet database and grocery store kiosks to assist people with special dietary needs in finding recipes and food ingredients.

Other Ball State participants were Ashley Wiswell, Kamille Jones, Mike Beer and Kaitlyn Caraway. The students traveled to Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind., Feb. 6-8, where they were then placed with teams.

Each group was tasked with creating a business plan or idea to solve a problem related to healthy sustainable lifestyles. A panel of judges from the I-69 corridor reviewed the ideas and presentations of each team.

The first I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge was held in November 2006 and is now an annual event. The competition encourages entrepreneurship in the area by providing team-building opportunities for students to develop market solutions.

In addition to the participating universities, sponsors included Duke Energy, the Indiana Economic Development Corp., Indiana Michigan Power, the Grant County Economic Growth Council and the Innovative Network.

By Hillary Tribbett

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