Coming Soon: New Business Competition for Entrepreneurs
Continuing the Merrick School of Business’ long history of inspiring the next generation of small-business leaders, the school will soon offer even more motivation for prospective entrepreneurs in the form of a new business competition. In March, Darlene Brannigan Smith, B.S. ’78, M.B.A. ’80, dean, announced the creation of the Leonard and Phyllis Attman Competitive Business Prize for entrepreneurial students and alumni.
Funded by Leonard J. Attman, president of Attman Properties Co., the competition will offer seed funding for the most innovative new business ventures as determined by experts from the Baltimore business community.
“Business competitions are a hallmark of the nation’s top entrepreneurship programs,” Smith says. “Our goal is to use the Attman prize to help students and recent alumni bridge the gap between theory and practice.”
At least one principal owner of the new business must be a UB student or a UB alumnus who has graduated within the past five years. They will enter the competition in full case-making mode, trying to prove that their business model is economically sustainable. Winners will receive financial backing and a suite of services including rent-free space in the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, coaching from business owners and other assistance.
“It is imperative that the business community continually foster business innovation, create jobs for our neighbors and ultimately strengthen Maryland’s economy,” Attman says. “I see my commitment to the Merrick School of Business as an investment in our community’s finest resource—our people.”
“UB concentrates its primary education [on] Baltimore city and its environs,” he continues. “I grew up working in my father’s delicatessen on Lombard Street and met many students who were learning their professional skills while still working to support themselves and their families. Therefore, UB deserves a good starting point for many more students to become the future creators of new companies and ideas.”
The competition is expected to start during the 2013-14 academic year.