Eight winners have been chosen in the first Xavier Launch-a-Business Competition, a program designed to boost the economy by supporting new businesses and nonprofits.
The winners, selected from 166 applications, will receive free consulting services and other support from the Williams College of Business at Xavier University.
“These winners demonstrate that people in Greater Cincinnati are exceptionally innovative and determined to succeed,” said Ali Malekzadeh, Dean of the Williams College of Business. “The potential of these entrepreneurs is tremendous.”
The winning ideas include the development of a wound sleeve to reduce complications from battlefield injuries, distribution of an improved student academic testing system, manufacture of bullet-resistant shields for police and creation of an export consulting business.
The winners are Dr. Sambhu Choudhury, Concepto, Cincinnati; People Working Cooperatively, Cincinnati; Alice Huff, Tia Marie & Co., Cincinnati; Michael Kou, Growth by Export, Cincinnati; Dr. Stephen McClanahan, Americas Clinical, Loveland; Chad Martin, Elite Protection Group, California, KY; Marc Randolph, Epstein Educational Enterprises, Cincinnati; and Sandra Ambrose, PL4S, Fairfield, Ohio.
Among the winners are an orthopedic surgeon, a former police officer, a trucking company executive and a psychologist.
The winners will get:
1) A business adviser.
2) Consulting services for up to a full academic year -- nine months.
3) Access to College workshops, executive mentors and networking events.
4) Help with the development of a business plan.
5) A meeting with potential investors.
X-LAB will draw on the business expertise of its 65 professors, 500 executive mentors and 1,000 MBA students to guide the entrepreneurs. No other Greater Cincinnati economic development program has such resources.
All of the winners have the potential to grow or make a significant impact beyond Greater Cincinnati, said Joseph Carter, a business professor who heads X-LAB. Most could grow globally.
X-LAB will help dozens of the applicants who didn’t win by referring them to other resources in the College or to other economic development programs. In addition, 39 applicants, including the winners, will be given free access to workshops on 15 business topics taught by faculty members.
X-LAB honored the winners Thursday at a program in the Grand Atrium of Smith Hall, the College’s new home. It also thanked the two dozen business executives who helped to judge the competition.
More information about X-LAB is available at www.xavier.edu/xlab.