The Virginia Commonwealth University da Vinci Center for Innovation hosted the 2012 VCU Venture Creation Competition and winners of the inaugural campus-wide competition were announced Friday, April 27, as part of VCU Student Research Week.
The competition began earlier this semester with 40 student teams submitting executive summaries of ideas, concepts or technologies for a business venture. These teams represented 87 individuals across nine of VCU’s schools. A panel of judges evaluated the summaries and selected 12 semifinalist teams, which then submitted business plans. Following another round of judging, five finalist teams gave 20-minute presentations to the judges on Friday.
Fourpoint Art was the third-place finisher winning $2,000. Led by Owen Duffy, a VCU School of the Arts graduate student, the team introduced a virtual space and Internet marketplace to help emerging artists showcase their work and connect with consumers worldwide.
Gryffindor, comprised of School of the Arts students Angela Melito and Moria Pruefer proposed a 24-hour art supply and print services store venture. They were awarded $1,000 as finalists in the competition.
VCU’s da Vinci Center for Innovation is a collaboration of VCU schools of the Arts, Business, Engineering and Humanities and Sciences. Through its programs such as the undergraduate Certificate in Product Innovation and the Master of Product Innovation, which will launch in fall 2012, the center catalyzes interdisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship as it prepares students for the 21st Century workforce and supports development initiatives for partner organizations.