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X-LAB competition proves promising business future for Xavier students

By DAVID MAXWELL
On August 31, 2011

Potty training underwear for boys, an organic food truck and a dental tool to decrease the time spent at the dentist; these, among others, were the winning concepts of the 2010-2011 Xavier Launch-a-Business (X-LAB) competition that were announced Tuesday in the Grand Atrium of Smith Hall. Currently in its second year, the X-LAB competition collected 143 applications from business entrepreneurs across numerous fields including services, manufacturing and nonprofits.

The 10 winners of the competition will receive complimentary assistance from a faculty member or other business advisor and additional assistance from the Williams College of Business designed to help entrepreneurs move from concept to reality. Other submissions included an online stock market game, mobile device applications for sports teams and a technique to produce high-yield farming in cities. Professor Joe Carter, director of X-LAB, explained the program's purpose by citing that two out of every three new jobs come from completely new businesses. "If we want to create jobs for our  students, it must come from new businesses," Carter said. "Xavier was interested in starting X-LAB in order to stimulate the growth of both student and community businesses and to keep talented  resources in the Cincinnati area." It is the goal of Xavier to partner with some winners of the X-LAB competition on business ventures if a viable opportunity presents itself. Mark Randolph, a previous winner of the competition, is an example of a partnership with Xavier and was on hand to speak to the winners with advice for the upcoming advising process. He asked all the winners to "invest in this process so you not diminish the indescribable value that Xavier is providing to you." Those who submitted applications are entrepreneurs seeking support to expand or found a business or business plan and are subjected to a virtual shark tank of a selection process. All competitors must submit ""

If we want to create jobs for our students, it must come from new businesses. Joe Carter, Director of X-LABthree separate applications and undergo separate rigorous interviews of 30 and 60 minutes.

Xavier faculty and other members of the local business community aided in the selection of the winners by examining the viability of the ideas, the potential of the business owners and the capability of X-LAB to be a good match for the businesses. In addition to a business advisor, the 10 winners will receive consulting services, college workshops and an agreement with the law firm, Dinsmore & Shohl, and the accounting firm, Joseph Decosimo and Co., to provide free legal and accounting advice, respectively. The applicants that did not earn the top prize will still receive an opportunity to attend the X-LAB workshops and the chance to receive some form of guidance from the extensive network of 65 professors, 500 executive mentors and over 1,000 MBA students that X-LAB has called upon to help with the process. "This time around we learned a lot of things about X-LAB. First and foremost, X-LAB is a good idea," Carter said. A full list of the winners and more information about the X-LAB can be found on www.xavier.edu/xlab.


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