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X-LAB program returns for another year

By Jenny Mendoza
On August 30, 2012

Xavier Launch-A-Business, (X-LAB), a pioneering economic
development program at Xavier University's Williams College of Business, is once again searching for people with innovative ideas. This is the program's third year, and things
are a little different. For the past two years, X-LAB has
solicited applications and chosen winners using
a rigorous evaluation process that included an application, in-depth questionnaires and interviews. The winners were selected by Xavier faculty, MBA students and business
executives. This year entrepreneurs will apply online while completing the questionnaire at the same time. The applications will then be judged on three primary factors: the viability
of the idea, the potential of the entrepreneur and whether or not the capabilities of X-LAB and the business idea are a good match. The business or nonprofit must have the potential to grow or make a significant impact regionally or nationally.
After assessment, 20-25 applicants will be invited to participate for free in workshops led by Xavier faculty and local executives from September until February. When the workshops are almost complete, five winners will be chosen based on their participation, engagement and progress during the
sessions. The five winners will be given access to MBA students' consulting services, access to any speakers on campus and will be able to meet with potential investors. Overall, the winners will discover what it takes to turn their business idea from a concept into a reality. X-LAB differs from other entrepreneur competitions because its primary benefit is the sharing of business expertise. Many competitions offer cash
prizes and little else. X- L A B recognizes many entrepreneurs need more than just money to succeed. It draws on the Williams College of Business' 65 faculty members, 500 affiliated executives and nearly 900 MBA students to advise the winners, and connects them to investors when their idea is developed. In addition to benefiting entrepreneurs, X-LAB has
proven to benefit Xavier's students. The Williams College of
Business created an MBA course in which students can act as firsthand consultants for the X-LAB businesses. This course provides students experience with a company facing real business issues. Undergraduates across colleges and majors at Xavier have also gotten involved by helping businesses in Norwood and Evanston. "X-LAB is important both because it provides tangible support for high potential businesses and is a visible indicator of Xavier's commitment to the local community", Brian Till, PhD, dean of the Williams College of Business said. "We are proud to see this program gain traction, visibility and support."  


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