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3/27/13 - Economic innovation, entrepreneurship on display at MSU

The economic impact of innovation will be in focus April 1-5 during Entrepreneurship Week and the Investing in Innovation conference at Mississippi State.

The land-grant university's Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer also is sponsoring its second I3 Day on the 5th in Colvard Student Union's Foster Ballroom.

With the theme "Inventing Solutions," I3 Day will conclude a weeklong student business plan competition series that also celebrates MSU's entrepreneurial culture. Participation is free but advance registration for the I3 Day luncheon must be made by Friday [March 29] by telephoning Anna Thompson at 662-325-3570.

"I3 Day will highlight Mississippi State's partnerships with the private sector, and provide opportunities for participants to explore the resources and services we provide to existing businesses, startup companies and entrepreneurs," said OETT director Gerald Nelson.

"We believe it is a fitting exclamation mark to five days of showcasing the remarkable and innovative students, faculty and staff we have on our campus," he added.

A recent National Research Council study found the primary drivers of future economic growth and job creation will come from advances in science and engineering. Nelson said MSU and other flagship research institutions already are contributing to the coming wave of innovation-based economic expansion via education, research and outreach.

The week's activities begin at 5 p.m. Monday [the 1st] with the formal opening of the MSU Entrepreneur's Club laboratory in McCool Hall, home of the College of Business. Located in Room 210, "The Co-Lab" provides student entrepreneurs a place to collaborate and "ideate," Nelson said.

On walls covered with idea paint, students will be able to literally compose their ideas for new products and services, he explained. Editing or removing the concepts will be completed with dry-erase markers.

Throughout the week, four business plan competitions and a separate elevator pitch competition will dispense more than $50,000 in prize money, office space and legal assistance.

Joining MSU's business college and Thad Cochran Endowment for Entrepreneurship as sponsors for the business plan competitions are the Tellus Operating Group, Talos Energy LLC, Bradley Arant Boult and Cummings, and entrepreneur and MSU alumnus Mark Dumas.

The competition schedule includes:

--Tuesday [April 2], 2 p.m. Talos Energy, LLC New Venture Challenge, 100 Simrall Hall;

--Wednesday [April 3], 10 a.m. e-commerce competition, Franklin Furniture Center auditorium;

--Thursday [April 4], 10 a.m. app competition and 1 p.m. Mark Dumas engineering competition, both in 339 McCool Hall;

--Friday [April 5], 9 a.m. final round of Tellus Operating Group LLC business plan competition and 4 p.m. student elevator pitch competition, both in the student union's third-floor Fowlkes Auditorium.

In addition to the I3 Day luncheon, other Friday events include an intellectual property showcase, breakout sessions and, at 5:15 p.m., a combined networking social hour and recognition of competition winners.

A complete conference agenda is available at

Jim Laird | University Relations

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