Wolff Center Student Team Wins Big at UNL Annual Innovation Competition
For students in the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business, obstacles are seen as opportunities, and limits don’t exist.
That philosophy led to big success for a team of five students from the program, who bested 24 student teams on March 13 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center for Entrepreneurship 25th Annual Innovation Competition, bringing home a first place win.
Competitors Tattiana Reznick, Louis McEneny, Randy Hannemann, Adam Trojanowski, and Justin Farley impressed competition judges, which included venture capitalists, bankers and investors, with their business plan for UNlimiters, an e-commerce website that sells products to people with disabilities.
Farley, who is majoring in entrepreneurship, first envisioned the company when he began creating tools and adapting products that allowed him to complete certain tasks with cerebral palsy. His fellow teammates helped to write the plan and prepare for the UNL competition, a long-running business plan contest that draws entries from student-created, managed and owned ventures across the globe.
“We spent four months developing the idea and the business plan,” said Trojanowski, who is majoring in entrepreneurship and finance at Bauer College. “We presented our plan to many of our mentors and professors in multiple meetings, in order to refine our presentation and idea.”
The team’s diligent work paid off, said Ken Jones, associate director of the Wolff Center.
“We are very proud of the business plan team and the successes they have reached,” he said. “UNlimiters is a wonderful idea that addresses the needs of an underserved, physically challenged market.”
“The business plan is creative, well presented and leaves every listener with a ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ reaction. The team worked very hard in honing their pitch and in the creation of a thorough plan,” Jones added.
The team plans to market and drive traffic to the UNlimiters website by partnering with organizations that provide support for the physically challenged community to serve as a marketplace on their respective websites, Trojanowski said.
The skills learned through Bauer College classes and the Wolff Center played a large part in helping the team prepare for the competition, Hannemann said.
“Winning helps to validate the Wolff Center’s No. 1 ranking,” he added. “Every time we travel to another university and perform well, it enhances the University of Houston Bauer College brand and helps us on our trek to Tier One and greater national recognition. We are just glad we can contribute to the reputation of our school because our school has already done so much for us.”
By Amanda Sebesta