Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

UC College of Business team takes top honors in inaugural cross-town business plan shootout

Submitted: 1/30/2010 14:21:32
  • An outstanding team led by College of Business undergraduate students, Neil Black, Alex Bey, and Charles Rinehart took 1st Place honors for their new venture, Book-A-Bike, in the inaugural Reality Check Undergraduate Business Plan Competition for students from Northern Kentucky University, the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Miami University and the University of Dayton. The team bested eight top teams from over 100 potential entrants from the five nationally recognized programs.

The inaugural Reality Check Undergraduate Business Plan Competition for students from Northern Kentucky University, the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Miami University and the University of Dayton was held January 29, 2010, on the campus of NKU. In the Spirit of the Cross-town Shootout, eight teams from these five nationally ranked entrepreneurship programs were judged on their elevator pitch, the written business plan, and presentation of the plan to a panel of outside judges. Presentations were judged on their quality and the adherence to Guy Kawasaki's principles in his book Reality Check.

An outstanding team led by College of Business undergraduate students Neil Black, Alex Bey, and Charles Rinehart took 1st Place honors for their new venture Book-A-Bike. Neil Black is a Carl H. Lindner Honors Plus student in Operations Management and Entrepreneurship; Alex Bey is a senior in Finance and Real Estate; and Charles Rinehart is a Marvin P. Kolodzik Business Scholar in Economics, Finance, and Entrepreneurship.  Book-A-Bike provides convenient, affordable, environmentally friendly bicycle rental to students on large college campuses, empowering students to get to classes and appointments more quickly, cheaply and conveniently.

To reach the number one spot, the Book-A-Bike team had quite a journey. From a field of over 100 potential new venture plans from the five schools, the top eight were selected for the first ever Reality Check Undergraduate Business Plan Competition. At the competition, the UC team faced a formidable challenge in the opening round against teams from Miami and Xavier Universities. Winning its track, the UC team faced off in the finals against two more top teams from the University of Dayton (KDVS Innovation Concepts) and another Miami University team (Pharynmed).  In the end, the UC team took top honors.

1st place ($5,000) - University of Cincinnati - Book-A-Bike - a high tech bike rental system for college campuses; 2nd place ($2,500) - Miami University - PharynMed - a medical device to reduce the gag reflex in sensitive patients;
3rd place  ($1,000) - University of Dayton, KDVS - an LED light company for commercial medium-tier growers to save energy and money; and the  Elevator Pitch ($1,000) - EkoBoxes - a cardboard box recycling service for businesses to get rid of and reuse cardboard boxes. Dennis Janson of Channel 9 Sports emceed the event providing color commentary to the crosstown competitors.
 
The UC team will also be honored at this year's Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year awards ceremony (TBA) and the UC Entrepreneurship Recognition Banquet May 13th.

"Have you ever been running a little late and needed to get someplace fast? There isn't time to walk, buses are over-crowded or not running on time, driving your car isn't practical or green. Students face this dilemma everyday getting to classes around campus," notes Charles Rinehart, co-creator of Book-A-Bike. "Our innovative solution is a 24/7 automated bike rental system for campuses across the country."

"We had an outstanding group of undergraduate teams from which to choose. Book-A-Bike did an incredible job under extreme pressure, presenting their case very convincingly in the preliminary and final rounds," commented Dr. Tom Dalziel, faculty advisor for the team. "It was a pleasure to work with this dedicated team."

"I was impressed by the breadth and depth of the research and implementation for their concept," echoed Dr. Charles Matthews, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research in the College of Business at UC. "Dr. Dalziel's excellent guidance and the team's hard work and extra effort definitely paid off!"

About Book-A-Bike: The mission of Book-A-Bike is to strive to provide a convenient and affordable, bicycle-rental to students on large college campuses, empowering them with the ability to get to their classes quicker, cheaper, and at all hours of the day. Book-A-Bike offers individuals the ability to rent a bicycle on a per use basis. Customers can rent a bicycle from one of Book-A-Bike's automated bike stations using their personal Book-A-Bike RFID card which will charge their account two dollars and allow for the release of a bicycle. Once the bicycle has been released the customer can use the bike to get to their next destination and return the bike to a different automated bike rack near their destination. For more information on the company please contact Neil Black, President of Book-a-Bike at (513)378-3015 or at blackna3@gmail.com.

About the UC Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research: Founded in the University of Cincinnati College of Business in 1997 by Professor Charles H. Matthews, the Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research vision is to provide a state-of-the-art entrepreneurship curriculum and research based not only for potential student entrepreneurs and scholars, but also for people in the many organizations that interact with small, entrepreneurial and family-owned businesses on a daily basis. Its mission focuses on removing barriers and creating gateways for entrepreneurs, especially student entrepreneurs. The University of Cincinnati has been consistently ranked as one of the top 50 programs for entrepreneurship in the United States by Success magazine and one of the top 100 programs in the United States by Entrepreneur Magazine, and ranked number 21 in the 2008 Princeton Review of top Undergraduate Entrepreneurship programs in the U.S.