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

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

UC Students Make Strong Showing in Cardinal Challenge Business Plan Competition

Submitted: 2/21/2011 10:58:38
  • College of Business graduate students Ron Meyers and Charles Schwartz, the chief architects of a renewable energy venture, were named semi-finalists in the Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge Business Plan Competition at the University of Louisville on Feb. 18 and 19, 2011.

University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Business graduate students Ron Meyers, MBA '10, MS '11, and Charles Schwartz, MBA '11, were named one of only 12 semi-finalist teams in the 2011 Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge Business Plan Competition at the University of Louisville on Feb. 18 and 19.

Meyers and Schwartz, chief architects of GreenLife Energy, Inc., represented the new venture team in the opening round of this year's Cardinal Challenge. GreenLife is a value-added designer, integrator, reseller and installer of renewable energy lighting systems for outdoor and remote systems.

"Our mission is to provide innovative outdoor lighting solutions that utilize clean and renewable energy sources," notes Meyers. "The problem is the continuing and increasing high costs of arterial roadway, residential street, pathway, commercial, signage and security lighting, just to name a few," adds teamate Schwartz. "Many municipalities are actually considering turning off city street lights in response to worsening budget pressures. We have the renewable energy design solutions to save up to 40%% of the energy costs and keep the lights on," says Meyers.

The GreenLife team faced stiff competition in the opening round from Indiana University (Hydraulic Wind Power, developers of a unique hydraulic gearbox system for wind power turbines) and the University of Arkansas (cycleWood Solutions, a biodegradable sustainable solution to conventional single-use plastic bags) Hydraulic Wind Power won the opening round over UC and Arkansas to earn a spot in the final four.

While the GreenLife team did not make the final four, it was an exciting networking and learning opportunity. "It was a great experience for the GreenLife team to represent UC at the Cardinal Challenge, a prestigious competition with real-world opportunities and consequences designed to stimulate and reward innovative thinking and entrepreneurial persistence," says faculty advisor Charles H. Matthews, PhD, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research. "Over 30 outstanding teams were vying for the 12 select spots, and the team certainly captured the attention of both the participants and judges."

Schwarts and Meyers will present their GreenLife business venture at the upcoming University of Cincinnati Spirit of Enterprise Business Plan Competition hosted by Cincom Systems, Inc. on Feb. 24 and 25, 2011.