Northwood University to Host Build the Business Competition

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The final round takes place on Thursday, February 21.

MIDLAND, MI – Northwood University and the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise (ABDCCE) will host the final round of an unprecedented Build the Business Competition on Thursday, February 21, from 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. in the Bennett Sports Center on Northwood’s Midland campus located at 4000 Whiting Drive. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Sponsored this year by Chris Turner, president of the FC Mason Company, the competition began in September 2012. After signing confidentiality agreements, students were shown the FC Mason patent-protected prototype at a kickoff event. This competition generated an excellent opportunity for students to combine and fine tune their Northwood University business acumen, creativity and critical thinking skills working for a real company.

In the first round, 27 Northwood undergraduate students in three-person teams pitched their unique capabilities, expertise and business school backgrounds to work on the project. In the second round, five teams progressed and proposed a business model for the product innovation and articulated the value proposition. Some teams presented a brand image as well as product enhancements that might appeal to the market. Upon completion of the second round, two of the five teams received $1,200, moving to the third round.

On February 21, the final round of competition requires the last two teams produce a detailed market plan including a financial component, details on the point of sale and a price point recommendation. The winning team will earn a prize of $3,000 and the potential opportunity to gain a summer internship or employment with the FC Mason Company to launch the product and line of business.

According to Georgia Abbott, director of ABDCCE, “This competition is unparalleled. It is uniquely aimed at the connection between innovation and its commercial potential. It proves that Northwood University students can be challenged and successfully demonstrate an understanding of the commercialization process involved in developing a feasible plan for innovative products, ideas and inventions.”

This pilot program provides the springboard for other companies with patents, technology or intellectual property to become the next sponsor of Build the Business competition. Companies or entrepreneurs interested in participating should contact Georgia Abbott, director of the ABDCCE, at


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.