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The Innovation Chase And Quest: A Case In Experiential Learning In Entrepreneurial Competitions

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship Education: Experiential Learning and Economic Development II

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1228.1 - 14.1228.13



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Paper Authors

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Donald Reimer Lawrence Technological University

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Ahad Ali Lawrence Technological University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Innovation Chase and Quest - A Case in Experiential Learning in Entrepreneurial Competitions


This paper describes experiences in participating in the competitions of the Chicago Entrepreneurial Quest and Milwaukee Innovation Chase. Both competitions consisted of five member teams competing in various assigned tasks. Seven other universities also competed in Chicago. The team focus was on creating a device that would be a reasonable replacement for cash, credit cards, or any other traditional method of payment in today’s society. This experience provided each of our team members an opportunity to participate in a real entrepreneurial experience. The experience included a business opportunity assessment, an elevator pitch and other interactive exercises. The second competition in Milwaukee focused on marketing and brainstorming new and innovative ideas surrounding the sponsors’ Chevrolet, OMAC, and OnStar products and presenting them in front of a committee similar to that in the real world. This event stared with a single clue. The teams of undergraduate students from eight universities followed a path of quick decisions, innovation and money to compete for cash prizes. Milwaukee Innovation Chase was carried on streaming video. The event consisted of a series of exercises including a sales pitch, a product enhancement presentation, marketing strategy, product accessory design and servicing a vehicle at a dealership. Each team was given a new Chevy product to drive during the competition. It was their job to learn as much about this vehicle as possible and communicate that knowledge to the judges. This event was unique in many ways. The knowledge and real world experience gained from the competitions was a significant learning experience. Our students learned many lessons about themselves and about working in a team environment. Through their experiences each team member gained a better understanding of their strengths and non-strengths. The combined events provided real life experiences in competitiveness and the entrepreneurial journey. It’s also worth mentioning that this activity has given the students some valuable life lessons that could not have been learned over several semesters in the classroom. From team participant feedback, undergraduate students indicated that they had leaned so much about the entrepreneurial experience. Students displayed a remarkable combination of strengths in our team. Overall, team experience with both of the 2008 Entrepreneurial Quest and Innovation Chase competitions were very positive experiences that incorporated LTU’s focus on theory and practice.


This paper focuses on the unique learning experiences of five undergraduate students from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. The lessons learned at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Milwaukee School of Engineering provided an innovative “hands-on” learning experience in Chicago and Milwaukee on April 11-12, 2008.

This article presents an overview of individual and team experiences in a highly competitive entrepreneurial environment. Eight schools participated in both events. Each school sent one five-student-team to participate in the event. The teams were cross-disciplinary and represented broad backgrounds and experiences. The Lawrence Tech team was represented by three

Reimer, D., & Ali, A. (2009, June), The Innovation Chase And Quest: A Case In Experiential Learning In Entrepreneurial Competitions Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5297

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