By Norman Peckham
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Keeping Tucson bicyclists cool during the summer months is what UA students Brian Link and Premal Kazi had in mind water bottle using state-of-the-art insulating materials.
Now, Link and Kazi, both graduate students in the entrepreneurship program for the University of Arizona's College of Business and Public Administration, will be one of four teams competing in the 1994 Business Plans Competition tomorrow.
The competition, going into its 10th year, is free and open to the public and will be held at the Westin La Paloma from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., said Barry Weisband, associate director for the UA's Karl Eller Center for the Study of the Private Market Economy, the sponsor of the competition.
Each of the four teams will present their business plans and inventions before a panel of five judges at the competition, he said.
Although the winning team will receive no award, the Arizona Business Gazett has donated $1,000 to be split among each of the finalist teams, Weisband said.
The finalist teams, comprising two UA entrepreneurship students each, were selected for the competition about two weeks ago out of 15 semi-finalist teams, Weisband said.
"Each year, entrepreneurship (teams) work on their own individual business plan projects," Weisband said. "They come up with an idea and they work it out into a business plan."
And he said many of the plans the students develop end up turning into actual businesses.
"We've had 46 businesses that have started out of 280 graduates from the (entrepreneurship) program," Weisband said. "We've seen a lot of success."
Some of this year's teams, such as Link and Kazi, have already done just that.
"Cooltech' is a company that designs and markets beverage insulators for outdoor activities," Link said. "Our product is already on the market in Tucson-area bicycle shops."
The insulators are made of "space-age" material, which contains a high amount of aluminum, Link said.
Fred Siberstein and Lisa Raben, both entrepreneurship seniors entering the competition, developed a business named "Future Fitness." The venture will be a cheaper alternative to today's fitness centers, Silberstein said.
"The (fitness center) will be open 24 hours a day and it won't have any of the other frills that you see at today's fitness centers," Silberstein said. "Basically it will have (exercise) equipment and two aerobic rooms."
A center without swimming pools, basketball courts, spas or other expensive facilities would decrease overhead costs, Silberstein said.
"We foundtrough our research that most people just wanted a place to go in and work out," Silberstein said.
He said he hopes to turn the idea into an actual business, but he said he would need $300,000 in outside investments to open the fitness center.
Another team, composed of graduate students James Frey and Angelo Perry, have invented a product which provides greater back support.
And entrepeneurship seniors Helen Linn and Brian Dunn devised a company that produces and sells a "turkey jerky" product. Read Next Article