September 2, 2008

University of Maryland Business School Names Semi-Finalists in $50,000 Business Plan Competition

COLLEGE PARK, Md. and BEIJING, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business today announced the 20 semi-finalists of the school's 2008 China Business Plan Competition - Go for the Gold! The competition will award winners with more than $50,000 in cash and prizes, including a $25,000 grand prize and $15,000 second prize. A young entrepreneur category, the 2008 Young China Entrepreneur Awards, will offer students selected from Chinese universities the opportunity to win $1,000 individual cash prizes totaling up to $10,000 for their business ideas. The semi-finalists in this category will be named by the Smith School on September 15.

"My congratulations to the semi-finalists," said G. "Anand" Anandalingam, dean of the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. "I am looking forward to attending the final round of the competition in China and handing the winners their prizes."

"Submissions this year demonstrate the continued evolution of the Chinese entrepreneurial community," said Asher Epstein, managing director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. "This year's entries reveal a more sophisticated trend toward answering distinct challenges in the China market with new solutions and ideas vs. applying business models that exist elsewhere to fit local needs. They suggest China is realizing ambitions of being a world innovator."

This year's semi-finalists were chosen from approximately 140 total submitted executive summaries to the competition to date, 100 of which were submitted for entry in the category for established firms. Teams will develop full 15- to 25-page business plans by September 15, and on October 1, five will be selected to participate in a final round competition and awards ceremony hosted at the Beida University campus in Beijing on October 29. At this time the winners of the 2008 Young China Entrepreneur Awards category will also be determined. The event will serve as the highlight of a "Global Week of Entrepreneurship" that the Dingman Center has organized in China from October 23 to November 2.

The Smith School's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship holds the China Business Plan Competition, now in its fourth year, in support of the growth of world-class business ideas and business leaders in China. Entrepreneurship is a key area of focus for the Smith School, which is internationally known for its entrepreneurship research and programs. The school was recently ranked No. 9 in the United States for entrepreneurship by the U.S. News & World Report college ranking report, "America's Best Colleges 2009," which evaluates undergraduate business programs.

The Smith School in China

The Smith School is partnered with the University of International Business and Economics to deliver its top-ranked programs in China. For more information about the Smith School's China programs, visit:

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 13 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, executive MS, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations on three continents -- North America, Europe and Asia.

   CONTACT:   Angela Toda   301-405-6082   [email protected]  

Robert H. Smith School of Business

CONTACT: Angela Toda of the Robert H. Smith School of Business,+1-301-405-6082, [email protected]

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