Darden Innovates New Competition Strategy Based on the Principles of Design and Effectuation

- "Concept" and New "De-Risking" Competitions To Be Structured Around the Principles of Design and Effectuation -

- "Business Plan 2.0" Competition Revamped to Reflect Practices of Real-World Investors -

18 Sep, 2012, 10:00 ET from Batten Institute

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Darden School of Business and its Batten Institute today announced a new strategy for the school's business competitions, rooted in leading research around the principles of design thinking and effectuation. 

Each fall, Darden students compete in the U.Va. Entrepreneurship Cup, a University-wide business-concept competition run by the Office of the Vice President for Research. New this year, U.Va. students will be encouraged to structure their entries around a design-based innovation process. Hands-on workshops will cover the topics of visualization, systems thinking, empathy, journey mapping and reframing. These workshops will enable students to collaborate across a wide range of disciplines, providing multiple opportunities for students to cross-pollinate business ideas within a design-thinking framework.

Darden's new "Effectual De-Risking Competition" will be held in February and will also be open to all UVA students. Participants will be required to co-create their business concept with self-selected stakeholders, demonstrating there is a customer ready to buy their product and thereby reducing the risks associated with launching their new business. The de-risking process is built around the "Affordable Loss" and "Crazy Quilt" principles of effectuation

Darden's final competition of the academic year will be held in the spring. The "Business Plan 2.0 Competition" will feature pitches that unfold the story and value of the business, capturing the elements of a business plan in a high-impact video, power point, and executive-summary based format, more accurately reflecting the expectations and requirements of investors today. The revamped competition will also be open to all U.Va. students. 

"It's been clear for some time that traditional business plan competitions do not capture the innovation or business creation process of highly successful, serial entrepreneurs," said Philippe Sommer, director of Darden's Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. "Business plans are becoming anachronisms, and even when used, come last in the process of building a business, as a tool to express where the business could go, not proving there is a business. Darden is shifting its focus from the end of the cycle to the beginning. Our new strategy is rooted in leading research in design and effectuation, and we believe our re-envisioned approach will enable our students to conceive of and build new businesses much as successful innovators and serial entrepreneurs."

About the Batten Institute
The Batten Institute at the Darden School of Business creates value and transforms society through entrepreneurship and innovation. The Institute's academic research center advances knowledge that addresses real-world challenges and shapes Darden's curriculum, and the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership offers one of the world's top entrepreneurship programs. The Batten Institute was established with gifts now totaling over $100 million from UVA alumnus Frank Batten, Sr., a media pioneer, visionary, and founder of The Weather Channel. www.batteninstitute.org.

About the Darden School of Business
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines the case study method, the highest-ranked faculty whose research advances global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit learning environment to develop principled and complete leaders who are ready to make an impact.  For questions or information, contact communication@darden.virginia.edu.  

SOURCE Batten Institute