ISG to support the Cozad New Venture Competition in 2018

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ISG to support the Cozad New Venture Competition in 2018

Spencer Haydary, senior in LAS, listens to a fellow member of the Illinois Student Government on Feb. 1.

Spencer Haydary, senior in LAS, listens to a fellow member of the Illinois Student Government on Feb. 1.

Patrick Li

Spencer Haydary, senior in LAS, listens to a fellow member of the Illinois Student Government on Feb. 1.

Patrick Li

Patrick Li

Spencer Haydary, senior in LAS, listens to a fellow member of the Illinois Student Government on Feb. 1.

By Cori Lippert, Staff Writer

The Illinois Student Government is funding a prize for the Cozad New Venture Competition in 2018. Peter and Kim Fox named the competition to honor Dale Cozad, the founder of Cozad Westchester Agricultural Asset Management.

“(A group of) students will start the competition, and they will go through the steps of pitching, creating a business idea (and) business plan,” said Aashay Patel, senior in Engineering.

Patel said the groups competing will be judged on the merits of their business plans, and there will not be any eliminations until the very end of the competition.

Some prizes are very specific and others are more general, said Patel.

Spencer Haydary, senior in LAS, said ISG will be donating $5,000 to the Ignite Prize for Social Innovation.

The Ignite Prize for Social Innovation will go to the best student business plan that works toward a social change.

“I am very impressed with the creativity of the authors and the sponsors. I think that this is a good way to allocate our funds in a way that benefits our student body,” Haydary said.

Mrinaal Mittal, junior in Engineering, said he would like this to become an annual donation by ISG.

“We want to see how it plays out, and if the results are successful, we will try and make it into an annual thing,” Patel said.

Patel said, along with ISG providing the award money, an ISG representative or student body president Raneem Shamseldin, senior in Business, will advise the judges on ISG’s vision for the award.

Mittal said ISG will also be present on all advertisements for the competition.

“ISG really wants to see one student or a group of students, who really want to make an organization venture that is really going to make a difference in the lives of people who are, in some cases at the fringe of society — the sick, the persecuted, the poor,” Patel said. “We want to see a venture that is really going to make a difference for people that really need that difference.”

Mittal said any ISG members competing in the competition will be excused from winning the prize money for that particular award.

“It is just a way to encourage socially conscious entrepreneurship, to kind of incentivize students to be creative and generating new ideas and just being able to do something in a way that respects society,” Haydary said.

Mittal said it is up to the students if they wish to further their ideas after the competition with the fundings they earned if they win.

Patel said social entrepreneurship always needs support, and he loves seeing ISG supporting social entrepreneurship.

“The Cozad competition is a mainstay on this campus, and we hope that the prizes (are going to) spur people with good ideas to turn those ideas into ventures…to have a big impact,” Patel said.

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