Renae J. Chesnut, BS Pharm, MBA, EdD
Denise Soltis, BS Pharm, Robert Soltis, Ph.D.
To describe the implementation and results of Drake’s Next Top Entrepreneur Competition, The objective of the competition is to develop entrepreneurial leaders through the practice and polishing of creativity and presentation skills.
The Next Top Entrepreneur Competition is open to all students with a health-care related innovation. Students may register as teams or as individuals.
Following publicity through posters, email announcements, and creativity and communication guest speakers sponsored by the DELTA Rx Institute, information sessions are held to provide competition guidelines and recommendations.
The competition format consists of three rounds, with three judges at each round representing pharmacy, health care and business sectors.
Monetary awards were provided following Rounds 1 and 2 with $100, $50, and $25 going to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams. Prizes of $1500, $750, and $500 were awarded following Round 3.
Over the past three years, the competition has attracted an average of 24 individuals (representing 11-12 teams). Winning ideas have included the following:
Participants and judges were surveyed following the completion to gather feedback on: publicity, information booklet and sessions, usefulness of the judges’ feedback, participation value, and overall impressions of the event
“I think that the most positive experience of this competition was the ability to put all the creative thinking techniques I’ve learned at Drake to good use. After two years of participating in the event, I actually feel more prepared for my career than I was prior to the competition. I hope that in the future more students take advantage of this worthwhile event.”
“This was a great way to use the skills and knowledge we have gained throughout pharmacy school. I think this competition is very beneficial for younger students who are preparing for rotations. I wish I would have gotten involved sooner!”
“Being a judge for the Next Top Entrepreneur Competition was both enlightening and inspiring. These students are not only generating new ideas for their industry, they are truly embracing Interdisciplinary thinking and reaching across the boundary lines of the university. They are borrowing from management, leadership, fine arts, and behavioral sciences to create something truly new. While the competition was at the heart of this experience, these young people have a broader goal in mind: they truly want to change the world. Listening to them present their ideas, I was reminded how important it is for every person - student and instructor alike - to embrace the ideals necessary to make an impact. I would judge again in a heartbeat.
The Next Top Entrepreneur Competition allowed students to explore new ideas, develop presentation skills, and foster their development in entrepreneurial leadership skills.