The teams have been formed and the preparations have started. On April 11 the challenge is revealed and on April 13 the winners are announced.
What is JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge?
The challenge is a yearly student competition that started in 2011. It is a challenge designed to encourage creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The focus is a real life company problem. On day one the competing teams get information about the challenge, make a study visit to the case company and are then allowed 24 hours to come up with a solution and prepare an 8-minute pitch to sell it. The teams pitch their solutions to juries including representatives from JTH, JIBS, Science Park and business life. The best pitches are repeated in a grand finale, open for the public. The winning team walks away with a cash prize and a trip to the Berlin start up arena. In total the prizes amount to an equivalent of 175 000 SEK, which is a considerable and impressive amount for a student competition.
How were the teams formed?
Universities are often criticized for working in silos, where individuals from different disciplines rarely meet. In JIBS E-Challenge we want to encourage students from different disciplines to meet and interact. Therefore, a rule is that at least one team member is a student at JIBS and at least one member is a student at the School of Engineering. Students from all schools at Jönköping University are welcome to participate in the competition. By mixing students from different disciplines, the teams will be better equipped to take on the challenge and deliver more creative solutions.
In order to enable the team formation the student associations (JSA and Hitech) arranged a mingle in March. Close to 100 students attended this year’s mingle, which was held at Akademien in Tändsticksområdet.
Why compete in entrepreneurship?
This question has been scrutinized in entrepreneurship research. Most entrepreneurship challenges are business plan competitions, but there are also other forms of entrepreneurship competitions. Although the extent to which a competition actually makes students more entrepreneurial can be debated, research shows that students engaging in such competitions build stronger networks, have access to more mentors, develop their entrepreneurial skills, are more confident in their entrepreneurial ability and better able at handling risks . We hope to infuse this into the contestants, but the challenge is also one way to market the entrepreneurial profile of the whole university.
How is this challenge possible?
The prize money and challenge is enabled by a generous donation by Lennart “Aktiestinsen” Israelsson. At the age of 30, against the recommendation of his mother, he decided to invest 600 SEK in shares. Eventually, his possession had grown into 140 MSEK. Lennart worked as a stationmaster at the railway station in Konga. During his short breaks he read about the stock-exchange in the paper. This made him interested in making an investment and after some hesitation he finally took the leap . Lennart is truly an advocate for entrepreneurship and his ambition is to be able to spark future entrepreneurial ideas and ventures. JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge is one way to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset among students, faculty and surrounding stakeholders. This year Lennart has turned 100 and the prize amount is an all-time high. Lennart, who is an honorary doctor at JIBS, will be at the prize ceremony on April 13.
Want to know more?
Visit www.ju.se/jec to learn more about the competition. The grand finale, an inspirational lecture by a former JIBS Alumnus and a round-table discussion on Entrepreneurship and the Internet revolution is open to everyone interested in attending. Welcome to watch entrepreneurship in action!
 Russell, R., et al. (2008). Business plan competitions in tertiary institutions: encouraging entrepreneurship education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 30(2): 123-138.