Students take home honors at Ball State

A team of two students from the TCU entrepreneurship program won the best effort award at the Ninth Annual Enterprise Creation Competition this past weekend at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Chris Schaum, a senior entrepreneurial management and marketing major, and Matt Jacobson, a senior finance and accounting major, were one of nine teams chosen for the finals with their idea for Time Zone Airlines, a private jet airline.

In addition to the award, they received $800.

Schaum said he has been working on and tinkering with the concept of Time Zone Airlines, and won the intercollegiate contest at TCU.

Winning the intercollegiate competition allowed him to represent TCU at national competitions, Schaum said.

The main differences between Time Zone Airlines and Marquis Jet, a current private jet company, is that Marquis Jet requires its customers to rent the jet for a 25-hour period, Schaum said.

Time Zone Airlines operates more like a regular commercial flight, with only eight seats on the aircraft. Although customers pay by the seat and leave at a scheduled time, the airline maintains the amenities of a private jet, Schaum said.

Jacobson said he was brought on board by Schaum to help with the financial aspects of Time Zone Airlines.

Ed Riefenstahl, director for the MBA experiential learning, was the faculty adviser for the project and said there were a couple of points that could have been stronger.

Riefenstahl said that although the front part of the business plan was clean, more time could of been spent on the financial aspect of the business. He also feels the short period of time from the project’s acceptance in the competition to the deadline for the completion of the business plan hurt their chances.

“The reason they won best entrepreneurial effort, in my opinion, is that the judges recognized that they had taken on a challenging concept, in which to start a business,” Riefenstahl said.

Riefenstahl said he felt the oral presentation was stronger than the business plan, but the winning of the best entrepreneurial effort is more helpful than the top prize.

“One of the best things about it was that all the judges saw investment potential in the market and didn’t think we were crazy for trying this,” Schaum said.

Schaum said the plan has been refined, but is a plausible adventure he would like to continue in the future.

“Obviously, a business plan is going to continually change, but we feel we are in a position to where it is actually marketable,” Jacobson said.

Out of the nine teams, five received an award, with the first place team coming from Arizona State. The winning business plan dealt with marketing and selling collegiate artists’ work online.