Friday, June 26, 2009

French Students Earn VTKnowledgeworks Week of Study

Jim Flowers with French Economic Minister, Christine Lagarde^

VT KnowledgeWorks’ Director, Jim Flowers, shared the stage in Paris with French Minister for the Economy, Industry, and Employment Christine Lagarde in mid-June, as they honored the winning student team at the Annual Entrepreneurial Project Challenge at TELECOM Sud-Paris.

As part of their award, the winning students were given a week in September at VT KnowledgeWorks in Blacksburg. Activities for their stay include a welcome dinner, a two-day Founders’ Readiness Retreat at Mountain Lake Resort, on-the-job shadowing of company presidents in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, social time with Hokie Entrepreneurship Society student members, and tickets to the Virginia Tech-Marshall football game.

The French team plans to work in Blacksburg next summer as students continue to prepare their business concept for funding and launch. VT KnowledgeWorks is already the summer work-home of two other student teams from TELECOM Sud-Paris, winners of earlier contests at the French high-tech institute.

Preliminary planning is underway to expand the international reach of VT KnowledgeWorks to include other countries in Europe and beyond. A combined event, including both student teams and tech-business trade missions, is scheduled for September, 2010.

“The market for technology-based businesses is global,” says Flowers. “By encouraging person-to-person overseas relationships for our local companies and entrepreneurial students we provide them with easier access to markets beyond our shores. Of course, the reverse is true as well. The dialogues also improve understanding of American markets for our foreign visitors."

Programs for members are divided into two categories according to the evolutionary status of the member company. Pre-Launch program components are carefully constructed to help market-worthy ventures organize, formulate strategy, obtain outside investment, and launch in an efficient manner.

Enterprise class members benefit from emphasis on strategic support for ongoing growth, continuing intra-preneurship, and professional development for the corporate leader.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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