The Interactive Fan, a University of Oregon student company originally known as The Fan Experience and formed by graduate students in the New Venture Planning class organized by the University of Oregon's Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE), finished fourth last month in the 12-team Cardinal Challenge at the University of Louisville.
The team now is gearing up for competitions March 12-14 at San Diego State University and the UO's own New Venture Championship, April 9-11, in Portland.
Purus Technologies, a company proposed by University of Manitoba students, won the Louisville event with a dental diagnostic technique. The UO team's finish, which came in its first competition, earned a $1,500 prize. The team's presentation led quickly to discussions with at least two potential investors.
The Interactive Fan, also part of the UO's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, is described as "an interactive hybrid of fantasy sports and trivia that connects the fan with the sponsor's brand." It's designed around a cell phone-based advertising delivery tool that benefits sponsoring companies involved in the $32 billion sponsorship activation industry, and which leverages the interests of some 27 million fantasy sports participants.
Members of The Interactive Fan's business presentation team are, from left to right in the accompanying photo, UO graduate business students Dan Pivirotto, Tom Czarnowski, Jeff Sharma, Jesse Thomas and Jim Sever, each of whom will receive an MBA degree in June 2009. The team's faculty adviser, not pictured, is Allan Cochrane.