Microsoft, 7-Eleven, and the JC Penney Center for Retail Excellence Help Award Scholarships to Juniors or Seniors with Best Plans
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – November 14, 2005 – Simmons, an Experian® company and the most respected authority on the behavior of the American consumer, today announced that the November 30th deadline for submissions to the Simmons/Microsoft Business Plan Challenge is fast approaching. The competition, in association with Microsoft, 7-Eleven and the JC Penney Center for Retail Excellence, is open to junior and senior-level university students. Individuals seeking a degree in business, marketing or a related field are invited to compete for a single, one-time scholarship in the amount of $5,000 and two honorable mention awards of $1,000 each.
“There are many important factors to consider when starting a business in a new area,” said Chris Wilson, president and COO of Simmons Market Research. “This competition will allow America’s brightest, most innovative college students to showcase their business skills and instincts.”
Students who wish to apply will be charged with the task of preparing a business plan in which they will recommend a geographic location for a new 7-Eleven convenience store and recommend new products that the store should provide. Students will also be asked to propose a promotional or ad campaign that would appeal to potential customers of the new store. In crafting their business plan, applicants will be required to use Microsoft MapPoint 2004, a desktop mapping application, and SimmonsLOCAL, a geo-behavioral consumer marketing and targeting tool.
Participating students will each receive their own copy of Microsoft MapPoint 2004, an application that allows users to visualize trends and opportunities by combining maps, valuable demographics and their own business data. Simmons will also provide students with SimmonsLOCAL, a software program that allows affordable access to detailed information about local consumers including their purchasing habits, lifestyles and psychographics. Along with the software, students will receive a recorded training session—complete with audio and video—that will familiarize interested students and university faculty with SimmonsLOCAL and MapPoint 2004 at their leisure. As ongoing support, Simmons will host regularly scheduled live online question and answer periods to instruct users on some of the nuances of each software package and address student concerns.
“MapPoint 2004 and SimmonsLOCAL create a comprehensive solution that enables customers to easily analyze vast amounts of data,” said Stephen Lawler, general manager of the MapPoint Business Unit at Microsoft Corp. “We are excited to be a part of this competition and look forward to seeing the innovative submissions from these talented students.”
Simmons Market Research encourages all interested students to submit their entries by the November 30, 2005 deadline.
For more information, please visit us at www.smrb.com/scholarship_home.html or contact John Fetto at ( 212 ) 598-5409 or JohnF@smrb.com.
Simmons Market Research Bureau
Simmons, an Experian Company, has been a leading chronicler of the American consumer for over 50 years. From the products they buy and the brands they prefer, to their Internet shopping behaviors, attitudes, and lifestyles, Simmons measures over 30,000 American consumers each year using statistically projectable samples. Simmons' samples include the largest representation of all Americans, including, Hispanic, African American, Asian and other consumers and are used by over 500 clients worldwide to provide the most complete picture available on America's consumers.