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MODSIM World Conference to Introduce Entrepreneur Competition at Spring Event

Barry EzellBarry Ezell

The region's premier modeling and simulation symposium, MODSIM World 2014, is borrowing a little "Shark Tank" to spice up the world of M&S entrepreneurship.

MODSIM World 2014, co-sponsored by Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC), is one of the premier international expositions for collaboration and transfer of M&S knowledge, research, development and applied technology across all public and private sectors.

As part of the conference, to be held April 15-17 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, innovators with an idea are invited to participate in the Entrepreneur Competition, a first-of-its-kind platform for innovative startup ideas in the M&S field.

Entrepreneurs using modeling and simulation tools to solve problems in manufacturing, energy, finance, transportation, retail, serious gaming and other nondefense industries are invited to participate.

Individuals, small teams and existing businesses (with annual revenues of less than $1 million), who believe their new product or service has the potential to grow to significant size and value, are invited to send a short pitch of their idea here.

The first round of the competition will be held online, beginning in early 2014. Members of the public will be asked to vote on their favorite ideas. Every week the MODSIM World Conference Facebook page will showcase a new contestant and their idea. The contestant with the most "likes" will have a guaranteed spot in the finals.

Contestants with the most votes will be invited to participate in the finals at the MODSIM World Conference on April 17 and pitch their idea live to a panel of experts for a chance to win a cash prize, similar to the format of the ABC-TV show "Shark Tank."

Teams may include a large business in the form of a mentor, but cash winnings will go to the individual or small business.

Conference director Irin Hall said the competition is an effort to bring new energy and excitement to MODSIM World 2014.

"Every industry is trying to accomplish its goals faster, cheaper and with less risk. Modeling and simulation technology is what's going to get us there and we need to find better ways to put it in practice," Hall said.

"The Entrepreneur Competition builds on the idea that great technology solutions don't always originate at large think tanks. It aims to capture the entrepreneurial spirit of the commercial market and shine a light on individuals and small businesses who are helping take their industries to the next level using modeling and simulation."

Barry Ezell, chief scientist at VMASC, said he expects Old Dominion M&S students and alumni to participate in the competition. "We are beginning to stress the importance of entrepreneurship in M&S. We want our students to transform their M&S ideas into innovative startup companies," he said.

MODSIM World, the only industry-centric conference in the region with broad coverage of the M&S field, was created to connect individuals to the modeling and simulation community, and problems to solutions, across disciplines and industries.

The mission of the conference is:

  • To promote the initiation, development and research of M&S among all organizations internationally;
  • To share the latest technical expertise, knowledge, applications and capabilities of simulation technology by academia, industry and government;
  • To promote cooperation among academia, industry and government, applying M&S technologies to help organizations anticipate and prepare for the future;
  • To improve M&S technology to reduce its implementation cost by academia, industry and government;
  • To support planning, decision-making and real time operations management with state-of-the-art computer software and development expertise utilizing modeling and simulation; and
  • To foster the transfer of leading-edge simulation technology and knowledge from the military community to the medical, transportation, homeland security and other applicable communities.

The conference will feature an exposition floor and a technology showcase with multidisciplinary coverage of the M&S field; networking opportunities with leading modeling and simulation professionals; and a large academic component with papers, panels, industry workshops and competitions dedicated to advances in the discipline of modeling and simulation.

For information about MODSIM World 2014, see the conference website HERE.