WATERLOO, Ont. (Tuesday, April 17, 2012) - The Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre (Conrad) at the University of Waterloo today received a US$1.6 million grant that will boost countless student businesses.

The Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®), owner of the GMAT® exam and the leading membership organization of graduate business and management schools worldwide, announced the award today. Waterloo was the only Canadian university to receive funding this round.

“Waterloo is internationally recognized for student innovation and entrepreneurship, and for educating the leaders of tomorrow,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president & vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “This generous grant will do much to enable our students to develop their cutting-edge ideas into meaningful, profitable ventures.”

The funding will support the implementation of a Virtual Incubation Program (VIP). It will establish a global, online network of students, community groups, local entrepreneurs and international university partners, and is designed to support the development and launch of new businesses.

The GMAC Management Education for Tomorrow (MET) Fund awarded more than US$7.1 million in grants to 12 organizations across six countries in this round of its Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Challenge. GMAC’s MET Fund, a US$10 million initiative to advance business education around the world, created and managed the i2i Challenge.

Schools and organizations developed their grant proposals in response to an earlier phase of the i2i Challenge, in which individuals were invited to answer the question, “What one idea would improve graduate management education?” Waterloo’s proposal responded to the winning ideas concerning a need for more practical entrepreneurship education in graduate business programs and getting ahead of the incubator trend.

“Success, for most entrepreneurial students, hinges on having easy access to essential resources, learning opportunities and networks for collaboration and funding, to build their business,” says Rod McNaughton, director of the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre at Waterloo. “With this funding, the GMAC MET Fund has given us the ability to further support and produce successful new ventures on campus, in the community, and eventually take it global through academic partnerships.”

There were 25 proposals from seven countries submitted in this round of the challenge, which ran from January to December 2011. The grantees include business schools and organizations in the Canada, U.S., Spain, Italy, India and Botswana.

“The foundation of the MET Fund has been that GMAC, starting with the GMAT exam and culminating in this phase of i2i grants, should be investing in and giving back to management education and its institutions. And not just giving back, but giving back in order to move management education forward,” said David A. Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC. “The power of these grants is in the implementation of ideas that can reshape and revitalize management education worldwide, and that acknowledge the critical role that management education plays in training and developing business leaders who can have global impact.”

Additional information about all of the winning entries and the organizations that submitted them is available at www.gmac.com/why-gmac/giving-back/met-fund/met-fund-i2i-challenge.aspx.

About Conrad

The Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre was created to support, build on, and expand the entrepreneurial initiatives at the University of Waterloo. The university’s reputation for encouraging and spinning off successful entrepreneurial ventures is unmatched in Canada. Conrad’s flagship Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program is a 12-month program designed for entrepreneurially oriented people who need the business skills to move ideas from concept to successful commercialization. For more information, please visit www.conrad.uwaterloo.ca.

About GMAC and the GMAT exam

The Graduate Management Admission Council® (www.gmac.com) is a non-profit education organization of leading graduate business schools and owner of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT® exam), used by more than 5,400 graduate business and management programs worldwide. GMAC is based in Reston, Virginia, and has regional offices in London, New Delhi and Hong Kong. The GMAT exam—the only standardized test designed expressly for graduate business and management programs worldwide—is continuously available at nearly 600 test centers in over 110 countries. More information about the GMAT exam is available at mba.com

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