Columbia, Missouri — Xiaoke (Jessica) Cui, a senior in the Trulaske College of Business School of Accountancy, won top prize in the REDI Entrepreneurial Summit's Idea Bounce Competition on Friday, February 10.
Ms. Cui presented a product concept and prototype for a specialized women's shoe that easily transitions from a half-inch heel to a 3.5-inch heel. She developed the product to accommodate women who wear fashionable shoes while carrying a more functional pair for walking. A pair of shoes that could do both, she decided, would solve the problem.
Ms. Cui created the concept while a member of the Entrepreneurship Alliance (EA), an elite program for University of Missouri students who demonstrate a high potential for new business development. Students minoring in entrepreneurship engage in both classroom and experiential exercises that go beyond those of a typically structured program. By meeting successful entrepreneurs, touring companies, completing internships, and engaging in team and confidence building exercises, students experience a dynamic professional development program that launches many members into entrepreneurial careers.
"Jessica's creative thinking and opportunistic business sense helped her create the concept; the EA provided her with the tools needed to develop the concept into a truly marketable product. We are so proud of her accomplishments," said Greg Bier, Associate Teaching Professor at the Trulaske College of Business and Director of the University of Missouri's Entrepreneurship Alliance.
"The EA helped me hone my skills in pitch competitions so that I could showcase my product most effectively. In addition, the EA has provided me with a lot of useful resources in developing my idea thoroughly that were crucial to my success. I was delighted to win the Idea Bounce Competition and look forward to launching the product line in the near future," said Ms. Cui.