Accenture to Sponsor Global Entrepreneurs Challenge 2000

Students from Around the World Compete for $250,000 in Seed Funding at Stanford University’s Conference and Business Plan Competition

PALO ALTO, CA - June 19, 2000 - Accenture, a leading global management and technology consultancy, announced today its sponsorship of the first Global Entrepreneurs Challenge 2000, which is being held today through June 22 at Stanford University. Accenture is also participating as a Prize Sponsor and will contribute $75,000 to the event, which is being organized by the Business Association of Stanford Engineering Students (BASES). The winners of this event will be awarded up to $250,000 in seed funding for their business ideas. Accenture partners Brian Johnson and Larry Leisure, will facilitate panels on global Internet businesses and team building respectively. In addition, Joel Friedman, a partner with Accenture Technology Ventures, the venture capital unit of Accenture, will judge the global business plan competition. Johnson, Leisure and Friedman are all Stanford alumni and have remained active in University sponsored events.

Accenture ( works closely with entrepreneurs from around the world and is deeply involved with the formation of new eCommerce-based businesses. As part of Accenture’s strategy to advance eCommerce, the firm has created a global network of 24 Dot-Com Launch Centres that provide eCommerce start-ups with the tools and resources necessary to scale rapidly and become viable businesses. These Dot- Com Launch Centres are post-incubation studios that have worked with over 300 start-ups in the United States, Europe and Asia.

In addition, Accenture has created a billion dollar global venture capital unit called Accenture Technology Ventures. Accenture Technology Ventures’ mission is to help talented entrepreneurs build great companies that can transform entire industries and create new markets. Accenture Technology Ventures helps entrepreneurs accelerate their companies’ growth by applying Accenture’s deep experience in a wide range of industries, business strategy, and emerging technologies.

"Accenture is committed to working with, and nurturing the brightest entrepreneurial talent from around the globe. Events such as the Global Entrepreneurs Challenge provide us the opportunity to meet those students who will be the leaders of the new global economy,"said Brian Johnson, co-lead and entrepreneur in residence at Accenture’s Chicago Dot-Com Launch Centre. "The Global Entrepreneurs Challenge will bring together some of the world’s brightest minds and we are delighted at the opportunity to share with students our perspective on the dramatic shifts affecting today’s business environment,"said Larry Leisure, lead partner of Accenture’s Silicon Valley Dot-Com Launch Centre. "Our extensive experience and global reach make us natural mentors to the students participating in this unique event."

The Global Entrepreneurs Challenge 2000 opens the door for more than 100 students from 20 leading business and engineering schools worldwide to experience first-hand Silicon Valley and its start-up spirit. The four-day conference will match student teams with leading experienced entrepreneurs, professors, venture capitalists and management consultants who will provide guidance and counsel to help them turn their business plans into a real venture. The highlight of the week will feature a business plan competition, where the students’ business plans will be judged by a panel of senior executives. The best student-written business plans will be awarded up to $250,000 in seed money.

The Global Entrepreneurs Challenge 2000 is an extension of BASES’ renowned E-Challenge conference, which is Stanford University’s internal business plan competition for its students. Start-up companies that have formed through BASES, include Gigabeat, an online music site that launched on June 1st, and, a successful online wedding gift registry site.

About the Global Entrepreneurs Challenge

The Global Entrepreneurs Challenge, a Business Association of Stanford Engineering Students (BASES) organized event, was founded in 2000 at Stanford University to expand entrepreneurial horizons worldwide. Its mission is to provide a vehicle for winning student teams from the world’s top business plan competitions to congregate at Stanford and immerse themselves in a conference focused on entrepreneurship, and competition that provides valuable insight from top entrepreneurs, business leaders, educators and venture capitalists from Silicon Valley and beyond. The business plan competition is an opportunity for the teams to win infrastructure products, working capital and consulting support to help turn their business plan into a real venture. For more information regarding the Global Entrepreneurs Challenge, please visit For information about BASES, please visit