The Challenges Program

Based on the Harvard Business School case study method, Rubin entrepreneurs are assigned to teams, visit alumni-owned businesses, and collaborate with teammates to solve a business dilemma posed by the owner. Challenges may include a proposed expansion plan, a new product line, an advertising campaign, or a marketing idea.

In the crucible of their deliberations, debates, and discussions, students must decide the best answer to the challenge. Teams compete on behalf of charities and donate 80% their cash prizes, a great combination of competition, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.

Red Gold Challenge

Red Gold Challenge Winners earn $1,000.

About The Challenge

In 2013, twenty-one Rubin entrepreneurs travel to Red Gold, Inc.’s corporate headquarters in Elwood, Indiana. It was February 22nd and The Red Gold Challenge was underway. Students toured facilities, attended briefings, collected sales & marketing data, and heard their “challenge.” Red Gold executives visited Culver shortly after on March 4th to judge student’s presentations. The winning team earned $1,000.00; 1st runner-up earned $500.00. Most earnings were designated for local charities.

Spiece Challenge

Tom Spiece is the owner of Spiece Fitness, Spiece Sports Performance, and The Spiece Fieldhouse, located in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He also owns The Denim Express, an online sports apparel retailer. Spiece Fitness includes a full health-spa and medical offices for orthopedic physicians. Spiece Sports Performance is a scientifically based, and physician overseen, specialized sport performance training industry for athletes of all ages. The Spiece Fieldhouse hosts AAU boys and girls basketball teams from across the Midwest.

So, what is the challenge?

Eighteen Rubin students will compete not for a job, but for the greater goal of raising money and awareness for their charity of choice.

The Challenge will be in the form of a business proposal, such as a possible new product line, a proposed expansion plan, or an advertising campaign. The students’ tasks will be to analyze the proposal and offer their best advice to their charity of choice.

Students will compete in teams of three, each with a designated captain. Teams will tour the Spiece facilities in Ft. Wayne where Mr. Spiece will pose the Challenge. They will be given pertinent business documents and have one week to collaborate on the project in class. Finally, they will make their presentations to a panel including Mr. Spiece and Culver faculty.

The teams will be judged on the clarity of their presentation, the insightful nature of their advice, and the degree to which they understand and appreciate the risk involved. The winning team will have the honor of presenting a check for $1,000.00 to their designated charity; the 1st runner up wins $500.00, and the 2nd runner-up $250.00.