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Lee Business School & The Ted and Doris Lee Family Foundation announce committee members for $1m entrepreneur prize competition

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Mon, Jun 29th 2020 02:00 pm

Panel of industry leaders to join UNLV deans to select innovations that will lead hospitality & travel industries forward in post-pandemic era

The UNLV Lee Business School and the Ted and Doris Lee Family Foundation recently announced the elite list of committee members who will select winners for the Lee School Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The joint collaboration aims to speed entrepreneurs in the development of innovations necessary to rapidly address the urgent problems facing the hospitality, entertainment and travel industries resulting from COVID-19. Committee members will be comprised of industry leaders and deans from UNLV’s schools of business, science, engineering and hospitality.

The Lee School Prize Committee Members will include:

  • Steve Aoki – Aoki Foundation
  • Diana Bennett – chairman, Paragon Gaming; vice chair, UNLV Foundation
  • Dean Eric Chronister – UNLV College of Sciences
  • Mark Davis – principal owner and managing general partner, Las Vegas Raiders
  • William P. Foley II – chairman, Fidelity National Financial; owner, Vegas Golden Knights
  • Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. – chairman and CEO, Allegiant Air
  • Bill Hornbuckle – Acting CEO and president, MGM Resorts International
  • Wolfgang Puck – CEO, The Wolfgang Puck Group
  • Dean Stowe Shoemaker – UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hospitality
  • Dean Paulette Tandy – UNLV Lee Business School
  • Dean Rama Venkat – UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering

“Las Vegas is the world leader in hospitality and entertainment, and we must lead now in identifying the best practices and products to safely chart the way forward for guests and employees,” said Greg Lee, former chairman of the UNLV Foundation and chairman and CEO of Eureka Casinos, the resort hotel company he built with his parents, Ted and Doris. “Entrepreneurship and innovation have always been what has moved America forward and we are excited to see what this next generation of dreamers brings to the table.”

The competition will accept worldwide submissions open to individuals or companies until July 5. Multiple prizes will be awarded as investments totaling $1 million for technologies and solutions that will allow the hospitality, travel and entertainment industries (which boast roughly 330 million jobs and an economic impact of $8.9 trillion worldwide) to reignite while also making it a safer place for both guests and employees.

UNLV President Marta Meana said, "If there was ever a crucial moment for the university and the business community to partner in search of innovative solutions, this is surely it. The Ted and Doris Lee Family Foundation's impetus and generosity in this venture is just the spark we needed."

The program will pair innovators with leading industry professionals to rapidly develop new concepts that respond to the industry’s present-day needs. Selected products and solutions will be required to be brought to market within 12 months. The Ted and Doris Lee Family Foundation believes the pairing of innovators with industry leaders will speed up successful outcomes, allowing hospitality employees a safe and comfortable environment in which to work and give guests the ability to travel and seek entertainment with confidence.

“Our world has been given a great challenge. It's time for innovators, industry and entrepreneurs to respond urgently, answer the bell, and deliver the ‘eureka’ moments that will invariably lay the bedrock for the new path forward,” added Eureka Casinos’ COO and prize steering committee member Andre Carrier.

For more information about the Lee School Prize, criteria, or to submit a proposal, visit: www.LeePrize.com.

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