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The Lee School Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been created to recognize entrepreneurs working on innovative business ideas to improve the safety of travelers, hotel guests and employees in the era of COVID-19 and beyond. The new prize, a joint collaboration between the Lee Business School at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Ted and Doris Lee Family Foundation, will be awarded to multiple recipients as investments totaling $1 million. The money is meant to speed development of technologies and solutions that can make the travel, hospitality and entertainment industries safer for everyone involved.
"If Las Vegas is the world leader in hospitality and entertainment, then it must lead now in identifying the best practices and products to safely chart the way forward for guests and employees in the travel and hospitality industries," said Greg Lee, chair and CEO of Eureka Casinos and former chair of the UNLV Foundation. Eureka Casinos, the company Greg Lee built with his parents, Ted and Doris, operates four gaming properties -- Eureka Casino Resort and the Rising Star Sports Ranch in Mesquite, Nev., as well as Eureka Las Vegas, and The Brook in Seabrook, N.H. "When the time is right, we must give the customer confidence that it is safe and desirable to travel again, dine again, stay again and play again," Lee added.
Submissions for the Lee School Prize are open to any individual or company worldwide until July 5th. Entries will be judged by a committee comprised of the deans of UNLV's schools of Business, Science, Engineering and Hospitality, as well as industry experts. Prize winners will use the award money to develop their concepts and bring them to a "Shark Tank"-like investor marketplace, where the innovators will be paired with corporations, private equity firms and angel investors. Because the prize is meant to speed up development, the new products and technology solutions must then be brought to market within 12 months.
"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," added UNLV president Marta Meana. "The Lee Family Foundation's impetus and generosity in this venture is just the spark we needed."
To submit a proposal or find specific criteria for the prize, see leeprize.com.