Lilly Challenge


The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur

The Challenges Program goes to Eli Lilly & Co.

The “Challenges Program” is an out-of-classroom experience that gives Culver students the opportunity to interact with corporate executives who “challenge” the students to help solve a problem or dilemma facing the company. It is based on the Harvard University Case Study Method.

The “challenge” may pertain to sales, marketing, scientific research, finance, media relations, etc. Students compete in teams of three.

Previous “challenges” have been with Cummins, Inc., a world leader in diesel engines in Columbus, IN; Red Gold Tomatoes, the nation’s largest privately held beverage company in Elwood, IN; and Spiece Sports Performance, a specialized sports performance training facility in Ft. Wayne, IN.

This year’s “challenge” will feature Eli Lilly & Co., a global pharmaceutical firm headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, with offices in 18 countries, and products sold around the world.

To select the students to participate in the Lilly Challenge, The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur is hosting a competition. Any upper-class Culver student may apply. Twelve to fifteen will be selected.

The application process consists of 1) a letter of interest; and 2) a 3-minute audition to a panel of Culver instructors.

Sneak Preview of the Lilly Challenge – “Through this challenge, Eli Lilly & Co. wants student teams to analyze the growing epidemic of T2DM in adolescents, identify solutions on how to combat it; and identify what role Eli Lilly & Co. should play. Students will be given a case that details Lilly’s business, diabetes, and relevant data.”

Applicants will be judged on the clarity of their presentation, their level of commitment to the project, their science skill set, and aptitude for thinking scientifically, along with their ability to collaborate with other students on a science-based project.

The students will travel to Eli Lilly corporate world headquarters in Indianapolis in the fall, tour their headquarters, meet with Lilly scientists and executives, and formally receive the challenge.

Each team will have approximately one month to prepare a 10-minute presentation in front of a panel of Lilly judges. One week prior to the presentation, each team will submit to the judges a 4 to 7 page paper, an in-depth analysis of their work, with the oral presentation capturing its highlights.

The winning team will earn $1,000.00. The first runner up will earn $500.00. Winners will allocate 50% of winnings to a designated charity.

To compete for the Lilly Challenge, a student must submit a letter of interest to Mr. Kurrelmeier at The letter should be in the form of a word document, double-spaced, 12 pt. font, and no more than one page. Student must also contact Mr. Kurrelmeier to schedule a 3-minute audition. The deadline for both is Monday, October 15. Selection will be made by Monday, October 22. Questions can be directed to Mr. Kurrelmeier.