by Eric Jome

Mitch Lowe, president of Redbox, will be the featured speaker during Illinois State University’s Entrepreneurship Day Competition, also known as E-Day, on Friday, Nov. 11, from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Alumni Center, 1101 N. Main in Normal.

E-Day events include a university-wide business plan competition and elevator pitch competition. Student teams will compete for an estimated $18,000.00 in funding and in-kind prizes to help kick start their ventures. Participants and attendees will have the opportunity to network and connect with venture capitalists, angel investors, incubator managers, practicing entrepreneurs and business professionals. Registration is required for attendance and space is limited. Dress is business professional. Register at

E-Day events are hosted by the George R. and Martha Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Department of Management and Quantitative Methods, and the College of Business at Illinois State University.

A veteran of the video and entertainment industry with nearly 30 years of experience, Mitch Lowe is the president of movie and video game rental company Redbox. Widely credited with the development of low-cost, automated DVD rental, Lowe played a central role in rapidly growing the Redbox network from 12 locations in 2003 to more than 27,800 locations nationwide today.  Prior to joining Redbox, Lowe consulted for McDonald’s business development group, heading the company’s DVD vending machine team that ultimately created the Redbox concept. Before that, he helped to found Netflix, where he served as vice president of business development. In 2002, Lowe helped to bring Netflix public.

An innovator, in 1984 Lowe oversaw the development of one of the video industry’s first video vending machines, Video Droid. He ultimately sold 60 of these machines in the United States and Japan and, in 1986, sold its technology to C. Itoh, a Japanese trading company. Over the next 10 years, Video Droid opened video rental stores and grew into a successful regional chain in Northern California. Involved in all aspects of the video industry, Lowe has served on the board of directors of the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) and was named its chairman in 1996.