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UC Team Headed to 'Elite Eight'

Date: April 23, 2002
By: Carey Hoffman
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Archive: General News

March Madness may have passed, but it's still seasonally in style to talk about the Elite Eight around UC's College of Business Administration.

The ISE-Tek team practices its presentation with Rick Kieser of River Cities Capital Fund

A team of MBA students from the college finds themselves in that position in the second annual Business Plan Challenge sponsored by "MBA Jungle" magazine. And the term 'elite' is totally appropriate, as the remaining teams hail from a collection of the best-known business schools in the country - Cal, Harvard, Washington, Wharton, UCLA, Columbia, Texas and Michigan, in addition to the UC team.

The UC team's presentation is called "Interactive Shopping Experience Technologies." The team includes MBA students Paolo Dominguez, Bill Kinnaird and Mike Ross, who will travel to New York's Tribeca Grand Hotel on April 26 to compete for a grand prize of $25,000. The finalists emerged from a field that numbered 225 entries at the competition's beginning.

"This is definitely playing in the big leagues. The names speak for themselves, but I believe our students are definitely up to the challenge," says Charles Matthews, UC associate professor of strategic management and director of the UC Center for Entrepreneurship Education and Research.

The UC team's concept is built around an interactive shopping technology that Matthews believes could be the future of retail. The centerpiece is the i-Shopper, an interactive touch- screen display that attaches to a shopping cart.

"It's a huge market and delivers value to retailers, because it target advertises to the consumer, delivers value to the consumer because it allows them to customize their shopping experience, and adds value to both the retailer and consumer, as a tracking capability," says Matthews.

MBA team of Dan Shelly, Jessica Miller and Thad Edmonds, with advisor Charles Matthews

A second UC MBA team enjoyed its own measure of success two weekends ago at the University of Oregon's New Venture Championship. The students, with their presentation called "Physiomics Inc.," took first-place honors in the Lightning Round competition, earning them a prize of $1,250.

The team included students Dan Shelly, Jessica Miller and Thad Edmonds from the part-time MBA program. In the Lightning Round, which was open to teams that didn't make the overall cutdown to the five finalists, the UC team was challenged to think on its feet as it went through a multistage 45-minute interaction with a new set of judges, pitching its concept for a full-service strategic outsourcing provider of intelligent and comprehensive physiological analysis for pharmaceutical and bio-technology companies.

Because of the format, Matthews thinks "that in many ways, the Lightning Round is tougher than the finals."

Matthews serves as faculty advisor for both teams. UC's College of Business Administration is currently ranked No. 45 nationally by Success Magazine in a listing of top business schools for entrepreneurs.

UC entrepreneurs to benefit from new Bearcat Bridge Fund.

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