Contact: Gabrielle Maxey
May 21, 2014 - A team of MBA students from the University of Memphis’ Fogelman College
of Business & Economics won first place in the Next Play Venture Tournament recently.
Next Play is a national competition hosted by Davidson College in North Carolina for
student-led business plans with a focus on making the sports industry more sustainable.
Ten university teams from across the country participated in the competition, including
Duke, Wisconsin-Madison, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Texas-Austin and Arizona State.
The Fogelman College was represented by Rebecca Fowler of Memphis, Emma Harbert of
Pittsburgh, Anthony LaRocca of Stamford, Conn., and Matt Tsacoyianis of St. Louis.
After two days of pitching to panels of judges and potential investors, the Fogelman
team was declared the champion of the non-profit tournament track for its proposal
to use electric motorsports as a way to provide after-school engagement and vocational
training for at-risk Memphis youth.
Their business plan focused on the triple bottom line of sustainability as a way of
creating a powerful community program that would contribute to urban revitalization,
improve economic health and increase the well-being of Memphis youth.
“We are delighted at the wonderful performance of our MBA students,” said Dr. Balaji
Krishnan, associate professor of marketing and director of MBA programs. “The students
did a tremendous job of coming up with the idea for an electric motorsports activity
with a triple bottom line focus. Professors Mehdi Amini, Robert Wiggins, Jeff Thieme,
George Deitz and Brian Janz helped us evaluate the proposals. They selected this proposal
and provided useful feedback. The team of Rebecca, Matt, Anthony and Emma did a wonderful
job of considering various aspects associated with the venture and impressed the judges
with their presentation. We could not be more proud of their accomplishment.”
As champions, the team was awarded $8,000 and invited to attend the Green Sports Alliance
Summit in Santa Clara, Calif., in July.