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Fogelman College MBA Students Win Venture Tournament

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. 

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Last Updated: 4/15/15