Venkatesh Varma Mandapati, Professional MBA student wins first-place in the Crews Center Fast Pitch Competition

For release:  April 25, 2018

Venkatesh (Venki) Varma Mandapati, a Professional MBA student, was awarded the first-place prize in the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship Fast Pitch Competition. Students were asked to present a brief pitch about their business models to a panel of four independent judges. The presentation included an introduction, a clear description of the problem being solved, the solution proposed, customer segments, competitive analysis, unique value propositions, and revenue streams.

In the Crews Fast Pitch Competition, Venki competed against six other student start-up businesses. He earned first place, a $2,500 cash prize, and an invitation to apply to Launch TN for consideration in a statewide pitch competition to be held in Nashville.

Venki created his company, Careerquo, after an event in the Avron B. Fogelman Professional Development Center opened new doors for his career. Venki explains, “While I was pursuing Master of Science in Information Systems, the Avron B. Fogelman Professional Development Center invited employees from various companies to perform mock interviews. I participated in the mock interviews, and the experience helped me prepare well for real interviews and secure a job in Memphis. After graduation, my friends were looking for jobs and opportunities to connect with working professionals at various companies. I quickly realized there is a need to connect students with professionals that are willing to help students with their interview preparation and career discovery.” Just like that, the idea for Careerquo was born.

Careerquo helps connect students with industry specific professionals to conduct mock interviews with constructive feedback and learn about industries firsthand during discovery sessions. The Careerquo platform is expected to release in Fall 2018.

Dr. Kathy Tuberville, Director of the Avron B. Fogelman Professional Development Center, added, “We are so proud of Venki. He was an inspiration to students in the Complete Professional Program, and he always worked hard to become the best professional he could be through his time at Fogelman. Congratulations on a job well done, Venki!”