KGI Students Participate in Annual Business Plan Competition
This year, two KGI student teams were rewarded for entering their business plans in the Kravis Concept Plan Competition.
Six finalists were chosen from a pool of 20-plus teams comprised of current students as well as alumni from all of The Claremont Colleges.
The Kravis Competition was established by an endowment from Henry R. Kravis, a founding member of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. The competition rewards individuals who exhibit competitive nature, flair and general aptitude required of an entrepreneur in today's business world. Each year, a committee of judges composed of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists evaluates the candidates and determines the prize amounts.
This year's competition marked the 21st anniversary since the establishment of the $175,000 endowment fund. Six finalist teams, including two from KGI, were in the running for the grand prize.
Both of the KGI student teams were a part of the second year ALS 458 Applied Entrepreneurship course taught by Molly Schmid, PhD, professor and entrepreneur-in-residence, and David Margolese, PhD, adjunct professor. Students in ALS 458 form teams to pursue a business plan of their choice. At the end of the course the teams are provided with feedback by a panel of venture capitalists and angel investors on technological assessment, intellectual property protection, financial projections, timeframe to fruition and the competitive landscape.
While many of the KGI student teams worked on plans to commercialize technologies from local universities and entrepreneurs, both of the KGI Kravis finalists created business plans around technologies that one or more members of the teams identified.
"Two KGI teams into the Kravis finals!" Schmid said. "I was very proud of the results by both teams in this competition. What these students accomplished is very difficult-in the short format of the final presentations, [students] Adam [Calvert] and Vikram [Khanna] were able to stay focused on the business and investment opportunities, while still educating the judges about the technologies underlying the opportunity. They competed successfully against teams proposing consumer-oriented products and services."
The Rexgraph business plan, led by Master of Bioscience student Adam Calvert (MBS '11) won second place and earned a $2,500 prize. His team members included James Kwok, Justin Shin and Sameer Sivaamnuaiphor, all members of the graduating class of 2011. The Rexgraph plan involved a technology designed to improve and quicken root canals.
"It was great to get second place and the additional validity it provided for our business plan," said Calvert. He added the competition was an invaluable experience because it gave students the chance to walk in the shoes of a true entrepreneur.
Honorable mention, and a $500 prize, was awarded to the iCatch team, led by Vikram Khanna and Bandish Momin and including team members Marc Pollack (MBS '11) and Torsten Hahn, who was enrolled in the bioscience management certificate program. The iCatch project involved the commercialization opportunity of an emerging technology for the detection of gene doping in athletes.
By Jessica Chang