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Career Track MBA News

MBA Students, Walmart Work to Boost Idaho Manufacturing

IMG_8502For years, Walmart’s ads have proclaimed them the “low-priced leader.” And for years, some have criticized the largest retailer in the world on that very issue, noting that those low prices often seem to be on products made in countries with very low labor rates.

In response, Walmart has started an ambitious program to reverse the trend and bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

The company reached out to several states, including Idaho, for help in their efforts at re-shoring. They want to source an additional $50 billion worth of American-made goods over the next decade and asked governors if their states would like a piece of the action.

After a meeting with Walmart executives, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter reached out to Boise State President Bob Kustra for help figuring out how Idaho companies might benefit. Kustra suggested a team of MBA students might be right for the challenge.

“We thought this was a good project for our Career Track MBA students,” said Kirk Smith, associate dean in the College of Business and Economics. “So we recruited a small team of interested students and then were fortunate enough to convince Rick Seymour, a retired Hewlett-Packard executive, to mentor them.”

Under Seymour’s guidance, the students have worked since last fall with the Idaho Department of Commerce, Walmart executives and several Idaho businesses to tackle the question, “How can Idaho businesses capture some of that $50 billion?”

In late March, the MBA students met with Governor Otter and offered three strategies:

  1. Match companies that already are making what Walmart needs, and connect them to existing opportunities. Educate Idaho businesses on how to work with Walmart.
  2. Grow new suppliers by finding serial entrepreneurs who used to live in Idaho but have moved to other states. Convince them to return and start a supplier business.
  3. Entice some of Walmart’s existing international suppliers to relocate manufacturing operations to Idaho. 

The students, who all tackled the problem on a volunteer basis, interviewed quite a few local manufacturers. They found that many of them quickly dismissed the idea of selling to Walmart because either they were intimidated by the mega-store’s status or because they had absolutely no idea of how to start the process of becoming a Walmart supplier.

Based on those findings, the students are creating “Walmart 101,” a short video to help Idaho companies find out quickly what it takes to do business with Walmart. The video will be available statewide through local chambers of commerce, who can show it to members and follow up with a question-and-answer session.

Otter called the students’ multi-faceted plan promising, adding “I look forward to this plan being put in motion and to Idaho’s promising business future with young people like these at the helm.”

Boise State University Career Track MBA Team BrewPRO Wins at Global Business Competition

image Boise State MBA Team winners of the Nemec Elevator Challenge

Mark Rogers, Kyle Mulder, Kent Neupert (advisor), Hannah Derrick and Remington Turner

Boise State University MBA team, BrewPRO, won the Nemec Elevator Challenge at the 2014 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, held in Austin, Texas over the weekend. Forty teams from around the globe sent their premier business students to compete for awards and cash prizes in recognition of best business plan and business pitch. For their win, the Boise State team brought home a cash prize of $1,500.

BrewPRO is a student created company that offers all-in-one home brewing kits that allow home-brewers to overcome current pain points by focusing on simple systems, a supportive online marketplace and successful beer brewing.  The team is made up of five Career Track MBA students:  Kyle Mulder, Remington Turner, Mark Rogers, Thomas Atkins, and Hannah Derrick. Kent Neupert, professor in the College of Business and Economics and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, was the team coach and advisor. The team was sponsored by the College of Business and Economics and the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Student teams participated in a venture tradeshow in which they presented their businesses and products to experts in the field. BrewPRO gained recognition at this event with genuine interest in their unique home brewing product offering. BrewPRO went on to compete in an investment pitch round presenting the business idea to a panel of six venture capitalists. Mulder, graduate assistant at the Center for Entrepreneurship, represented the team in the elevator pitch round, winning the cash award.

The Global Venture Labs Investment Competition is the top competition for student-founded ventures. Now in its 31st year, it brings the top 40 student teams from around the world to Austin Texas to pitch their ideas to venture capitalists for prize money and venture capital investment. This year’s Grand Prize winner was Innoblative Designs, a Northwestern University team that commercializes an innovative technology for the treatment of early stage breast cancer.

More information about the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition is available at mccombs.utexas.edu/Centers/Texas-Venture-Labs/Investment-Competition/Global-Competition

MBA Student, Yeng Chi Morel, Running to Support Learning

image Boise State MBA student Yeng Chi Morel

Yeng Chi Morel, a native of Mexico and  soon-to-be-graduate of the Career Track MBA program, is teaming up to take on the Sawtooth Relay in central Idaho on June 14 to benefit the Running for Learning 2014 campaign, specifically the Lee Pesky Learning Center.

“It is a fundraising opportunity to raise awareness, give back to our community and help students in need,”  says Chi Morel.

Chi Morel and her  team members:  Evelyn Johnson (Lee Pesky Learning Center’s executive director), Mary Jo Surges-Prokop, Pragnyaa Chakravarthy, Michael Shaughnessy and Abel Morel will cover 12 legs, 61.9 miles, beginning at Stanley and finishing in Ketchum.

Chi Morel connected with the Lee Pesky Learning Center though the Career Track MBA program, which provides graduate students work experience with placement in organizations.

“I have gained hands-on experience as a full-time summer intern in the Lee Pesky Learning Center,” Chi Morel says. “This practice and my master’s program have opened doors for me to learn more about the nonprofit sector, to grow my professional network and to connect with inspiring and innovative business leaders. It is great to be able to give back to the Lee Pesky Learning Center.”

The Lee Pesky Learning Center is a nonprofit organization based in Boise that provides learning tools to those with learning disabilities to help them be successful in school and in life.

To support this fundraiser, click here — Running for Learning 2014!

MBA Students Present Walmart Project to Idaho Governor

Boise State MBA Students with Idaho GovernorFor years, Walmart’s ads have proclaimed them the “low-priced leader.” And for years, some have criticized the largest retailer in the world on that very issue, noting that those low prices often seem to be on products made in countries with very low labor rates.

In response, Walmart has started an ambitious program to reverse the trend and bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

The company reached out to several states, including Idaho, for help in their efforts at re-shoring. They want to source an additional $50 billion worth of American-made goods over the next decade and asked governors if their states would like a piece of the action.

After a meeting with Walmart executives, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter reached out to Boise State President Bob Kustra for help figuring out how Idaho companies might benefit. Kustra suggested a team of MBA students might be right for the challenge.

“We thought this was a good project for our Career Track MBA students,” said Kirk Smith, associate dean in the College of Business and Economics. “So we recruited a small team of interested students and then were fortunate enough to convince Rick Seymour, a retired Hewlett-Packard executive, to mentor them.”

Under Seymour’s guidance, the students have worked since last fall with the Idaho Department of Commerce, Walmart executives and several Idaho businesses to tackle the question, “How can Idaho businesses capture some of that $50 billion?”

In late March, the MBA students met with Governor Otter and offered three strategies:

  1. Match companies that already are making what Walmart needs, and connect them to existing opportunities. Educate Idaho businesses on how to work with Walmart.
  2. Grow new suppliers by finding serial entrepreneurs who used to live in Idaho but have moved to other states. Convince them to return and start a supplier business.
  3. Entice some of Walmart’s existing international suppliers to relocate manufacturing operations to Idaho.

The students, who all tackled the problem on a volunteer basis, interviewed quite a few local manufacturers. They found that many of them quickly dismissed the idea of selling to Walmart because either they were intimidated by the mega-store’s status or because they had absolutely no idea of how to start the process of becoming a Walmart supplier.

Based on those findings, the students are creating “Walmart 101,” a short video to help Idaho companies find out quickly what it takes to do business with Walmart. The video will be available statewide through local chambers of commerce, who can show it to members and follow up with a question-and-answer session.

Otter called the students’ multi-faceted plan promising, adding “I look forward to this plan being put in motion and to Idaho’s promising business future with young people like these at the helm.”

Career Track MBA Students Headed to 2014 Pacific West Regional Student Conference

COBE HR Competition

A Career Track MBA team is heading to the 2014 Pacific West Regional Student Conference in Portland on April 4-5, specifically for the case competition portion. The conference is sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management. The team consists of Amanda Mumford, Kelly Suter, Chase Twilley and Erin Denney. The team will compete to win two grand prizes: $2,500 cash and complimentary team registration to the 2014 Annual Conference & Exposition in Orlando. COBE lecturer Decateur Reed is the coach of the teams.

Come Learn About All of Boise State’s MBA Programs at MBA Open House

Find out more about all of our MBA programs at our MBA Informational Open House where you will be able to meet with program directors and current students in the program.

When: Friday, March 14 at 5:30pm
Where: Micron Business and Economics Building Room 2302 (Imagination Lab)
RSVP: Please RSVP by 3/11/14 at Open House RSVP

Two Boise State COBE Teams Advance to Regional Finals of Hult Prize in London and Dubai

Hult Prize teams image

The Hult Prize Foundation recently announced that two Boise State University teams have advanced to the regional finals of the fifth annual Hult Prize. The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition and start-up platform for social good aimed at solving the planet’s most pressing challenges. Student teams compete in six cities around the world for a chance to secure $1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

Selected teams were chosen from more than 10,000 applications received from over 350 colleges and universities in over 150 countries. The Hult Prize regional competitions will take place on March 7 and 8, 2014 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. Boise State University will compete in London and Dubai.

Students going to regional finals in London, are Scott Blades, Boise, Idaho; Hannah Derrick, West Jordan, Utah; Chandler Koch, Flour Mound, Texas; Kyle Mulder, Canton, South Dakota; and Remington Turner, Boise, Idaho. Regionals in Dubai will be attended by Ken Mazur, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Chris Armstrong, Boise, Idaho; Craig Dunbar, Cincinnati, Ohio; Lindsey Hearst, Meridian, Idaho; and Kelsey Toy, McCall, Idaho. All team members are full-time students in Boise State’s Career Start MBA program.

“It is an honor to be a part of a great Boise State COBE team  and have the unique opportunity to solve a world problem,” says Kyle Mulder.

The Hult Prize challenge this year is to find a way to help the 250 million people living in global urban slums who suffer from non-transmissible chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Scott Blades, a seasoned Hult Prize competitor, invites community participation. “It would be great to hear from anyone with ideas or experience with medical solutions to chronic disease. Our team believes in harnessing the power of our knowledgeable community and industry members. Crowd sourcing ideas is a highly valuable tool and we would love the help. Contact me directly – scottblades@u.boisestate.edu.”

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator and the final round of competition will be in September.

To learn more, visit www.hultprize.org.

COBE MBA Student Scott Blades The New Foodbank Board Fellow

Scott BladesThe Foodbank Board Fellow is a new partnership with Boise State’s College of Business and Economics MBA program to provide an opportunity for a student to have a board experience with a nonprofit, while it also brings the student’s energy and thinking to the board’s important discussions and decisions.

Scott Blades, a CareerStart MBA student, has been chosen as the first Foodbank Board Fellow. Blades has a wide-ranging background that includes a bachelor of science in molecular biology and biochemistry, a master of science in plant science and completed the International Trade Certificate Program at Boise State.

 

Career Start MBA Students Advance to Regional Finals of Hult Prize Competition

Career Start MBA students groupA team from Boise State University has advanced to the regional finals of the fourth annual Hult Prize and will compete in San Francisco March 1-2 for a chance to secure $1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition aimed at solving the planet’s most pressing challenges. Student teams compete in five cities around the world. The 2013 Hult Prize addresses global food security and will focus on how to get safe, sufficient, affordable and easily accessible food to the 200 million people who live in urban slums – a challenge personally selected by former President Bill Clinton.

Team Spherical Life includes members Scott Blades, Kelly Suter, Neha Sharma and Concepcion Yeng Chi Morel, full-time students in Boise State’s Career Start MBA program, and Don Sturtevant, an executive at J.R. Simplot Corporation who is enrolled in the part-time MBA program. They have diverse backgrounds — hailing from India, Mexico and the United States and working in biotech, energy markets, food production and social causes.

“This is a rare and very real opportunity to make a tangible difference on the global scale,” said Blades. “As human beings sharing this planet, how can we not try everything within our power to solve this problem?”

Boise State’s team was chosen from more than 10,000 applications, comprising more than 350 colleges and universities from more than 150 countries. The five regional competitions will take place March 1-2 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai. Boise State will compete against 42 other teams in San Francisco.

Following the regional event, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator and will receive mentorship, advice and strategic planning as they create prototypes for their new business. The final round of competition will be hosted at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in September. CGI delegates will select a winning team to be awarded the $1 million prize by President Clinton.

“The Hult Prize is thrilled that Boise State University has joined the initiative,” said Stephen Hodges, president of the Hult International Business School. “This year’s competition has received a record number of entries, bringing together some of the most talented students to help solve global food security, which can benefit nearly a billion people.”