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Career Track MBA Teams Report on Their Travels to London and Shanghai Competing in the Hult Prize

Dream Team Hult Prize Boise State

Dream Team

Team Project Recover: Becky Davis, Alexandria Allen, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg

Team Project Recover

Two teams of Boise State Career Track MBA students receive at large bids to compete in the regional finals for the $1 million Hult Prize in March. More than 50,000 applications were received from over 100 countries. Thanks to support of the College of Business and Economics and Boise State University at large, the two teams were able to travel to London and Shanghai with their expenses paid.

Read the students’ first-hand accounts of their experience:

Dream Team - London

Jessica Bottelberghe, Steven Gabrielsen and Ashleigh Anderson in London.

Jessica Bottelberghe, Steven Gabrielsen and Ashleigh Anderson in London.

The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship, which brings together the brightest college and university students from around the globe to solve the world’s most pressing issues. Collectively, more than 50,000 applicants, from over 600 universities, representing more than 130 countries around the world applied to right the injustices faced by millions of refugees and to bring economic opportunities to those refugees and migrants. Team Dream from Boise State University was 1 of 44 teams chosen to compete at the London Regional Final. The Boise State team was 1 of 7 US competing in London the rest were from around the world.

The competition provided the team the opportunity to network and collaborate with students from around the world. The competition started Friday evening and ran through Saturday night. The Boise State team pitched on Saturday afternoon to a panel of 9 judges from around the world. The panel consisted of executives, entrepreneurs, and lawyers. On Saturday night, the top six teams presented their pitch in front of all the competing teams and judges. The finalists were from Canada, Singapore, Turkey, England, Philippines and Egypt. The Canadian team from the University of Waterloo won the Regional final and will be moving on to the Hult Prize accelerator and the chance to pitch for $1M in seed funding at the finals in September. The team developed a mobile application designed to bring together refugees and community members through the exchange of skills, talents, and services.

Overall, the experience was amazing opportunity to be in a different country working with so many different students around the world trying to solve the refugee crisis. Most importantly, the Boise State team taught the London competitors where Idaho is in the U.S.!

Team members were Ashleigh Anderson, Jessica Bottelberghe, Steven Gabrielsen and Ethan Lopez. Their business idea is an online platform called “A Story to Be Told and their mission is to allow refugees to share their stories in order to connect them with the rest of the world. 

Team Project Recover - Shanghai

Story by Austin Legg.

Hult prize Team Project Recover: Becky Davis, Alexandria Allen, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg

Team Project Recover: Becky Davis, Alexandria Allen, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg in Shanghai

When we arrived at the Hult International Business School in Shanghai on Friday evening to check-in we were overwhelmed to say the least. Looking around the rooms you couldn’t help but feel like an underdog. There were 42 teams representing countries literally all over the world. We were one of only three teams from the United States. Being from little Boise State University in Boise, Idaho we felt intimidated and inferior. I know for me, I felt like I didn’t belong there. The feeling didn’t go away after the opening ceremonies and following “meet and greet.” I went to bed that night thinking, ‘What have I got us in to?’ The structure of the competition is that there is a morning and an afternoon session. Twenty one teams in the morning and twenty one teams in the afternoon. The teams present in three rooms, with seven teams in each room during each session. For the morning session we sat in a room and watched seven teams present. After the first few presentations, I looked over to Alex Allen and I said, “I don’t want to just do well, I want to win this whole thing.” It was evident that not only did we belong there, but we were well prepared. Boise State and the MBA program had taught me more than I realized. Those feelings of doubt and insecurity left and were quickly replaced with feelings of pride and competitiveness.

In the afternoon we delivered our presentation and we absolutely nailed it! Out of the seven teams in our afternoon room, we were of two teams brought back by the judges for a ten minute round of Q&A, known as a “call back.” This means that it was down to us and the other team for who was going to be advancing from our afternoon pod. We had a good feeling going into the announcement of the final six teams, but unfortunately they picked the other team from our call back. That team also went on to win the overall Shanghai regional competition later that night. So we can feel good that we at least got beat by the winners. So we know we most likely finished somewhere in the top ten.

Later that night during the final presentations I had a paradigm shift about the competition. It occurred to me that while I would have liked to win, the reality is we weren’t really all competing against each other. We were all on the same team. All of the teams were working towards the common goal of helping restore the basic human rights to refugees. When you step back and realize that no matter who wins, we are going to move closer to that goal, you stop cheering for your team, and start cheering for others. Once this change of mindset happened, I really came to develop a great love and respect for everyone there and I was happy with the final results.

It truly was an amazing experience and without a doubt the highlight of not only my experience in graduate school, but undergraduate school as well. We would not have been able to do accomplish what we did without the support of Boise State and Career Track MBA Director Trisha Stevens Lamb. Additionally, it was truly amazing to realize just how well prepared we were by our professors. Boise State offers a world class education and I saw that first-hand. The opportunity to represent the MBA program and Boise State on an international level was an experience I won’t soon forget.

Team members were Alexandria Allen, Becky Davis, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg. Their business idea aims to restore basic human rights of food, water, shelter and security by providing income to refugees. Project Recover builds on the skills and talents refugees have to create products that represent their culture. Project Recover provides the work-space, supplies and materials and buys the product from the maker and sells it via an online store.

HR Students Attended Conference in Oregon

Boise State students at SHRM conference

From left: Lauren Friese, Ashely Higgins, Jillian Lumbert, Robin Orthman, Maria Marshall, Gabrielle Baird.

Representatives of the Boise State student chapter of the Human Resource Association attended the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) student conference in Tigard, Oregon from March 31 to April 1.  The conference featured keynote speakers, the opportunity to sit down with local HR practitioners, and engagement opportunities with fellow student attendees.

Jeopardy contestants at SHRA conference 2017

COBE student Jillian Lumbert (seated at left) finished 2nd place in HR Jeopardy.

Boise State student Jillian Lumbert made it to the top four in HR Jeopardy and ended with 2nd place, missing 1st by two questions.

COBE students that attended were Lauren Friese, junior; Ashely Higgins, junior; Jillian Lumbert, junior; Robin Orthman, senior; Maria Marshall, junior; and Gabrielle Baird, freshman.

MBA Student, Sydney Axtell, Wins Prize Money at Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge

Sydney Axtell Boise State MBA student

Sydney, second from the right, and her mentor, Kevin Learned, far right.

The 2017 Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge conclude Friday, March 31. Twenty-six teams from across Idaho competed for $100,000 in seed funding generously provided by Zions Bank.

Sydney Axtell, our own MBA student and dean’s office GA, took 1st place in the health and healthy living category and received $10,000 of seed funding for her startup – berry box.

“My next challenge is to figure out how I should use the funding and it’s stressful to think about, but I’m so grateful to Zions Bank for providing the opportunity. It’s good stress,” said Axtell. ” The award money is obviously fantastic, but the best part of the competition was interacting, learning and gaining validation from the incredible minds of the judges. What an insane experience! I’ll be in touch with a few of the judges for mentorship in the future, but for now I will head back to the Venture College and keep plugging away with the help of my current mentors: Kevin Learned, Ed Zimmer, Marilyn Bickle, and Whitney Hansen. ”

At the awards ceremony Friday, all participating teams were announced and each gave a one-minute pitch about their companies. Students from Boise State make up eight of the teams in the finals.

See all the IEC winners here. See Zions Bank’s blog about the 2017 Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge here.


Jack Marr Spoke at International Business Education Conference

Jack Marr, International Business associate professor On March 24, Jack Marr of the Department of Management spoke at the annual Consortium on Undergraduate International Business Education (CUIBE) conference at Northeastern University in Boston. Marr’s speech was titled “Working with GOs and NGOs without Stepping on Toes to Promote International Business.”

New Online Management Degree

Austin Legg presenting Hult Prize pitch to HPBoise State University now offers a fully online bachelor of business administration (BBA) in management. The new management degree, offered through the College of Business and Economics, gives working adults an affordable, flexible way to finish their bachelor’s degree and advance their careers.

Boise State is currently accepting applications to the program. The first cohort of students will begin their online studies fall 2017.

“This important College of Business and Economics management degree completion program will meet a significant need in the community,” said COBE Dean Ken Petersen. “It will give many students the opportunity to complete their degree, regardless of whether they are able to be physically with us here in Boise. I am so pleased that we will be offering this program, as I truly believe that it will help many of our students to achieve their dreams.”

Students in the program will build on their past school and work experience to become innovative leaders. The online management degree emphasizes relevant skills like digital competence, responsible business practices and managerial problem solving. 

“Designed with the guidance of the exceptional staff at eCampus, this degree-completion program represents a new model for online learning,” said Susan Park, chair of the Department of Management. “Experienced Boise State faculty will develop and teach the courses, giving students access to the same quality instruction and interactive experience our current students enjoy. The program’s blend of traditional management principles with relevant coursework, such as design thinking and managing innovation and change, will provide students the opportunity to develop the management skills they’ll need to become effective, successful leaders.”

Designed to be completed in as little as 21 months, the online management degree is offered in both full- and part-time formats, and students pay a per-credit rate.

Boise State’s College of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, placing it in the top tier of business schools worldwide, and ensuring students a quality education.

For more information visit

Rob Anson Retirement Reception April 13

Rob Anson, professor of information technology management in the IT-SCM department, is retiring after 27 years of service to the university.

Photo of Rob Anson.

Rob Anson

A reception is planned for 3-5 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in the Lookout Room in the Student Union Building. Light appetizers, refreshments and cake will be served.

Anson has been involved in a variety of campus-wide projects all the while teaching classes in database, senior projects, business intelligence, and system analysis and design. Throughout all the design and configurations of automated tools, Anson always has tried to keep in mind that the key to successful implementation is to work with people’s processes and fit those into the systems. For the first 10 years of Anson’s career, he was instrumental in working alongside other COBE faculty in fundraising and securing grants for computer labs. Anson worked facilitating teams by serving as the liaison for various group decision support systems where members could brainstorm, vote and add input to projects using the electronic meeting rooms, which he and colleagues built with grants.

Within his department, he also led curriculum change efforts, conducted extensive student advising and guided student organizations through many computer repair fairs for the community, as well as national student competitions.

International Business Students Learn Implication of U.S. Proposed Pullout from TPP

International business class at Boise State UniversityOn March 14, international business Professor Jack Marr along with political science chair and Canadian studies director Professor Lori Hausegger welcomed Carlo Dade, director of the Centre on Trade and Investment Policy at the Canada West Foundation, to speak in Marr’s International Business 220 class in Skaggs Hall of Learning. Dade gave an up-to-the-minute talk on the implications of the U.S.’s proposed pullout from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the impact on Canadian policy, and the implications for global economic leadership attending the TPP talks at Viña del Mar, Chile, also on March 14.