CSU College of Business Teams Catch March Madness Too

Note to Reporters: Photos of Hult Prize Team CSU and CFA Global Challenge team available with this release at news.colostate.edu

The Colorado State University Rams basketball team is going to the Mountain West Conference championships, but they aren’t the only CSU teams headed for regional finals. Two highly competitive groups from the CSU College of Business are going head-to-head with other schools in a different kind of March Madness.

First up, on March 1-2, a team of Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBAs will be competing for $1 million in startup funding to launch a sustainable social venture at the regional finals of the fourth annual Hult Prize. They will be competing against 43 teams from around the nation with a plan 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.

The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition and crowdsourcing platform for social good, recently named one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Clinton and TIME Magazine.

“Our team’s selection to participate in this important competition to solve one of the great challenges of our time is both humbling and validating,” said Carl Hammerdorfer, director of the GSSE MBA program at CSU. “These GSSE graduates have proven their mettle in Benin, Haiti, Bolivia, Kenya and other parts of our world where hunger is a daily reality. We expect they’ll do well in their pursuit of this prize. Regardless of the outcome, they are all deeply committed to solving global problems through sustainable enterprise solutions.”

Team CSU includes captain Rachael Miller, Lindsay Saperstone, Meghan Coleman and Jeannie Whitler. They applied for the Hult competition before they graduated in December and were notified in early January that they would be among the teams presenting their big ideas over the weekend in San Francisco.

Teams were chosen from more than 10,000 applications received, totaling over 350 colleges and universities representing over 150 countries. Regional competitions will take place simultaneously on Hult International Business School’s five campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai. While Team CSU will compete on the West Coast, the only other Colorado team in the competition, from the University of Denver, will be in Boston.

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into the Hult Accelerator, a summer business incubator, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set up to launch their new social business. A final round of competition will be hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September, where CGI delegates will select who will be awarded the million-dollar prize.

 To see a video about Team CSU’s initiative, go to www.gofundme.com/letssolvehunger

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Later in the month another four-student team from the College of Business will compete against investment teams from across the Western Hemisphere in Toronto, March 20-21, representing the Colorado CFA Society in the Americas Regionals of the Global Research Challenge.

The students earned their place by placing first the Colorado CFA Society challenge – the “Investment Olympics” for university students – held in Denver Jan. 23. Teams from five Colorado business schools – University of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado – Boulder, University of Northern Colorado and CSU – competed.

Their challenge was to provide an investment research recommendation for Ball Corp. that included in-depth business and valuation analysis, report writing, and presentation. Teams worked directly with the covered company and industry mentors in preparing their analysis of the firm, its competitors, and industry. Students’ final presentations were judged by a high-profile panel of heads of research, portfolio managers, and chief investment officers from top investment firms.

“I am extremely proud of our students and their faculty mentor David Mascio for doing such an outstanding job and representing the department,” said Sanjay Ramchander, CFA, chair of the CSU Department of Finance and Real Estate. “I want to thank all our faculty members for providing support and encouragement that made this a true team effort.”

The CSU team consists of seniors Ian Heath and Josh Shaughnessy and master’s Financial Risk Management students Miran Hossain and Hoa Nguyen.

Each regional champion then advances to the Global Final, where one winning team is ultimately crowned. The 2013 final will be held on April 12 in London.
For more information, go to the CSU College of Business web page at biz.colostate.edu.