Seven Executive MBA finalist teams from around the globe presented their business plans at the 2016 Global New Venture Challenge (GNVC), which took place March 17 at Gleacher Center. The competing teams—comprising the winners of the GNVC semifinals held earlier this year at Chicago Booth’s Chicago, London, and Hong Kong campuses—showcased a broad spectrum of entrepreneurial companies, from 3-D-printed surgical implements to video commerce.
Now in its eighth year, the GNVC is an expansion of the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), and is designed to accommodate the growing entrepreneurial aspirations of Booth’s Executive MBA students around the globe. Teams included 3DMed and Appiness from London; SiidCap and V Cloud from Hong Kong; and ViaBlaze, Ensembl, and Science Tomorrow from Chicago.
“The NVC process is so powerful because you cannot pitch a business well unless you understand the business at its core,” said Waverly Deutsch, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and a GNVC coach. “We’re teaching the teams how to understand the core elements of their business model: the execution, the financials, the sales and marketing, the customer, the product development. In order to write a compelling business plan, you need to be able to talk about a compelling, convincing business.”
This year’s GNVC ended in a tie for both second and first place. Second-place winner ViaBlaze offers a collision-avoidance system for automobiles that utilizes innovative wireless technology to analyze the environment and prevent accidents. Fellow second-place honoree V Cloud is a solution platform to connect brand owners and grocery owners, and allow consumers in rural China access to multiple brands and products via their local grocery store. Each team took home $5,000 in prize money.
Science Tomorrow and Appiness tied for first place. Science Tomorrow has developed a quantitative secondary electron detector technology that increases the full potential of the scanning electron microscope. Appiness is a video commerce company that allows time-stamped products and brands in local and international videos to be made shoppable via any smart device. Each winner took home $7,500 in prize money.