Day: March 29, 2013

Business and Economics students compete in Global CFA Institute Research Challenge

In 2013, Michigan Tech students qualified and competed in the CFA Institute Research Challenge for the first time.

Students in the Applied Portfolio Management Program are expanding their resumes by competing in another investment competition and gaining valuable real world experience.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge was introduced to a global audience in 2006 and is considered, “the investment Olympics” for university students.  The event which hosted more than 3,000 students from over 650 universities, 89 businesses, and 106 societies in 55 countries and territories.  This challenge is an annual global competition which provides hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics.  Despite 2013 being the first year they competed in this challenge, our finance and economics students were able to advance to the global final of the event.

By compiling the highest combined report and presentation score and winning the regional competition, Michigan Tech qualified for global final.  “As a team we set aside many hours of our time to research, compile, analyze, prepare, rehearse, and finally present our findings to a panel of judges. The true amount of work this project entailed is staggering, however we are thankful for the opportunity afforded to us,” said senior Finance major, Justin Wilson.   Joining Justin to represent Michigan Tech was fellow Finance major Jessica Zaiki as well as economics majors Eli Karttunen and Anna Paul.

Each student was tested on their analytic, valuation, report writing and presentation skills and gained real-world experience as they assumed the role of a research analyst.   Upon the team’s return, Jessica Zaiki noted that having the exposure to the CFA institute, investment professionals, and the high caliber of competition at the Americas competition expanded her knowledge of stock analysis and furthered my interest in pursuing a CFA in the future.

The experience was valuable for our students and it is a competition we look forward to having continued participation and success at in the future.  Financial support for the student participation was provided via the James and Dolores Trethewey APMP Professorship.

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Tech Students win $20,500 at New Venture Competition

Last weekend Michigan Tech and Central Michigan University students competed for a total of $45,000 in this year's New Venture Competition.

Two teams of Michigan Tech students won more than $20,000 in the annual New Venture Competition held at Central Michigan University recently.

Northern Aquaponics won $10,000 in the Best Technology category, and Upland Nanotech won $10,000 for Highest Growth Potential and $500 for second-place pitch.

“We had five strong teams competing in a field of 2Y,” said School of Business and Economics Dean Gene Klippel. “All the teams benefited greatly from the experience of presenting their ideas and receiving valuable feedback from the outstanding panel of judges who participated.”

First place and $30,000 went to Solar Cycle Lights LLC, a student team from Central Michigan.

Upland Nanotech was founded by Thomas Daunais, an electrical engineering major, whose company developed a rapid-sensing technology used for food pathogen detection and drug-level concentration that has the ability to yield results within 20 minutes.

“The first thing we’re going to do is going to take the winnings and leverage another $55,000 out of it,” he said. “We’ll use the $65,000 we’ll have to make an E. coli sensor prototype.”

He said the competition, attended by many business and industry professionals, helped his group network and convince others to believe in their idea.

“We got feedback from the judges that we have an interesting concept, a solid business plan and an overall very intriguing technology,” Daunais said.

Northern Aquaponics, specializing in growing plants and raising fish in indoor environments, won the $10,000 award for Best Technology.

“I think we have done a lot of work to pinpoint our target market and refine our business model to make it more viable,” said Josh Krugh, an economics major and the company’s cofounder. He also thought the judges at Central gave good feedback, not just to his team, but to all of the teams.

“There were so many people there willing and able to help all of us,” Krugh said. “I can’t tell you how many people stopped me throughout the day to give us suggestions and talk about our business. It was definitely a rare opportunity to be in a room full of so many successful businessmen and women.”

He said Northern Aquaponics will use their prize money to build partnerships and company business models.

Twenty-seven teams from Central Michigan and Michigan Tech competed in the daylong event for awards ranging from $500 to $30,000. Panels of 60 judges representing business leaders and entrepreneurs from throughout Michigan and the region evaluated the team presentations based on several factors, including the quality of the idea, strength of the management team and the business plan.

Upland Nanotech and Northern Aquaponics also won second and third place, respectively, at the Fourth Annual Bob Mark Memorial Elevator Pitch Competition on the Michigan Tech campus in November 2012.

This story was originally written by by Dennis Walikainen, University Marketing Communications senior editor, and published in Tech Today.

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