22 Oct 2010

Harvard Business School Launches Second Annual Alumni New Venture Contest

HBS graduates around the globe encouraged to start new businesses

BOSTON—Harvard Business School's (HBS) Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and the Office of Alumni Relations today announced the launch of the second annual HBS Alumni New Venture Contest (NVC). With half of the School's alumni classifying themselves as entrepreneurs ten to fifteen years after they leave the campus, the Contest is designed to encourage the creation of promising new ventures by HBS graduates. Modeled after the HBS student Business Plan Contest, now in its 14th year, the Alumni New Venture Contest will award a $25,000 cash prize to the winning team to aid its development and growth.

The contest currently has confirmed participation from 14 HBS Alumni Clubs in 11 regions around the world, including Boston, Brazil, Chicago, India, Northern California (HBSANC and HBS Technology Alumni), New York, Shanghai, Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego), Toronto and The United Arab Emirates. Alumni interested in participating should contact their local Club for submission details and deadlines.

With guidelines established and monitored by the HBS Rock Center, the clubs will conduct the first round of regional contests in March 2011 to select one team to send to the finals, which will be held at HBS in April. Every finalist team will receive mentoring from an HBS faculty member prior to the judging and will participate in an on-campus educational session during the finals.

On April 25, the finalist teams will present their plans to a panel of judges at the School who will select the 2011 alumni winner. The panel consists of HBS faculty members and graduates from fields such as venture capital, consulting, law, accounting, life sciences, and technology. The grand prize winner will be invited to present a summary of the plan at a School-wide award ceremony on April 26, held in conjunction with the student Business Plan and Social Venture Contests.

"We are proud to host the Alumni New Venture Contest for the second year in a row, this time with 14 participating HBS Alumni Clubs," said Lynda M. Applegate, the School's Martin Marshall Professor of Business Administration and chair of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit. "With a large percentage of our MBA student community being entrepreneurially-minded, we are focused on highlighting and supporting new ventures started by our alumni, and bringing together a network of faculty, alumni and current students to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship that the School has been cultivating for over 50 years."

The winner of the 2010 HBS Alumni New Venture Contest is Krishna Mahesh (MBA 2005), founder and CEO of Sundaram Medical Devices and member of the HBS Club of India. Sundaram Medical Devices develops high-tech, low-cost, locally-manufactured medical beds for Indian healthcare institutions confronting a shortage in excess of 3 million beds.

Among the many Harvard Business School alumni who have founded successful business ventures are Michael Bloomberg (MBA 1963), founder of Bloomberg L.P; Marc C. Cenedella ( MBA 1998), founder, president and CEO of TheLadders.com Inc; Scott Cook (MBA 1976), chairman and cofounder of Intuit; Rajil Kapoor (MBA 1996), cofounder and former chairman and CEO of Snapfish; Mark Pincus (MBA 1993), founder and CEO of Zynga; Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilson, (both MBA 2004), cofounders of Gilt Groupe Inc; Marla Malcolm Beck (MBA 1998), founder of bluemercury; Tom Stemberg (MBA 1973), founder of Staples; and Jeremy Stoppelman (MBA 2005), CEO and cofounder of Yelp.

About The Rock Center
The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship was created through the generosity of prominent venture capitalist Arthur Rock (MBA '51), who donated $25 million to Harvard Business School to support the entrepreneurship faculty and their research, fellowships for MBA and doctoral students, symposia and conferences, and outreach efforts to extend the impact of the School's extensive work in this field. HBS offered the country's first business school course in entrepreneurship in 1947 and, today, entrepreneurship is one of the largest faculty units at the School, with over 30 faculty members conducting entrepreneurship research and teaching. The Rock Center works closely with the HBS California Research Center in Silicon Valley on entrepreneurship-related research and course development efforts.

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.