EMBA team members (L-R) Buckner,
Soriano, Markert and Namkung.
Four Auburn Executive MBA (EMBA) alumni are among seven finalist teams in Queensland, Australia, this week to compete in an international graduate case competition addressing major global issues.
EMBA Class of 2017 alumni competing are Zarcar Buckner, Helotes, Texas; Johnathan Markert, Houston, Texas; Terry Namkung, Hampton, Va.; and Alex Soriano, Atlanta; will compete in the Global Business Challenge (GBC) hosted by Griffith University and organized by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Graduate Business School.
The GBC focuses on delivering practical solutions to the world’s biggest problems. The GBC theme this year is renewable energy, with teams being challenged to develop solutions that lower the costs and risks associated with the transition from fossil fuel based energy to achieving sustainable renewable energy sources. In previous years, the challenge focused on themes such as health, food and water.
The challenge, which starts today and runs through Thursday, draws postgraduate students from business and technology disciplines from around the world to compete for $125,000 in cash prizes plus funding support for viable business solutions.
To qualify for the finals, teams competed in a virtual round to pitch a conceptual business solution comprising a combination of new technologies and business models. Winners of this first round were announced in August.
The Auburn EMBA team is among seven teams selected to compete in the finals, where they will be required to develop a business case for a hypothetical project opportunity, which addresses constraints similar to each team’s proposed solution and reflecting real-world issues. Finalists will present to judging panel of CEOs and leaders across industry, government and finance sectors. The winning team will be named Thursday.
The solution presented by the Auburn EMBA team centers upon a low-voltage electronic power distribution panel that efficiently converts solar and commercial power (110 and 220-volt AC) to low-voltage power (24-volt DC) that can drive electronic equipment, such as laptops, computers televisions and LED lights, efficiently with no energy loss. The idea incorporates old and new technology for a smooth transition from AC to DC. This power distribution panel is patented by the company headed by team member Namkung, DC Energy Systems.
Namkung presented this solution earlier this year in the Rice Business Plan Competition at Rice University in Houston. This graduate case competition, much like the Global Business Challenge, gave collegiate entrepreneurs the chance to compete for funding to commercial their products.
Other U.S. finalist teams are from the University of Arizona and MIT. Click here for a complete list of finalists.
The GBC objective is to leverage the exceptional intellectual talent from the world’s top business schools and universities to formulate business solutions for globally relevant and contemporary ‘wicked’ problems with global significance. Solutions consist of a combination of new and emerging technologies, as well as novel business models to support commercialization and global adoption of these solutions.
The Auburn EMBA team is accompanied by Lou Bifano, EMBA Class of 2015, director of Entrepreneurship strategy with the Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.
About Auburn MBA
Housed within the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, Auburn MBA Programs serve more than 580 MBA candidates and an alumni network that is more than 5,000 strong. Auburn offers one MBA degree across three delivery models, allowing students to choose the program that best accommodates their professional and personal demands. In addition to the Online and Full-Time MBA, an executive format option is also available, including one for physicians only. For more information, visit harbert.auburn.edu.