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        Alumni, Entrepreneurship, Executive Programs

        EMBA graduates part of international business pitch competition

        November 15, 2017 By Joe McAdory

        All News


        A team of four Harbert College of Business Executive MBA graduates earned the distinction of being among the finalists in an international business pitch competition focusing on renewable energy.

        Fresh off a 20-hour flight to Australia covering nearly 9,000 miles, Zarcar Buckner, Johnathan Markert, Terry Namkung, and Alex Soriano gained a new level of appreciation for the challenges associated with renewable energy. The members of DC Energy Systems presented their business concept at the Global Business Challenge at Queensland University, Nov. 6-9, in Brisbane.

        DC Energy Systems was one of seven finalists selected from a pool of 92 entries. Though they did not place in the top three, which could have earned up to $125,000, they gained valuable knowledge.

        “They learned that they will encounter situations where they have to get something done in a short period of time,” said Harbert College Director of Entrepreneurship Strategy Lou Bifano, who served as the team’s faculty advisor in Australia. “They will have to figure out how to do that as a team, manage their time, and respond to a change, prepare a written report and present their proposal to the judges.”

        The team entered the competition with a plan, but judges threw them a curveball with a new set of questions and requirements. The team had 48 hours to solve the problem, write a detailed report, and make a 20-minute presentation.

        “It was very much a real-life scenario where you have a plan, you have to pivot that plan and you don’t have a lot of time,” Bifano said.

        Bifano added that for DC Energy Systems to be one of seven teams selected for an international competition out of an original field of 92, speaks well of the education, skills and training team members acquired as Harbert College Executive MBA students.

        “We’re on the move with entrepreneurship here at Auburn,” Bifano said. “Having a team that qualified for an international competition is one example of the results that we are achieving. This is just the beginning of where we want to take our entrepreneurship program. We are pleased to see that we are already this competitive.”