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Baylor University MBAs Represent at Wake Forest Competition

April 2, 2009

By Melissa Limmer

The Baylor University Hankamer School of Business MBA program was well represented this past weekend at Wake Forest's "Elevator Competition." Baylor's team "Energress" placed in the top 10 in the social entrepreneurship track of the competition. Team members included Kurt Flor, Gaurav Gupta, Tiffanie Harrison Benson, and Qiuping Yu.

The competition is named the "elevator competition," because the teams literally competed in an elevator. In February, teams first submitted executive summaries of their business plans to be reviewed by a panel of judges and venture capitalists. The top teams were then invited to compete in the elevator portion of the competition, which was held at the Wachovia building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Teams from traditional business plan and social entrepreneurship tracks were asked to pitch their ideas in only two minutes while riding in an elevator with real venture capitalists. After two rounds of pitching, the top five teams from each track were invited to the final round where they pitched their ideas in front of a panel of venture capitalists.

A good deal of preparation was put in by the team before they ever arrived in North Carolina. Flor said he has been working on the business plan for almost three years. "I have done lots of research on my own to pursue my long-term goals of implementing waste-to-energy technologies in developing countries. I saw the competition as an opportunity to test the feasibility of my plan," he said.

Flor is also quick to give his team members credit, who worked alongside him for almost three months straight to perfect the business plan. "For three months, we practically ran a start up. We researched, made contacts, crunched numbers, etc. The work was especially tough when competition due dates and exam dates ran parallel to each other. This definitely took a toll on our team but we worked hard to do both," he said.

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