Global Student Business Concept Challenge Winners Announced

The Fourth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week, August 18-24, 2013, provided a unique opportunity for student teams and faculty from all over the world to collaborate and initiate their personal global networks through learning, socialization, and friendly competition in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, USA.

During this week-long celebration of entrepreneurship, student teams from China, Australia, France, Mexico, England, Italy, Chile, Belgium, Colombia, Canada, Austria, Malaysia, Egypt, and the United States competed in the Global Student Business Concept Challenge for a $25,000 grand prize and the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy.

The grand prize went to Sarah Cherruault and François Dupayrat of Team Auticiel, representing Télécom Ecole de Management of Evry, France. Their winning concept aimed to help people with cognitive impairments overcome these difficulties by developing intuitive, enjoyable focused mobile apps and tools that they can use to communicate, interact and lead independent lives. With these tools, Team Auticiel wants to foster social integration and school/employment accessibility. As a permanent tribute to their outstanding effort, their name and university will be etched into the base of the Global Challenge Trophy, which will reside at VT KnowledgeWorks in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.

François Dupayrat, Sarah Cherruault, Team Auticiel, Télécom SudParis

Photo: Incubateur Télécom & Management Sudparis Entrepreneurs

The second place prize of $5,000 was awarded to Team Roka, representing University of Technology Sydney of Australia. Conchita De Souza, Janek Gonsalkorale, Paridhi Jain, and Natalia Krslovic of Team Roka presented a concept on jewelry made by the women in Bangalore, using quarry dust. Roka seeks to solve real-world poverty issues by delivering real business opportunities to Bangalore women.

For the first time, a People’s Choice award of $5,000 was selected by vote of the event attendees at the Global Student Business Concept Challenge on Thursday, August 22, 2013. The People’s Choice was awarded to Team GraphInsight from University of Trento in Italy, whose business concept was a 3D data visualization tool for Business Intelligence. Michele Dallachiesa, Alice Porra, and Gintare Simkute were pleased to receive this first-time-ever prize.

The competition finals at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center on August 22, 2013, were part of a week-long celebration of student entrepreneurship and students’ important contributions to the global economy. Bob Grebe and Tara Wheeler, co-anchors of the Fox 21/27 Morning News in Roanoke, were the Masters of Ceremony of the Global Student Business Concept Challenge. Also at The Hotel Roanoke, a regional audience welcomed the global attendees at the Tastes and Sounds of the Valleys Reception highlighting unique food and music of the New River and Roanoke Valleys on August 21, 2013.

During the rest of their visit to Virginia, international teams remained in Blacksburg, housed by local families. They spent interactive time with successful technology companies and enjoyed fellowship with Virginia Tech students of the German Club, Graduate School, and Entrepreneur Club. Activities included tours of the Virginia Tech campus and Lane Stadium, a downtown souvenir shopping experience in Blacksburg and Roanoke, a hike in the Cascades, and a celebration with local company, Heyo. Festive meals highlighted the entire week, including the awards banquet and flag presentation ceremony at The Inn at Virginia Tech hosted by the Virginia Tech Office of Outreach and International Affairs.

The Fifth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week will be held August 17-23, 2014.

All of this was made possible thanks to the generous Global Partnership Event Sponsors, including Allegheny Logistics GroupBAE SystemsCCS-Inc.G.J. Hopkins Inc.Interactive Achievement, Inc.MeridiumMontgomery County, Virginia Economic Development DepartmentRackspacePhoenix Packaging OperationsSAICShentelStellarOne Bank,SunTrustTechLabThird SecurityThe Branch Group Inc.Virginia TechVirginia Tech Corporate Research CenterVPT, Inc., and our contributors.

For more information about the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership, and the VTKW Global Partnership Week 2013, please contact Lindsey Eversole, Global Partnership Manager, VT KnowledgeWorks, at [email protected]

Keep in the know about VT KnowledgeWorks through Twitter and Facebook.

VT KnowledgeWorksVT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks corporate sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&THarris Office FurnitureHodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C.Hutchison Law GroupLatimer IP Law, LLC LeClairRyanNew River Valley IP LawScience Applications International Corporation (SAIC)The Branch Group, and Wordsprint.

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