WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Business, law, science and medical students from top universities around the nation converged at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business on February 8-9 for the 4th Annual Biotechnology Conference and Case Competition. The eight student teams had one week to prepare a business plan for case sponsor Boston Scientific Corporation. Proposals were presented on February 9 to a panel of judges recommending best strategies for the medical device maker to enter a new geographic market for its Urology business.
Winners were announced later that evening during an awards gala at Biotech Place in downtown Winston-Salem.
Johns Hopkins University won first place and a $10,000 prize. Students on the team included Nicolae Done, Robin Kabir, Kalyan Kanakamedala, Kyungmin Song and Michelle Zwernemann.
Second place and a $5,000 prize went to Wake Forest University. Team members were Lawrence Blume, Katarina Kesty, Venkata Raman Perivela, Swapnil Shewale and Dipen Viyas.
University of Florida placed third, receiving a $2,000 check, and was represented by students Matthew Alvin, Kayley Fordham, Todd Hales, Stephanie Newton and Sherif El-Refai.
Boston Scientific invested an additional $2,500 in surprise honorable mention awards worth $500 each. Honorable mention recipients included:
- Northwestern University: Best Document
- University of California-Berkeley: Best Targeting Strategy
- University of California-Los Angeles: Best Partnership Proposal
- University of California-San Diego: Best Analysis of Given Data
- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: Most Creative
The Biotechnology Conference and Case Competition was organized by student co-chairs Jeanelle Feimster (MBA ’13), Galen Price (MBA ’13), Monica Cu (MBA ’13) and Maria Bahawdory (MBA ’12, PhD ‘13). The faculty advisors were Len Preslar, Distinguished Professor of Practice and Executive Director of Health Management Programs at Wake Forest University Schools of Business, and Scott Shafer, PhD, Professor of Management at Wake Forest University Schools of Business.
“The Biotech MBA case competition is unique in that it unites students from a variety of educational backgrounds to solve a strategic challenge,” said Preslar at the awards gala. “The quality of the presentations was very impressive in their analysis and recommendations,” he added to the student teams. “Take advantage of these learning opportunities as they will surely benefit you in your careers.”
Other Biotech Conference events included student networking sessions and a keynote address on February 8 by Eric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD, President, Piedmont Triad Research Park and Chief Innovation Officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The keynote and subsequent panel discussion highlighted the Wake Forest University Research Park initiative and addressed the challenges and opportunities of life science business development.
The event was made possible by generous support from the following sponsors: Boston Scientific, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Banner Pharmacaps, Benefit Advocates, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, Bourne Partners, Cornerstone Health Care, Covidien, Merz Pharmaceuticals, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Sanofi and TransTech Pharma.