Wake Forest team takes second at Healthcare Strategy Competition

3.23.2015 Careers, Charlotte Center, General, Healthcare, Innovation, News Release, Reynolda Campus, School News

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Wake Forest University School of Business held its sixth annual Healthcare Strategy Conference and Case Competition March 13-14, 2015. The event features a student-run competition and conference, hosted by the School and Wake Forest Innovations.

Lead sponsor Boston Scientific, a global leader in medical devices, challenged ten teams from highly recognized business and graduate schools across the nation to find creative ways to grow the company’s Pulmonary Division business in the face of challenges across broad and distinct markets.

Each team presented their ideas to a panel of judges from Boston Scientific after working on their solutions for just one week. Teams from Boston University, Cornell University, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Rutgers University, Tufts University, University of Maryland, University of Texas, and Wake Forest University competed for a total of $20,000 in prize money.

The competition, run by PhD/MBA students at Wake Forest University School of Business and Wake Forest University, also featured a keynote from Boston Scientific President and CEO Michael Mahoney (’96 MBA). Mahoney told the audience that three of his product groups fought over the right to have the case study apply to their business. He told the students, sponsors, judges, panelists and other attendees to “find an industry that you truly love, and it will lead you to success.”

For the third year, the Johns Hopkins team took home the top prize of $10,000. The Wake Forest University School of Business team came in second to earn the $5,000 prize in what the judges deemed a very close contest. Third prize of $3,000 went to Cornell University. Two other prizes were awarded: MIT earned $1,000 for the most innovative idea and NC State took home $1,000 for the most creative presentation.

The Wake Forest School of Business team featured Dr. Chuck Harr, a first year Charlotte Evening MBA student who is also a cardiothoracic surgeon at Novant Health, Chris Mauney, a second year Winston-Salem Evening MBA and PhD candidate in the Molecular and Cellular Biosciences PhD program, Alexander Dakos, a PhD student in neuroscience, and Andrew Powell, a JD/MBA student also at the WFU School of Law. Len Preslar, adjunct professor of practice and Ram Baliga, John B. McKinnon professor of management at the School of Business served as the faculty advisors.

Student leadership co-chair Amanda Davis, a PhD/MBA candidate at the Wake Forest School of Medicine Department of Cancer Biology and Winston-Salem Evening MBA at the School of Business said, “The event was valuable for me as a participant, not just as someone on the planning team.  Hearing Mike Mahoney, President and CEO of Boston Scientific, speak was definitely a privilege.  And to attend the panel discussion with so many impressive business and healthcare leaders was a great experience. All the teams that participated were full of talented, bright individuals who were a pleasure to connect with.”

Other students involved in planning and implementing this competition and conference included Crystal Redfern, (PhD/MBA ’15), Dipen Vyas, (PhD/MBA ’15) who also co-chaired the event last year, Bryan A. Wilson, (PhD/MBA ‘15), Christie Young,  (PhD/MBA’15), Helen Ann Cuffe (PhD/MBA ’15),  and Jessalyn Bolduc (PhD ’16). Deepika Poranki, a commercialization associate at Wake Forest Innovations also served on the organizing team.

The two-day event also featured a panel discussion with healthcare experts and leaders addressing topics like healthcare innovation, spending and leadership.

Sponsored by Boston Scientific, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Wake Forest Innovations, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Cornerstone Health Care, Benefit Advocates, Bourne Partners, Kilpatrick Townsend Attorneys at Law, Transtech Pharma, Inmar and Merz-Pharma, the event was held at Wake Forest Biotech Place in downtown Winston-Salem.

Media contact: Stephanie Skordas at skordas@wfu.edu or 336.758.4098.