Judges for the 2014 Pepperdine University Business Plan Competition fast pitch elimination round chose six student entrepreneur proposals to advance to the finals on Saturday, March 22.
ICANN executive Dennis Chang (EMBA ’94), a Graziadio Board of Visitors (BOV) member; serial entrepreneurGeorge Georgallides (MBA ’11), a partner at product development agency Curious Ventures and BOV member Bob Mosbaugh (PKE MBA ’05), executive vice president at Honeywell Safes & Door Locks / LHLP, heard 18 90-second pitches from business students and a School of Law student; nearly all for startups that are more than paper ideas and actively being pursued.
The six pitches moving onto to the final round, requiring a full 20-minute detailed presentation and Q&A include:
- A mobile platform that connect customers to local businesses, providing real-time 2-way text-based communication to negotiate orders and deals (Peter Hwang, Peter C. Jang)
- A web-based portfolio platform to help high school athletes connect with university and professional sports recruiters (Annie Macomber)
- A startup that markets an original adjustable wedge for installing doors and windows (Arianne Hefling)
- An online delivery service connecting California’s emerging home-cook community to hungry customers (Marco Garcia)
- A video game development startup for online games that dynamically scale to the player’s individual skill level instead of pitting players (who may vary in skill level) against one another (Laura Colvin)
- A startup marketing stackable, collapsible and environmentally-friendly shoeboxes for your closet (Ara Krikorian)
Many of competitors were students of Dr. Larry Cox, director of Graziadio’s Entrepreneurship Program, which has generated more than 90 new businesses over the last five years.
The 2014 Pepperdine University Business Plan Competition final presentations will be held at the West Los Angeles Campus in Room 333, Saturday, March 22, beginning at 9 a.m. Lunch is served.
The first place will win $10,000 and the chance to represent Pepperdine at the California Dreamin’ Competition for a shot at $230,000 in prize money and equity investment.
The 2014 Pepperdine University Business Plan Competition is sponsored by the Graziadio Family Foundation, Burton Morgan Foundation and the Pepperdine School of Law’s Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law.
While there has been an enormous cultural shift in accepting women in leadership, there is a lingering second-generation bias as many Gen Y women associate leadership with perfection. They often hold off on taking leadership positions because they see it as a daunting task and have the mentality that “in order to do anything you have to be everything.”
Dr. Bernice Ledbetter is an expert on gender issues in business and a practitioner faculty of organizational theory and management at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business. She advises that leadership is not about perfection, but rather it is about values and tenacity. Ledbetter can offer advice for women preparing for aspirational roles and can comment on overcoming invisible barriers – nuanced and cultural challenges that exist within the corporate world and political system.
By nature, women tend to be both benevolent and achievement-orientated, which is the perfect value combination to be an effective leader. Ledbetter maintains that gender diversity is important and that armed with the right tools, it actually is a great time to be a woman aspiring for a leadership position.
Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management will soon launch a new e-catalog designed to make it easier for students and faculty to search, save and share critical course, program and policy information. The new academic catalog management system from Digital Architecture, Acalog ™, provides content-specific search, personalization features, social media links and mobile connectivity; replacing the current reliance on an academic catalog in PDF form.
“While we’re tremendously excited about how Acalog will enhance the catalog experience for our students, the system also includes a robust version tracking and notification system that will enable us to manage our catalog more efficiently,” said James Berneking, Academic Affairs Project Manager for Accreditation.
The Graziadio School joins more than 300 other higher education institutions that have adopted the Acalog e-catalog system. Ken Blais, president of Digital Architecture, explained that Acalog is designed specifically for academic catalog management and presentation, and will help the school “streamline catalog production, reduce reliance on printing, enhance student engagement, and help improve both the timeliness and accuracy of catalog information.”
Digital Architecture is the leading provider of catalog management and curriculum solutions, serving more than 300 institutions of higher learning. The Acalog publishing system delivers thousands of e-catalogs at hundreds of colleges and universities. Acalog’s unique e-catalog Gateway enhances student engagement with powerful search, personalization, Web services, and a mobile interface. Curriculog™ is Digital Architecture’s curriculum management system offering institutions groundbreaking workflow, collaboration, and approval-tracking platform with the flexibility to respond to evolving institutional and accreditation requirements.
Some people contend that airfares are not bound to increase with the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.
There are two main arguments to support this theory: first, the networks of American Airlines and US Airways only overlap in 12 airport-to-airport routes. Second, the merger galore started in 2005. A study by PriceWaterhouse states that since 2004 prices have not increased significantly. Dr. Nelson Granados argues that both of these arguments are fundamentally flawed. The notion of considering airport-to-airport overlaps is outdated as today most airlines manage their prices and inventory on an origin-destination basis. Looking at origins-destinations, the airlines overlap at more than 12 airports, particularly in markets where they operate hubs, says Granados, an expert in pricing strategy and associate professor of information systems at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.
The second argument is confounded by two factors. First, the Price Waterhouse statement does not consider ancillary fees, which you could argue have increased fares significantly. Second, we don’t know what proportion of these ancillary fees is driven by appropriation of the value that consumers give to a-la-carte pricing, or by the consolidation itself.
Dr. Granados argues that it is not an either/or question, but rather the extent to which the ancillary fees have been enabled by this consolidation. Dr. Granados says that only time will tell to what extent airfares will increase after the mega-merger industry cycle. But when the number of major carriers is cut in half, with a joint market share of more than 80%, it is bound to have a long-term effect on market prices.
Graziadio School Professor of Applied Behavioral Science Teri Tompkins has been awarded a $83,000 grant for a proposal to study how the Graziadio School can create a next-generation Executive MBA program that allows students from other parts of the country (and outside of the U.S.A.) to attend Pepperdine EMBA classes, and allows traditional EMBA students greater opportunities to take emphasis courses.
Dr. Tompkins is one of six awardees among eight finalists in Pepperdine’s first annual Waves of Innovation competition, an initiative created to inspire, engage, and motivate faculty, staff, and students to re-think Pepperdine, to share their innovative ideas and help shape its future. Faculty, staff, and students submitted over 150 proposals to improve Pepperdine and make it a more agile and sustainable institution.
The Waves of Innovation Committee and University President Andrew Benton reviewed the submissions and narrowed the field to eight semi-finalists, whose proposals were evaluated on their potential to increase the net resources available to support Pepperdine and/or to improve the University’s reputation.