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Chapman MBA students advance to finals in Global Innovation Challenge

December 15, 2011

A team of MBA students from the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University is one of three finalists in an innovation competition and will advance to a final round to vie for a $20,000 prize and the title “The World’s Most Innovative MBA Team.”

The MBA Global Innovation Challenge invited MBA students from throughout the country to innovate in one of three categories. The Chapman students chose the product development category and were tasked with imagining how they would use one of G.E.’s transformative products to make “life simpler, more beautiful and healthy.”

On to the finals in the MBA Global Innovation Challenge are Chapman students (l-r) Bryce Ricks, Kelsey Wuornos, Doan Tran and Geoff Northup.

A non-disclosure clause prevents the students from discussing details of their plan, but team leader Doan Tran said they crafted a real-world proposal.

“The challenge incorporates everything that we learn throughout our MBA career. It’s not just about finance or marketing. It’s about being innovative and able to bring the idea to life, market it and justify with financial data,” Tran said.

And while the challenge was a lot of work, starting clear back in August, Tran said the team relished the experience.

“It just felt incredibly good presenting on a company, product and idea that we truly believe in and have worked extremely hard on. It’s like game day if you’re an athlete,” Tran said.

Other team members include Bryce Ricks, Kelsey Wurnos and Geoff Northup.

Next month the team travels to New York City where it will present its concept in the final round to G.E., AT&T, Syngenta and five innovation experts. Along with the other finalists, they will also get to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

The other two finalist teams are from Virginia Commonwealth University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Among the schools the Chapman team beat to reach the finals were Duke, UCLA and the University of Virginia

As a finalist, the Chapman team is guaranteed one of the three top cash prizes: First prize is $20,000, second place receives $3,000, and third place receives $2,000. Further, Chapman will be listed as a finalist on the Innovation Challenge website, which attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers from around the world every year.

The contest is the world’s largest and most established business innovation competition. For more information, visit

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 21, 2011 11:20 am

    Great branding opportunity for Chapman, so proud of our EMBA & MBA team! Keep up the good work and let’s continue to participate in national and international competitions such as this #globalinnovationchallenge

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