Graduate Studies Blog
Submitted by Jeffery Zou, Co-Chair of the Banking & Finance Club
A team from the Nanyang Business School comprising of Jeffery Zou, Stephanie Zhao, Sona Sethi, and Dr. I Putu Mahendra Wijaya participated in the Bangkok Business Challenge and Asia Venture Challenge in February and March 2015 respectively, both held at Bangkok. The team was guided by NBS’s Prof Vijay Sethi.
Bangkok Business Challenge
The MAI Bangkok Business Challenge (BBC) was organized by the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok from February 11-14, 2015. BBC was a multi-stage business plan competition that started with 64 teams from business schools around the world, who were required to submit a 20-page business plan summary. Out of those, 16 teams were selected for the semi-final round, which was held in Bangkok.
Before arriving in Bangkok, Sasin paired each team with a “buddy” who would help with competition logistics and any general questions about Bangkok. On the first day of the competition, Sona represented the NBS in the 99-second elevator pitch. There was a non-competitive feedback round on the first day, where the teams had the opportunity to present their business plans and receive feedback from industry experts, thus greatly helping them prepare for the next day’s challenge.
On the next day, the team competed in one of the 4 divisional rounds, the winners of which were to compete in the finals. NBS then proceeded to compete in the Play-Off Round the next day against other teams from the divisional rounds, with a total of 12 teams vying for the remaining two places in the finals. There was also a booth display where the team presented its business idea in an audio – visual format. Teams were provided basic stationary/crafts materials and could also use local printing facilities to print additional materials on their own expense.
As NBS presented first in each round, the team took advantage of the option to watch the presentation and Q&A portions of the teams that followed. The award ceremony was a formal, royal affair where the prizes were given out by the HRH the Privy Councillor of Thailand. The BBC staff informed all the guests about proper etiquette during the formal presentation in the afternoon dress rehearsal.
The competition ended with an evening cruise dinner over the Chao Phraya River. The organizers had also arranged a Bangkok sight-seeing tour for all the participants on the next day for those who could stay. The NBS team was awarded USD 500 for competing as semi-finalists.
Asia Venture Challenge
The Asia Venture Challenge (AVC) is the Asia regional qualifying round of the global Venture Labs Investment Competition (VLIC) and was organized by the Thammasat Business School, Thammasat University, Bangkok from March 10-12, 2015. The competition was attended by 12 Asian business schools, divided into three groups.
The event started with a booth display and reception where the team presented its business idea to the public, competition judges (real VCs, investors, lawyers and other professionals), “secret” Grant Thornton judges of the Grant Thornton New Venture Showcase award, and the local news media.
The reception also had a 60-second elevator pitch competition with a cash prize of USD 500. Though Sasin ultimately won this award, several judges and competing teams approached Sona throughout the competition, praising her for her wonderful presentation.
The next day the team competed in the divisional rounds in the first half and was chosen as the runners-up in the division. This allowed the team to compete in a play-off between the runners-up of all three divisions who fought for one place in the finals. NBS performed admirably but did not advance to final rounds, leaving with a cash prize of USD 500 for competing in the Play-offs.
The 2014-2015 Team
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