Business Scholars present strategies, learn by doing

Business Scholars present strategies, learn by doing

Business Scholars team L I F O the Party with judges from the final case competition, holding awards
Business Scholars team LIFO the Party with judges from the final case competition.

Three OU Business Scholar teams faced-off in their final case competition of the year. This time, the case challenged students to deliver monetization strategies for a start-up company called PassionConnect to prospective investors.

After reading the case, the teams had three hours to develop a business plan and presentation, which they shared with the judges. A question-and-answer session followed each team’s 20-minute presentation.

After reviewing the presentations, the judges declared LIFO the Party the winning team. LIFO team members David Bork (FIN ‘18), Kristine LaRue (FIN ‘18), Paulina Pappas (POM ‘18) and Alyssa Lipinski (undeclared) each received $350 in tuition credit.

The case asked students to develop a plan for PassionConnect, an Indian startup that provides a web-based service to help people seeking a non-traditional career path, explains Assistant Professor of Management Jae Kang, who served as head judge for the competition. “It’s similar to the business model for LinkedIn. Based on that case, the student teams had to present the implementation strategy and how to attract investor funding, and explain the reasonable next step.”

A four-judge panel evaluated the presentations. Professor Frank Cardimen and OU Credit Union representatives Ian Duncanson and DaVante Montgomery also served as judges.

Kang describes LIFO of the Party’s presentation as insightful. “They presented the short-term and long-term strategy for the company. All the judges were impressed by the quality of the presentation. We believed their suggestion was meaningful to the possible investor,” says Kang.

“We had concrete actions steps and timelines associated with those,” says Bork, adding they were also the only team to recognize and utilize the seed funding PassionConnect had secured from an incubator.

Kang explains the importance of learning by doing, saying, “Most students learn from the classroom setting. They learn business strategy, marketing strategy, many time types of tools and useful tactics. But if they do not utilize what they learn from the class it might be difficult to transfer their learning outcome in the real world. This type of case competition helps them to test or play with what they learn in their classes.”

Bork echoes this, saying, “These competitions are a great way to integrate what we’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to real-world business cases. I see that helping me in my own career, because I’m able to look at certain situations in a market or business analysis and apply a lot of what I’ve learned in these case competitions.”

The OU Credit Union sponsored the OU Business Scholars program, including case competitions, this year. 

“I and the rest of my team are very thankful for the support of the OU Credit Union,” says Bork. “Not only do we appreciate the financial support the OU Credit Union offers the Business Scholars Program, we also value the great feedback and guidance judges from the OUCU provide.”