Alumni advance to international competition finals

G20-Global-Business-Challenge

Team Memorial members Dave Winsor, Janine Brophy,
Lica Christensen and Daan Goossens.

Sept. 16, 2014

Four recent Memorial University alumni have won the right to represent Canada at a prestigious international business competition in Australia, competing for the top prize of $100,000.

Team Memorial is one of only six worldwide groups chosen to participate in the G20 Global Business Challenge, a unique and highly innovative competition that attracts top graduate students from leading business schools and universities.

Dave Winsor, B.Eng.’09, MBA’14; Daan Goossens, MBA’14; Janine Brophy, B.Comm.(Hons.)(Co-op)’08, MBA’14; and Lica Christensen, M.Env.Sc.’14, along with Prof. Peggy Coady, an associate dean in the Faculty of Business Administration who is also the team’s coach, will travel to Brisbane, Australia, the first week of November for the challenge.

“We are very proud to represent Memorial, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada,” said Mr. Winsor. “It’s great to show how the students coming from this university truly are world class with great ideas on how to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges.”

Team Memorial was victorious in the first round of this year’s challenge, where they competed virtually against 40 other groups from 18 countries around the world before being chosen as one of the top six finalists.

The objective of the G20 competition is to challenge teams to develop an innovative solution to use, recycle and/or manage water to achieve large-scale impact.Taking into consideration leading-edge technologies, team members designed novel business and financing models that maximized economic, social and environmental benefit. Team Memorial presented an executive summary report and produced an online video presentation for more than 40 senior industry leaders, financial experts and government representatives.

The group is now fine-tuning its presentation for the finals, which consists of a highly intensive, two-day lock-in period where members will develop a detailed implementation plan for their solution followed by another presentation to a judging panel.

“Being able to showcase the ideas and talent developed in this province on the world stage is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that we’re very honoured to do,” said Mr. Winsor. “We knew we had a strong concept, but when you’re competing against universities from around the world you don’t know what to expect.”

Qualifying for the final round of the challenge is a testament of Memorial University’s high-calibre students and graduates, said Prof. Coady.

“It is extremely prestigious to qualify for the finals of this international competition,” she said. “Memorial’s business students have decades of success in business competitions and this latest accomplishment is a reflection of the quality of our students and programs.”

Prof. Coady credits the team’s success partly to its interdisciplinary background – the graduates come from both Memorial’s master of business administration program and its master of environmental science program – as well as the team’s professional backgrounds and past experience in case competitions. She said the team has had the support of a number of Memorial stakeholders, including the Office of the President, the Faculty of Business Administration, Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support and the School of Graduate Studies.

“We are especially grateful to Andrew Kim, Memorial’s director of graduate enrolment services in the School of Graduate Studies, who has been a real champion for the team and worked very hard to secure funding for travel to the final round.”

The team leaves for Australia on Oct. 29.

Jeff Green