NUI Galway Entrepreneurs Beat off Global Competitors for MBA World Trophy

Pictured are the BioInnovate Fellows of 2012/13: Kiel McCool, Ashwin Kher, Caroline Gaynor, David Brody, Sarah Loughrey, Michael Morrissey, Christopher McBrearty and Conor Harkin.
May 30 2013 Posted: 10:30 IST

The NUI Galway MBA in conjunction with the University’s BioInnovate programme has won a major award in the recent MBA World Trophy which took place in Dublin. The competition brought together teams of highly motivated entrepreneurs from some of the world’s top universities to compete against each other with their start-up businesses, where business models were challenged by a leading panel of successful entrepreneurs, VCs and thought leaders. 

The MBA World Trophy is the first initiative of its kind: a unique showcase of entrepreneurial talent from some of the world’s finest graduate schools. Billed as a business start-up competition, the World Trophy will accelerate an early stage company using the lean start up principles and change how college students think about business building.

Competing teams pitched their business models to an exclusive panel of VCs, and participated in workshops in Innovation, Finance, Growth and Leadership. Each team was paired with a mentor and on the final day each team presented their final pitch to the judging panel.

The team that won the award for the most impactful business idea, which is based on a medical device innovation product, includes two BioInnovate Ireland Fellows, Ashwin Kher (NUI Galway BioInnovate Team) and Michael Morrissey (University of Limerick BioInnovate team), both of whom are NUI Galway MBA graduates and Joseph O’Callaghan, a 3rd Year Biomedical Engineering student at NUI Galway.

Ashwin Kher, NUI Galway MBA graduate 2012 and current BioInnovate Ireland Fellow was on the winning team and said: “The World MBA trophy competition was an incredible experience, both in the content and the quality of the speakers. It was a privilege to get an opportunity to learn from global thought leaders on lean start-up strategy and entrepreneurship. The three-day competition was gruelling from start to finish and the standard of competitors was truly world class. Teams represented the finest international MBA programmes from Columbia University (USA) to INSEAD (France).”

The value of the MBA and the training received during the BioInnovate programme was critical to the team’s success as another team member, Michael Morrissey (BioInnovate Ireland Fellow and NUI Galway MBA 2012) states: “The MBA at NUI Galway was instrumental in providing us with the skills to compete effectively at this level. The emphasis on strategy and innovation and its application out of the classroom provided a strong foundation for our success. The BioInnovate program taught us the fundamental steps in the process of medical device innovation and identifying clinical needs that stressed the importance of patient and user impact. Winning the title of ‘Business Most Likely to Have a Global Impact’ is something we’re proud of. Being recognised by someone of the calibre of Professor Vivek Wadwha is really huge for us.”

Competition entrants included some of the best schools in the world including: INSEAD (FRANCE), UCD Smurfit, Instituto de Empresa Business School (ES), NYU Stern, ESAN Graduate School of Business (Peru), Columbia (US), Rotman School of Business (CA), Warwick (UK), Tel Aviv University (Israel), IPADE (Mexico) and Trinity College Dublin.

This World Trophy follows from the recent announcement that NUI Galway has attained the global AMBA accreditation for its MBA programme offered in the School of Business and Economics. AMBA provide the only dedicated accreditation regime for MBA Programmes and now positions NUI Galway against the best worldwide.

The Association of MBAs (AMBA) accreditation is internationally recognised as the global standard for all MBA programmes. AMBA accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement in MBA education and is earned only by the best programmes. AMBA accredits 200 Schools in over 70 countries. 

Speaking about this most recent accolade, Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Programme Director, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway said: “Winning an award at the MBA World Trophy demonstrates that our MBA graduates can successfully compete on the global stage and follows successes for NUI Galway MBA teams in the MBA Association of Ireland national all-Ireland competitions. We extend our congratulations to the BioInnovate Ireland team and wish them continued success in what promises to be an exciting entrepreneurial start-up journey.”

Dr Mark Bruzzi, Programme Director, BioInnovate Ireland added: “BioInnovate are delighted that the teams activities in identifying unmet clinical needs and aligning them with market opportunities has been recognised in this way.”


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