Innovation and Entrepreneurship Students Compete at UF Innovate
Four undergraduate students from NC State University recently participated in the Heavener International Case Competition (HICC) at the University of Florida, hosted by the Heavener School of Business. Dan Webb (Marketing ’23), Emma Collins (Marketing ’24), Ben Poovey (Finance ’24), and Federica Lenti (Finance ‘23) formed a student consulting team called “Sky Consulting” and competed against nearly 90 students from 19 universities worldwide.
The team was given four hours to analyze a complex business case and develop a marketing plan to pitch to the boardroom discussion of four judges. The judges included representatives from KPMG, Kelly Stephenson, Adam Feinberg, and Virginia Howell, as well as the CEO of etectRx, Eric Buffkin. The client company, etectRx is a med-tech startup that produces ingestible sensors for monitoring medication adherence.
The team, composed of students from the Poole College of Management, was coached by their faculty advisor, Pieter Verhallen. During the visit, the students had the opportunity to tour the UF Innovate facilities while waiting for feedback from high-profile judges.
According to Karl R. LaPan, the Director of UF Innovate | Accelerate “The HICC shaped up to be an incredible day with nearly 90 students representing 19 universities across the globe.” He added:
We are especially appreciative to NC State for their participation in the competition. Their students brought their A-game full of passion, curiosity, and determination.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Edge
Two of the students in the team are involved in NC State’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs, which they credit with preparing them for the competition.
Dan Webb, who is part of the Entrepreneurship Scholarship program and has participated in Mentorship Meetups and Make-A-Thon, said, “The NC State I&E Mentorship Meetups have prepared me for real-world situations, such as working with clients and delivering presentations. The I&E program also allowed me proximity to startups like etectRx and increased my familiarity with their pain points and issues prior to the competition.”
Ben Poovey, a resident of the Albright Entrepreneurs Village and a member of eGarage, added, “The Albright Entrepreneurs Village and eGarage have given me a strong foundation in entrepreneurship and helped me develop my professional skills.”
In fact, the team printed their t-shirts for the competition at the Entrepreneurship Garage, which is one of the resources available at NC State Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Resources like these allow students to quickly prototype ideas: like group t-shirts for a field trip to client company OneBlood.
The student consulting team from Poole College of Management also participated in two other competitive events as a part of the Heavener International Case Competition. Overall, the visit to UF Innovate was a great opportunity for the NC State students to showcase their skills and receive feedback from industry professionals, and their success in the competition is a testament to the quality of the I&E programs at NC State.
About the Heavener International Case Competition (HICC)
The Heavener International Case Competition (HICC) is an annual undergraduate business case competition hosted by the Heavener School of Business at the University of Florida. The competition brings together undergraduate students from top business schools around the world to solve real-world business problems presented in case studies. The competition typically spans over four days and consists of multiple rounds, with the top teams advancing to the final round to compete for the championship.
The HICC provides students with the opportunity to apply the business concepts they have learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios and to network with other students and business professionals from around the world. In addition to the competition, the event includes social activities, keynote speakers, and professional development workshops.
The Heavener School of Business has been hosting the HICC since 2008, and the competition has grown to become one of the most prestigious undergraduate business case competitions in the world.