Sigma Upsilon Mu’s 8 Hour Business Challenge Was a Success!

Sigma Upsilon Mu, a co-ed entrepreneurship fraternity, had their 8 Hour Business Challenge on Sunday September 23. So what exactly is this?

SUM 8 Hour Business Challenge Competitors
Even though SUM’s 8 Hour Business Challenge is a competition, entrepreneurs can still support each other.

How the 8 Hour Business Challenge Works

Students registered themselves to compete in teams or individually (who were then put into teams).

For the first half of the day competitors were coached by experienced Sigma Upsilon Mu alumni which included Miguel Olivares founder of Sigma Upsilon Mu, co founder of Little Nexus (a tech startup) and a current analyst at Hall & Partners which is a strategic brand consultancy powered by data and insight, William Boomer Baker, who is the Chief Executive Officer at Echo Dream Inc. and a Founding Partner & the Chief Executive Officer at Think 66 LLC, Felix Lopez, who is currently pursuing his masters degree at USC, and Brian Brady, a Financial Analyst and Auditor.

Each group had 8 hours to work on developing a business of their choice. Each team was judged by a 60 second pitch, a 30 second to 90 second commercial and lastly a 5-8 minute PowerPoint proposal/pitch explaining the business they had came up with and developed.

8 Hour Business Challenge Judges

SUM 8 Hour Business Challenge Judges
Pictured here are the judges for the 8 Hour Business Challenge. From left to right: David Ochi, Lorenzo Santos, Tom Miller, Dr. Deborah Ferber, and Michael Sawitz. [photo credit: Gaury Verma/SUM]
The judges who dedicated their time to this were Michael Sawitz, an entrepreneur, investor, educator (specializing is Lean Startup), and a communicator (with many speeches and a podcast: www.FastStartTalk.Podbean.com), Dr. Deborah Ferber, who is involved in Angel and Venture Funding and is a Business Instructor, Tom Miller, who works with organizations to audit their operations, assists growing firms with organizational redesign, and David Ochi, who is an experienced entrepreneur with over 25 years of start-up experience and has assisted Disney Consumer Products in launching in Cambodia, Laos, and VietNam and is currently in higher education of entrepreneurship, and Lorenzo Santos, a Founding Partner & Chief Operations Officer at Think 66, LLC.

Not only did this allow competitors the opportunity to get feedback on their ideas, but also allowed for a great networking opportunity amongst business professionals.

Awards and Winners

SUM 8 Hour Business Challenge Winners
The winners of the 8 Hour Business Challenge!

The first, second, and third place winners were rewarded in awards given by our sponsors, with first place taking home the grand prize valued at $630.

First place was taken by the business concept idea known as “Awayfromhome” by Sina Rieke, Johannes Weniger, and Mayan Jimenez (with Sina Rieke and Johannes Weniger being international students from Germany with this being their first semester abroad at CSUF!). Their business idea focused on the problem of “no service that provides all information / resources for international students at one place who do a semester abroad” and their solution was to “build a website that provides all information and resources students need to organize and implement their semester abroad”

The event overall created a great momentum for Sigma Upsilon Mu to continue on with future entrepreneurship related events and opportunities!

This post was written by Gaury Verma; president of SUM.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *