16 May 2018

ALUMNI NVC Finals and Regional Roundup

Clubs News: HBSAHK Conference looks to the future; Latino Alumni annual banquet
by Margie Kelley

Clubs News

Clubs News

With more than $300,000 in cash and prizes on the line, 12 finalist teams pitched their hearts out at the 21st Annual New Venture Competition on April 18.

Before a crowd of 500 HBS alumni, students, staff and guests, the finalists—four from each of the Alumni, Student Social Enterprise, and Student Business tracks — took the stage at Shad Hall to describe their business concepts in just 90 seconds.

The Alumni winner, DynamiCare Health (New England region), rose to the top of a field of 164 original teams from 11 alumni regions around the world. CEO Eric Gastfriend (MBA 2015) told an audience of 500 that DynamiCare Health uses a digital platform to monitor and reward addicts for active recovery efforts, eliminating degrading methods of drug testing. DynamiCare took the top prize of $75,000.

George Hessler (MBA 1985) (Northeastern U.S./NY region) landed the $25,000 Alumni Runner-up prize with Magma Trading, a stock market for block-size trades that he calls “the Costco of trading.”

Benoit Dupont (PLDA 20, 2016) (Europe region) took the $5,000 Crowd Favorite prize with his pitch for WeMaintain, a business-to-business platform for elevator maintenance. His motto, “Together we can rise by lifting others,” had the crowd laughing and cheering.

The fourth alumni finalist was Aiden Feng (MBA 2016) who pitched Medumo, a service that simplifies health instructions for patients via text or email.

The annual NVC, hosted by Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship in partnership with HBS Alumni Clubs and Associations, gives alumni entrepreneurs critical exposure among fellow alumni and potential investors throughout the process, leading to seed money and in-kind consulting opportunities even at the regional level.


A snapshot of Alumni NVC Regional Rounds…

Alumni clubs across the globe spent the last year recruiting teams, coordinating the pitch events, identifying judges and assembling impressive prizes of cash and in-kind services to find the best competitors to send to the final stages.

For the Texas/US Region, the HBS Club of Dallas held their Regional NVC event on February 24. Nine teams pitched before a panel of seven HBS alumni judges (representing the four Texas clubs) and an audience of close to 100.

NICKSON, presented by Cameron Johnson (MBA 2012), took the regional win with its full-service apartment-outfitting concept meant to take the hassle out of moving and furnishing a new residence.

The runner-up spot went to Tom DeBrooke (MBA 1972) and his company, Vascular Perfusion Solutions, Inc., which has developed a new system to extend the viability of human organs and limbs during transport between medical facilities.

The winner and runner-up received plaques and also presented their concepts at the HBS@SXSW event in March.

“This year's competition was the toughest in the three years I have been involved in the competition,” says Brian Buffington (MBA 1985), member of the HBS Club of Dallas, and treasurer and co-chair of the HBS Texas NVC.

For the Europe Region, the HBS Club of Paris hosted the Europe Regional Competition on March 15, with three semi-finalists, Borrago, SmartGuide and WeMaintain who had advanced from a field of 17 teams representing countries across Europe and Israel.

The event was held at the French public investment bank Bpifrance’s incubator space “Le Hub,” where the three teams pitched their concepts before a panel of 11 HBS alumni judges and a crowd of more than 100 alumni, family and friends.

In the end, Benoit Dupont (PLDA 20, 2016) and his team won the regional competition with their startup, WeMaintain, an elevator maintenance services platform that pairs elevator mechanics with property managers and parts suppliers, “revolutionizing customer experience and empowering mechanics.”

“The HBS Club of France is proud to organize the Alumni NVC Europe Semifinals on behalf of the B-school,” says Roland de Demandolx (MBA 2002) who led the effort. “It's a key event of the year that gives us the opportunity to reach out to alumni running other HBS Alumni Clubs across Europe and Israel. It is also a way to assist the school in building a vibrant, inspiring, and always-growing international entrepreneur community. We try and hone our process every year, and appreciate the great collaboration, support and tools provided by the central HBS NVC team.”

For the Northeastern US/New York Region, after a tough selection process,eight startups from a field of 37 advanced to theNortheastern US/New York Final Pitch Night on March 23, presented by the HBS Club of New York. All participating startups showcased their companies at the Startup Showcase in February, where the energy in the room was palpable. Eight finalist teams then pitched before a panel of three judges and 120 guests at the co-working/accelerator space Grand Central Tech in Manhattan. Three teams made the final cut to advance to the Global Rounds.

George Hessler (MBA 1985) was named the regional winner with Magma Trading, “a trading platform that allows dealers to roll up the liquidity found at national exchanges into block-size markets.” Nancy Weinstein (MBA 2000) took the runner-up spot with Mindprint Learning, a service that provides educators with assessment tools and resources to harness individual learning styles.

Sergio Rattner (MBA 2001), won in the region’s new Best Early Stage category with his company FitSkin,Inc., a smart device that is creating “the Google for skincare” with tools that help users measure skin conditions.

According to Senem Yaman (MBA 2013), the Northeastern US/New York HBS Alumni New Venture Competition Chair, cash prizes for the regional winners totaled $15,000, with a first-place prize of $10,00 and second place and Best Early Stage prizes of $2,500 each. Other prizes for all three teams included in-kind technical, legal, coworking and financial services.

HBSAHK Conference looks to the future…and names startup winner

The Harvard Business School Association of Hong Kong (HBSAHK) recently held its Sixth Annual Signature Conference, attracting more than 350 participants to network, explore and discuss business trends and forecasts both regionally and globally.

“With this annual conference, we aim to connect alumni from HBS and Harvard University with each other, and also to hear from the business, political and community leaders from Hong Kong and beyond,” says Alison Chan (MBA 2002), the Conference Chair and club president. "This is the event that our alumni look forward to attending every year.”

Held at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong, the conference featured several panels led by industry and thought leaders. On the first panel, Marjorie Yang (MBA 1976), Chairwoman of Esquel Group, led a lively discussion about business trends in the region including the progress of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. The second panel featured a fireside chat with Sun Yafang (AMP 157 1999), Chairwoman of the telecom supplier, Huawei, and one of Forbes China's “2018 Country's Most Successful Businesswomen,” moderated by her HBS classmate, Antony Leung (PMD 44 1982; AMP 157 1999), Group Chairman and CEO of Nan Fung Group.

The third panel featured a discussion on the investment outlook in the region, and was moderated by Blair Pickerell (MBA 1984), Former Chairman, Asia of Nikko Asset Management and Chairman of Harvard Business School Association of Hong Kong.

Robotics concept wins HBSAHK Startup Competition

The finale of the HBSAHK Annual Startup Competition took place at the Signature Conference. MedEXO Robotics won 2017 HBSAHK Startup of the Year, out of a field of 40 companies. Sophia, the company’s social humanoid robot, announced the win. MedEXO, which is creating wearable technology to aid Parkinson’s patients, stands out for its concept, creativity, and applicability, with great potential for the healthcare market.

Latino Alumni annual banquet draws record crowd, donations

More than 120 HBS alumni, as well as current and prospective students, attended the 14th Annual Banquet of the HBS Latino Alumni Association (HBSLAA), held on March 23 in New York City. Jose Tolosa (MBA 2004), Chief Transformation Officer for Viacom International Media Networks, gave the keynote address in a fireside chat at the popular annual networking event.

According to club co-presidents Lulu Curiel (MBA 2010) and Shirley Cardona (MBA 2012), the banquet broke records for both attendance and fundraising. In addition, the club celebrated the life of Lisa Garcia Quiroz (MBA 1990), who died March 16. Quiroz was an influential media executive who had served most recently as Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Time Warner Inc. She was also the founding publisher of the popular magazine, People en Español.

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1985, Section C
Class of PLDA 20
Class of MBA 2016, Section H
Class of MBA 2012, Section G
Class of MBA 1985, Section A
Class of MBA 1972, Section K
Class of MBA 2002, Section K
follow @rdedemandolx
Class of MBA 2001, Section A
Class of MBA 2013, Section H
Class of MBA 2002, Section G
Class of MBA 1976, Section H
Class of AMP 157
Class of PMD 44
Class of MBA 1984, Section B
Class of MBA 2004, Section C
follow @jtolosaPR
Class of MBA 2010, Section I
Class of MBA 2012, Section I
follow @svcardona

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