The Innovation Challenge has welcomed teams from engineering, the sciences, and beyond; provided a springboard for real ventures; and qualified the winning team for the finals of MassChallenge, a startup accelerator that has raised over $1.1 billion in funding, generated over $520 million in revenue and created over 6,500 jobs. At the MinutePitch event in October, more than 50 campus entrepreneurs and innovators participated in the UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge MinutePitch Competition. Thirty-six teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, and after three rounds, three teams emerged victorious. JamUMass, led by Ajey Pandey received $500. Snap-A-Deal, led by Matthew Schreibman and Michael Vinik, landed a second place finish and $750. The first place prize, and $1,000, went to the Glow, led by Abhishek Dwaraki.
Val Ackerman, Commissioner of the Big East Conference and founding president of the WNBA was the McCormack Executive-in-Residence this semester. She came in to speak to students and gave a keynote to the UMass Amherst community as part of the McCormack Sport Management Innovators Lecture. Her talk entitled "From the WNBA to the Big East" covered what it was like to be part of the relaunch of the Big East and the beginning of the WNBA.
At the annual Center for International Securities and Derivatives Markets’ (CISDM), a standing-room-only audience, including prominent Isenberg alumni and other influential industry practitioners, exchanged insights with the event’s principal speakers, headlined by Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan and other high-profile studies.
“You can’t eliminate risk,” Vega emphasized, “but you can mitigate it through effective pre-crisis planning, rehearsing, and anticipation of potential crises and their ripple effects. You can never be totally prepared, she added, but you can manage by compartmentalizing your emotions and staying calm. It’s critical to anticipate the likely chain of events and to keep a log of the events as they unfold. And, of course, keep your team informed, and direct them to safety.”
From August 31-September 2, Isenberg's first-year class of Full-time MBA students participated in the second annual David C. O'Leary MBA Orientation Program. During the three-day "bootcamp," the students honed professional development skills, including networking, resume writing, improvising, interviewing, and making elevator pitches. The program's culminating event was a panel of senior-level executives, moderated by David O'Leary, who shared insights and advice with the students.
A two-day simulation workshop attracted Online MBA students to Isenberg from as far away as Idaho, Ohio, and Virginia. The students squared off in five teams with decision-making authority for real-time simulations of a company's product sourcing, scheduling, and pricing decisions.
This 3-credit semester-long course entitled Business Development and Conflict Resolution in Ireland enables Isenberg business students to understand the business, historical, political and cultural environments in Ireland.
The annual Isenberg Business Leadership Awards at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston on June 17, 2015 honored two outstanding alumni, Denise Coll '75 (HTM), Retired President of the North America Division of Starwood Hotels & Resort, and this year's Recent Alumni Award winner, Bernard Lee, MD, MPH, MBA '11, Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
For a senior-year honors project, three students in finance explained retirement options to hundreds of UMass faculty and staff members. To help their audience make their far-reaching choices, the students created a user-friendly online decision tool.
Scores of Isenberg students were honored with substantial scholarship assistance at the annual Isenberg Scholarship Celebration, on April 21. The principal speakers—Vinnie Daboul ’87 and Marty Boyle ’15—praised Isenberg as an engine of opportunity and upward mobility. They urged alumni and students to support the school financially and through personal engagement.
“My UMass degree assisted me from day one. It opened doors that I didn’t know existed,” emphasized HTM’s 2015 Stephen Elmont Award recipient Robert F. McCarthy ’78 in his keynote address at Isenberg’s Hospitality & Tourism Management on April 16th. Rob was one three honorees at the event at the elegant Boston Harbor Hotel. The Elmont Award, inspired by the entrepreneurial and industry-transforming accomplishments of the late Stephen Elmont ’64, is the HTM program’s alumnus of the year award. A second accolade, the Distinguished Industry Leader Award, honored James J. Murren, Chairman & CEO of MGM Resorts International. And the Stephen E. Elmont Alumni of the Year Scholarship went to Vimbai Moyo ’16, a junior-year HTM major.