SOB team places fourth in national competition

School of Business team places fourth in national competition

A total of 23 HBCUs recently competed in the national 2012 Opportunity Funding Corporation’s Venture Capital Business Plan Competition April 20-21, in Atlanta, Georgia. Alcorn was represented by eleven students from its School of Business and placed fourth in the competition. Alcorn was one of only six teams to make it to the finals.

Prior to the competition, students submitted their formal written business plan for the creation of a new venture, Thermal Recognition, Inc. This company would commercialize thermal recognition software developed by Dr. Yufeng Zheng, assistant professor in Computer Network and Information Technology (CNIT) Programs in the Department of Advanced Technologies at Alcorn, under the Department of Homeland Security and Office of Naval Research Funding.  Dr. Zheng’s goal is to develop a dual face recognition system to enhance human identification applications such as role authentification, right authorization, activity accounting, law enforcement, environment surveillance, and suspect monitoring and tracking.

“The School of Business is appreciative of the opportunity to work with the Department of Advanced Technologies and thankful for their help on this business plan competition,” shared Mentor and Interim Dean of the School of Business at Alcorn Dr. Vivek Bhargava.

Trophies were given to the top four finishers and cash awards were given to all finalists. Finalists were recognized in the awards banquet which featured Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the President of the United States Barack Obama, and Professor Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Instructor Willie C. Anderson and Professor Kimball P. Marshall, both in the School of Business at Alcorn, served as faculty advisors along with Dr. Bhargava. Two MBA and nine (9) undergraduate students registered for a special class designed for participation in the competition and five students were chosen as presenters. 

“The students did an excellent job in Atlanta representing Alcorn State and showcasing the business plan,” added Dr. Bhargava.  “Credit also goes to the six team members who did not go to Atlanta to present but were equally responsible for creating the plan.”

The presenters were student leader and master of business administration major Charlette Mock, and bachelor of business administration majors Magan Collins, Mallory Dayot, Justin Rodgers and Lawrence Walker. The remaining team members were Clayton Kelly, Shatara Bogan, Joseph Campbell, Cynitresse Carter, Raymundo Sanchez and Jeanelle Warren.