The Purple Panda team, consisting of Rakib Hossain, Sohara Mehroze Shachi, Chandana Devaraja and Kai Moncino – students from the Full-time MBA Class of 2024 – took first place at the Ivy Mind to Market Challenge 2023. The MBA student case competition organized by the Ivy College of Business, Iowa State University. The competition is designed to pick a startup from the Iowa Research Park and invite MBA student teams to act as external consultants for them.
The team from Foster delivered a business model and expansion strategy for a local entrepreneur in the Midwest. By focusing on unique characteristics of the Midwest market, they developed a plan to address the client’s immediate concerns as well as long-term growth needs. Their out-of-the-box thinking and context-sensitive thinking bagged them the first place.
The initial round of competition was open to all MBA students across the nation. After the initial submissions, 8 finalist teams were shortlisted for the final round. The two-day program involved company visits and discussion with the founders to understand ongoing business issues. Competing teams then prepared a business plan within 24 hours to present in front of a panel of judges and founders.
We spoke to the team to learn more about their experience. Here’s what they had to say –
This was more than a business competition – it was an immersive, experiential learning experience. I am thankful to the Ivy organizing team for providing us the opportunity to witness the operations of a promising green startup, analyze its growing pains and share our solutions with its founders. – Sohara
It is always a special feeling to represent your school among other MBA programs. On top of that, this competition was an exceptional learning opportunity as the organizers were committed to present a live case. Students assume the role of real-life consultants, advising on the biggest issues the client company is facing at the moment. – Rakib