Inaugural MBA contest explores business uses for the tech behind Bitcoin

by Melissa Jackson

Mba Tech Challenge

Mba Tech Challenge

There’s more to blockchain technology than Bitcoin. 

A new MBA competition hosted by the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business will focus on innovative business uses for blockchain, the distributed database technology that powers cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Teams from seven business schools will share their ideas and compete for $10,000 in prize money during the Notre Dame MBA Technology Innovation Challenge from 1 to 5 p.m. April 20 (Friday) in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium. The event, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, is open to the public. 

This is the first year for the national MBA case competition, which was organized by the Notre Dame MBA Tech Club. The contest drew 20 teams from 11 universities across the country for the qualifying round in March. Eight teams, including two from Notre Dame, advanced to the finals and will present before a panel of industry experts Friday during IDEA Week. The other finalists are from Arizona State University, Cornell University, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, University of California-Irvine, University of Maryland and Washington University in St. Louis.

Blockchain’s potential as a powerful business tool made the emerging technology a natural choice for the competition. “It’s a new way to look at how data is managed in certain scenarios,” says Vinod Krishnadas, president of the Notre Dame MBA Tech Club and a 2018 MBA candidate at Mendoza. “There’s a very strong use case for blockchain applications.”

First prize is $6,000; second prize is $3,000; and third prize is $1,000.

Judges for the final round are David Fowler, senior marketing director for the Midwest Business Unit at SAP America Inc.; Adam Kupperman, vice president of go-to-market for ONESOURCE at Thomson Reuters; Scott Nestler, associate teaching professor of management at Mendoza; Jim Seida, associate professor of accountancy at Mendoza; Heather Walker, vice president of product management for indirect tax and transfer pricing at Thomson Reuters; and Jon West, vice president of software engineering in the tax and accounting division of Thomson Reuters.

The event is co-sponsored by SAP.

Contact: Praneeth Kavuri, vkavuri@nd.edu

Originally published by Melissa Jackson at mendoza.nd.edu on April 16.