UF MBA advances to finals at Thunderbird Summit

Gainesville, Fla. – The University of Florida is among the ten top business schools from around the world whose teams have made the final round of an innovation competition held in conjunction with Thunderbird School of Global Management’s first Sustainable Innovation Summit, which takes place March 21‐24 at Thunderbird. The UF team is comprised of a group of students enrolled in UF’s One‐year MBA Program: Chris Sheldon, Brittany Smith, Richard Mason, Kristine Ferrone, and twin brothers Jonathan and Andrew Santo.

The Summit’s highlight is the final round of the Challenge, a team competition challenging MBAs and other master’s level students to develop innovative and sustainable business concept plans to address real‐life challenges faced by global corporations. Formerly held as two competitions, one focused on innovation and the other on global citizenship, this year’s challenge represents one unified competition that is rooted in Thunderbird’s mission “to educate global leaders who create sustainable prosperity worldwide.”

The finalists will travel to Thunderbird to present their cases during the school’s Sustainable Innovation Summit March 21‐24, and the winning student team will receive a cash prize of $20,000 and the title “2007 Global Champions of Sustainable Innovation.”

The finalists were pulled from a pool of 88 teams representing 45 universities in 13 countries who competed in the first round of the competition. The other finalists include a Thunderbird Global MBA team from Costa Rica made up of students from the school’s Latin American Managers program, two teams from Duke, and teams representing Vanderbilt, Instituto de Empresa, Purdue, the University at Buffalo the State University of New York, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and Johns Hopkins University (SAIS).

Current sponsorship partners of the Summit include BillMatrix, Johnson and Johnson, Merck, Deloitte, Honeywell, Xerox and Net Impact.