A team of three students from the Martin J. Whitman School at Syracuse University took top honors in the 2021 Whitman Business Case Competition. This year’s competition, held virtually, welcomed seven teams of MBA students from four different schools, including the Whitman School, the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati and the Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University. The competition was organized by the Whitman Graduate Student Organization.
The competition revolved around a case scenario for ResilienX, a Syracuse-based startup that specializes in fault detection software for drones and unmanned vehicles. According to James Coleman ’21 MBA, president of the Whitman Graduate Student Organization, the teams were tasked with defining ResilienX’s key problems and risk areas and developing a long-term business model. This also included recommending strategies and a path forward to allow the company to identify attractive markets, create ideas for a go-to-market strategy and develop sustainable ways to monetize technology and core competencies.
On April 17, all seven teams, including two teams from the Whitman School, competed on day one in front of judges from the Whitman School faculty, including Suho Han, Peter Koveos, Gary Lapoint, Todd Moss, John Petosa and Minet Schindehutte. Of those teams, three were selected to return to the final round on April 18, where they presented their ideas in greater detail to ResilienX CEO Ryan Pleskach; Michael Haynie, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation at Syracuse University; and Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Master’s Education and Professor of Entrepreneurship Alexander McKelvie. In the end, the Whitman team of Dana Immerso ’21 M.S., Alexander Nathanson ’22 MBA and Elizabeth Gordon ’22 MBA took home the $5,000 grand prize. Second place went to the University of Cincinnati and third place went to the University of Rochester.
“All the students who participated in this year’s competition brought exciting and innovative ideas to the competition, and ResilienX was able to walk away with a host of solid ideas from all seven teams to help move the startup forward,” said McKelvie. “The members of the winning Whitman team stood out for their robust analysis, grasp of the big picture and sound strategies and recommendations for a path forward that was rooted in understanding market trends and ResilienX’s needs.”