Entrepreneurs Group Knows Its Business

Entrepreneurs Group Knows Its Business

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

A group of Boston College student entrepreneurs has capped off each of its first two years of existence by qualifying for the finals of a national business competition.

Yuriy Kryvosheya (back, left) and Andrew Chou, flanking faculty advisor Asst. Prof. Nigel Melville (CSOM), and (front, L-R) Jennie Choy and Michael Gentile show off the trophy their group won at the recent Students In Free Enterprise national competition. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
The 18-member group captured a runner-up trophy at the Students in Free Enterprise national competition held last week in Kansas City, Mo. BC's team, under the direction of Asst. Prof. Nigel Melville (CSOM), earned a berth after winning the SIFE regional competition in Boston in April. Boston College was the only Massachusetts school to qualify for the national finals.

The team was second runner-up in its 12-member league at the Kansas City competition, placing Boston College among the top 48 entries in the 160-school field.

In 2002, the Boston College team won SIFE's "Rookie of the Year Award" for excellence among schools participating in the national competition for the first time.

The SIFE competition is sponsored by more than 100 of the nation's largest corporations, including General Motors, Wal-Mart and KPMG. Senior executives from the corporate firms judge the team presentations.

Boston College representatives presented a variety of entrepreneurial projects, including a financial consulting proposal covering points from personal financing and portfolio management to how to become an entrepreneur; an emerging markets workshop that brought in government officials from countries with developing economies; the marketing of a diagnostic security system; and the expansion of BC's "Eagle Eyes" project, a computer-based program designed to assist persons with mental or physical disabilities.

"Our theme was bringing people to business and business to people," said team member Michael Gentile '04, a CSOM accounting and finance major who is president of the campus SIFE organization.

Although about half of the team's 18 members are from CSOM, students need not be business majors to join the SIFE program. "This gives us diverse perspectives on business, on how we teach, who we teach and who we target," said Melville, a specialist in information systems who is a member of CSOM's Operations and Strategic Management faculty.

"[SIFE] is an excellent tool for learning leadership skills," he said, "and for learning how to practice business. It's an excellent complement to the classroom."


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