VCU School of Business Foundation Awards $250k to EPIC Challenge Winners

Thank you to our judges! John Adams - Chairman, The Martin Agency
) Bill Ginther (alumnus) - Corporate Executive VP, SunTrust Bank (retired) Juanita Leatherberry (alumna) - Assistant VP, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (retired) Jack Nelson - Executive VP & CTO, Altria Group, Inc. (retired) John Pullen (alumnus) - President & Chief Growth Officer, Luck Companies Rob Shama - President, Afton Chemical
Thank you to our judges!
Juanita Leatherberry (alumna) – Assistant VP, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (retired)
Bill Ginther (alumnus) – Corporate Executive VP, SunTrust Bank (retired)
John Adams – Chairman, The Martin Agency

John Pullen (alumnus) – President & Chief Growth Officer, Luck Companies
Jack Nelson – Executive VP & CTO, Altria Group, Inc. (retired)
Rob Shama – President, Afton Chemical

 

Breaking News!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Following an exciting afternoon of pitches by five finalist teams, a panel of judges representing the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business Foundation today awarded $250,000 in the school’s inaugural EPIC Challenge. Awards ranged from $30,000-$70,000 and will be used by the winning teams to implement their ideas to support EPIC, the school’s new strategic plan.

Open to all School of Business faculty and staff, the EPIC Challenge encourages collaboration by requiring applicants to partner with one (or more) individual(s) from outside their own discipline and possibly even outside of the university.

A total of 35 teams comprising 154 individuals submitted proposals in fall 2015. Each finalist team worked with a mentor or mentors from the business community to refine their ideas and develop a pitch. Mentors included Bill Weber, Jack Hannibal, Neil Patel, Cathy Doss, Jane Watkins and Gary Rhodes.

The judges had the option to award funding to one or multiple teams. After an hour of deliberation the judges decided to fund at least a portion of every proposal. “All the EPIC Challenge projects were wonderful, so much so that the judges had to actually put on our boxing gloves to allocate our pot of money,” half-joked judge and foundation board member Juanita Leatherberry (B.S.’73/ACCT.)

“All the participants were so good, so fantastic, I could not be more proud,” said School of Business Dean Ed Grier. “I’m looking forward to next year already.”

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