2022 NIU Business Olympics Program

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2022 NIU Business Olympics Program

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Welcome from the Dean Welcome to the 2022 NIU Business Olympics, brought to you by the NIU College of Business. This year’s event is proudly sponsored by Plante Moran, a leading company in audit, tax, consulting and wealth management.

For the second year in a row, this event is 100% online. By the time registration closed, more than 160 students from three states and nearly 20 schools signed up to compete. Your enthusiasm for the NIU Business Olympics is matched by our enthusiasm to interact with you and to hear your great ideas. Many outstanding NIU alumni, faculty and staff are excited to share their insights with you during the day of the Zoom webcast. Zoom rooms have been created for your specific competitions. Plante Moran will also host a general information meeting room, where company representatives will share tips for career success and success in life.

Dean Balaji Rajagopalan

In these days of rapid change, your generation continues to be a source of inspiration. You are exceedingly resilient, having had to adjust to major disruptions both in the United States and abroad. Like you, the Northern Illinois University College of Business commits itself to being agile and to transformative innovation. We pursue this through collaborations that cross the boundaries of knowledge areas, cultures, time, age, distance, roles, organizations and socioeconomic levels. We have seen firsthand that our approach can catapult breakthrough ideas and people into extraordinary success. Most recently, we launched the De La Vega INNOVATION Lab. Generously funded by alumnus and retired CEO of AT&T Mobility Ralph de la Vega, the De La Vega INNOVATION Lab is a 3,000 square foot collaboration space dedicated to fostering creativity and to bringing student ideas to life in partnership with businesses. Additional examples of our many successful alumni follow: Management alumnus Dennis Barsema served as CEO for several tech companies over the course of his career. Marketing and management alumni Mike DeGiorgio and Erek Benz founded CREXi, an online commercial real estate company that recently acquired $30 million in investment financing. MBA alumna Jocelyn Moore serves as senior director of global diversity and inclusion at Microsoft. Finance alumnus Marcus Williams serves as vice president with J.P. Morgan in Chicago. Priyanka Gollamudi traveled from India to enroll in our Master of Information Systems program and landed a position as business strategy analyst at Google’s headquarters in California. And Oleg Grachev traveled from Eastern Russia, enrolled in NIU’s finance and economic programs, then started his finance career as an investment banking analyst with J.P. Morgan in New York City. He now works at GTCR, a leading private equity firm in Chicago. All of us have big dreams and ideas, and just like you, we love making them happen. So let’s get started. Best of luck to each of you! Sincerely,

Balaji Rajagopalan, Ph.D. Dean, NIU College of Business 2 2022 NIU Business Olympics Program

Background The NIU Business Olympics competition was created for high school and community college students. Participating students are eligible to compete in up to three competitions, either individually or in teams. In 2017, the event began with one challenge, the NIUIA Valuation Challenge. Since that time, the NIU Business Olympics has grown to include five different competitions. This year sees the addition of a new competition, the Forensic Accounting Challenge. Teams will vie for real first place and second place prize money in the following competitions: Big Idea Pitch Competition. In five minutes, pitch your big idea for a new business to company founders, serial entrepreneurs and potential investors. Digital Marketing Competition. Choose a small, real-life local company that could benefit from the use of a marketing strategy. Visit the company and map out their customer journey using the RACE framework we provide and create a website for the company with our free platform, Wix. Forensic Accounting Challenge. Explore what an FBI agent’s day can be like in the world of fraud. Investigate financial and strategic performance gaps like a forensic accountant in order to uncover financial fraud; then, identify the “who, what and how” that made it happen. Mobile App Idea Competition. In 12 minutes, present an idea for an app that addresses any everyday problem, caters to any industry/sector need or adds value to any current business area. NIUIA Valuation Challenge. After submitting written quantitative and qualitative analyses, advancing teams in this two-stage event describe why their two selected publicly traded firms belonging to an assigned sector should undergo a hypothetical merger.

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Participating Students Trajan Aceto Max Adame Leona Ahmeti Rashmi Alawani Iffat Ali Abid Alnafoosi Regan Albertson Senami Aromavo Duke Anderson Zayn Afeef Matt Bivens Viraj Bodiwala Nathan Branch John Carron Brandon Chang Carter Chang Kyle Clabough Mason Clark Connor Corrigan James Crosby Lydia Darweesh Matthew David Jake Davies Ameya Deo Joseph DiMaggio Sayak Dubey Alex Duca Roan Dutzi Rachel Easo Nathan Elliott Jasmin Escobedo Donald Faccone Dominic Filichia Jesse Flores Hannah Freesemann Emersyn Fry Karena Gau Justin Genenz Logan Good Loghan Gorman Jimmy Green Ravi Grewal

Charlie Grossman Kyra Gulati Oscar Guzman Shria Halkoda Matt Hanus Ryan Harris Cedricha Herron Ben Hixon Alberto Huichapa Dylan Hunt Lan Ihsan Paul Johnston Vignesh Kakarala Diana Kasprzycki Nazar Kolomiets Elaina Kora Jaylen Kunwar Mitch Larkin Aliyah Malagon Donovan Miller Ayush Mishra Lukas Moldenhauser Samskruthi Nellutla Colin O’Donnell Clolade Odutola Alexandra O’Neill Calvin Ostrye Sarah Pagels Aadi Patel Dhruv Patel Divit Patel Mahi Patel Riddhi Patel Yogi Patel Brennan Paveza Alan Perez Robert Perry Tyler Perry Jay Prajapati Om Prajapati Aidan Preves Grant Preves

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Jake Pullam Owen Pullam Aarchi Rana Yash Rane Katrina Rath David Ren James Righi Tanner Ritzman Clyde Saligumba Sanskriti Sarav Abhiraj Seela Logan Shearer Sarim Siddiqui Megan Simmermon Matthew Schmidt Tyler Schultz Ansh Shah Khushi Shah Prem Shah Ayush Soni Kennedy Sreckov Charles Stout Tyler Swierczek Ethan Swinger Samad Syed Braden Thelander Sam Tholen Alex Tomy Ryan Tripathy Adam Valiji Mireya Lima Vasquez Jessica Vidal Joe Wagner Ryan Waugh Joseph Wendtland Anthony Westfall Jack Winkelhake Caitlin Wilson Raza Zaidi Christopher Zhou

Schedule of Events

(Central Daylight Time, Chicago metro area, Illinois, United States) If uncertain, use the Zoom link for the Main Room and request assistance. 10 to 10:15 a.m. 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 1:30 to 2 p.m.

Opening Ceremony Competition Activities Plante Moran Chat Session on Success Awards Ceremony

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Judges Big Idea Pitch Competition NIU Business Olympics Faculty Lead: Tim Michaelis, assistant professor of entrepreneurship, Department of Management Judges: Ken Bahk, managing partner, Kaleidoscope Health Ventures Jon Briscoe, professor and chair of the Department of Management Steven Byers, CEO, Byers Brewing Nick Dinges, CEO, Dinges Fire Company Griff Ehrenstrom, principal, Clarite Advisory LLC Furkan Gur, associate professor of entrepreneurship Tim Michaelis, faculty lead and assistant professor of entrepreneurship Christine Mooney, Barsema professor of social entrepreneurship Daewoo Park, associate dean, NIU College of Business Bart Sharp, Mike and Kristina McGrath professor of entrepreneurship Digital Marketing Competition NIU Business Olympics Faculty Lead: Samantha Gibson, director of Digital Marketing Programs, Department of Marketing Judges: Ashley Chan, adjunct professor, Master of Science in Digital Marketing Donnie Forti, adjunct professor, Master of Science in Digital Marketing Samantha Gibson, faculty lead and director of Digital Marketing Programs Andy Jeon, assistant marketing professor

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Forensic Accounting Challenge NIU Business Olympics Faculty Lead: Martin Ndicu, assistant professor of accountancy, Department of Accountancy Judges: Brian Lanners, CPA, CFE, forensic accountant, FBI. Chih-Chen Lee, director of global studies in accountancy and William and Dian Taylor professor of accountancy Linda Matszewski, PwC professor of accountancy Mobile App Idea Competition NIU Business Olympics Faculty Lead: Biagio Palese, assistant professor, Department of Operations Management and Information Systems (OM&IS) Judges: Federico Bassetti, OM&IS instructor Biagio Palese, faculty lead and assistant OM&IS professor Jiao Wu, assistant OM&IS professor

NIUIA Valuation Challenge NIU Business Olympics Faculty Lead: Gina Nicolosi, professor and chair of the Department of Finance Event Judges: Matt Infusino (FINA alumnus), senior financial analyst, Baxter International Evan Johnson (FINA alumnus), vice president of operations and development, Real People Realty Sam Kusswurm (FINA alumnus), equity research associate, William Blair Marco Montefusco (FINA alumnus), senior treasury analyst, Gallager

Jenna Morgan (FINA alumna), SAP administrator, John Deere Anthony Nieszel (FINA alumnus), manager, FP&A and Financial Systems, Zone Climate Services First Round Judges: Chloe Ariss, NIU finance major Anthony Grek, NIU finance major Jayden James, NIU finance major Sterlen Johnson, NIU finance major Sohum Khalardkar, NIU finance major Joey Ksiezak, NIU finance major Simeon Lucas, NIU finance major Nick Stone, NIU finance major

Schools and Coaches Schools Barrington High School, Illinois Boone High School, Iowa Burlington Central High School, Illinois Elgin High School, Illinois George Westinghouse High School, Illinois Hoffman Estates High School, Illinois Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Illinois James B. Conant High School, Illinois Maine East High School, Illinois Palatine High School, Illinois Prairie Ridge High School, Illinois The Peddie School, New Jersey University of Chicago Laboratory School, Illinois Yorkville High School, Illinois

Coaches Catherine Bell Steve Goldblatt Kelly Greene Oscar Guzman Kerri Largo Dale Lasky Shawn Loomis Matthew Marks Vince Neil Bryan Peckhart Hagop Soulakian Mark Vesper Cliff Watanuki

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• Awarded among an elite group of universities in the nation for diversity, equity and inclusion by INSIGHT into Diversity (2021). • Top 24% of business schools nationally by U.S. News & World Report (2021). • No. 3 most diverse college in the country according to Poets&Quants (2022, 2020). • No. 4 best undergraduate business school in Chicago according to Chicago Choice (2017). • No. 78 top undergraduate business program and No. 30 nationally for academic excellence by Poets&Quants (2022). • “A” grade from alumni who strongly recommend the business program college and for faculty engagement according to Poets&Quants (2022). • Eighty-five percent reported full-time employment within six months of graduation (2017-2018). • U.S. News & World Report has ranked the college among the nation’s best for the past 34 consecutive years (since August 1987). • Accredited for both business and accountancy by AACSB, the NIU College of Business is among less than 5% of business schools worldwide to hold the dual accreditation. AACSB is the most respected and highest credential of excellence worldwide for business and accounting schools. • $19 million-plus in NIU scholarships, including the NIU College of Business.

Acknowledgements This event would not be possible without the ever-growing enthusiasm of high school and community college students and coaches, as well as the enthusiastic support from business executives, the Northern Illinois University Office of Admissions, the NIU College of Business Office of the Dean, NIU College of Business faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the college’s academic departments of Accountancy, Finance,

We welcome your feedback! After today’s event, please complete a brief survey at:


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Management, Marketing, and Operations Management and Information Systems. Sponsorship for this year’s event is provided by Plante Moran, a leading company in audit, tax, consulting and wealth management. The NIU College of Business is honored and proud to receive Plante Moran’s sponsorship.

Save the date!

Save the date for next year’s NIU Business Olympics —

Saturday, April 1, 2023.

Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Produced by authority of the state of Illinois. niu.edu 54320 3/22

NIU College of Business has a world-class reputation.