Winning Approaches: MIT EdTech Competition

The Competition: MIT EdTech Case Competition, Nov. 2011.

The Team: Full-time students Gordon Chan and Kawai Lai, both MBA 12, Mike Ciccarone and Flora Kuo, both MBA 13.

The Outcome: First place.

The Challenge: Marketing and CSR strategy recommendations for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on a new online tool that helps parents to help children with schoolwork. “The aim was to reach especially those parents who may be low income and lack access to technology,” says Chan.

The Field: Included Harvard, Stanford, and Duke.

The Winning Approach: A holistic view addressing parents and school districts as separate segments. Also, a creative presentation featuring mock-up of a parental awareness video (pictured above).

The Motivation: “There have been many broken promises in education reform, but I truly believe that technology has the potential to deliver in its promise to improve education,” says Lai of her interest in the ed tech space.

Defining Principles at Work: “We actually had other competitors tell us that our team came across as confident–yet approachable,” says Kuo.

ZZZ Factor: Six hours of sleep over two days.

Fuel of Choice: Caffeine and shrimp chips.

The Berkeley-Haas first-place winners of MIT EdTech Case Competition: Kawai Lai, MBA 12; Mike Ciccarone, MBA 13; Gordon Chan, MBA 12; and Flora Kuo, MBA 13.

Demonstrated Prowess 2011-12: Education, management of organizations, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

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