SCH seniors take 3rd place in the global entrepreneurship competition

Posted 10/21/20

After placing 2nd in an earlier regional round, a team of four Springside Chestnut Hill (SCH) entrepreneurs — seniors Keith MacMahon, Joe Falcone, Andrew Lauerman and Ed Gu — went the …

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SCH seniors take 3rd place in the global entrepreneurship competition


After placing 2nd in an earlier regional round, a team of four Springside Chestnut Hill (SCH) entrepreneurs — seniors Keith MacMahon, Joe Falcone, Andrew Lauerman and Ed Gu — went the distance to earn 3rd place in the  Tiger Global Case Competition (TGCC). In doing so, they beat out nine other highly competitive teams from around the world that had earned the right to compete at “Globals.”  The 12 other regional finalists —from Central/South America, Australia/New Zealand, Europe/Middle East/Africa, South/Southeast Asia, East/Central Asia & Russia—had been culled from a pool of 800 teams overall at the start of TGCC’s competition.

The chief architect of the SCH team was Keith MacMahon who saw an opportunity to apply for the TGCC fly by his Instagram feed this past August. Seeing this as a moment to stretch the entrepreneurial muscles he’s been honing in SCH’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), he grabbed it. To complete his cohort, he reached out to three fellow SCH entrepreneurs and the self-appointed  “dream team” began their journey.

In order to earn the right to compete at Globals, the team had to make it through two qualifying rounds.  In the first round of the TGCC, teams were tasked with providing a global expansion plan for the Japanese Drone Company, ACSL. The case was released on September 5 and the boys had until September 12 to submit 10 slides detailing their recommended plan.  The SCH team chose to expand to the Philippines because of their under-developed drone market, deregulation of drone laws, and a push for agricultural-based drones. Their out-of-the-box direction earned them the respect of the judges and the opportunity to move forward in the competition.

The second round consisted of pitching their ACSL slide deck to a panel of three live judges, experts in the field of technology and former investment bankers. Each team had only 10 minutes to explain their expansion strategy. To prepare for the presentation, the foursome practiced their pitch for days. At the closing Zoom, the top two finalists were announced and the dream team was off to Globals representing North America.

For the final round—the Global round—the team was challenged to develop a strategy for Sony to find alternative revenue sources for the new Sony Playstation 5. Their strategy focused on adding distinct value to Sony through two social platforms of their own design that they incorporated into their plan—PS Inspire for the educational market and PS Flex for fitness.

In the final hours of tweaking their presentation slides, two professional consultants (provided by the competition) weighed in, helping the team to polish and trim their 10-slide pitch.

After turning in their slide deck on Saturday at 11 a.m., they spent the next 13 hours working on the live presentation component.  

“We got our case at 11 a.m. on Thursday and had to deliver it by 11 a.m. on Saturday,” said MacMahon. “It was a crazy 72 hours eating, working, and sleeping with the team at my house. And a lot of espresso,“ he added. “We probably practiced our narrative over 20 times, working on adding variation to our voices and speaking with confidence.”

They went into their presentation at 1:40 p.m. on Sunday and had 10 minutes to wow the judges and seven more minutes to answer questions.

Throughout the competition, the team allocated roles amongst the four members: Lauerman was the market analyst, MacMahon was the financial analyst, Falcone worked on key performance indicators and served as the competitor analyst, and Gu worked on acquisitions and mergers. 

Six judges representing global leaders in the investment, financial services, and venture capital industries determined the fate of the 12 finalists. Teams were all evaluated on diagnosis and analysis of issues, scope of innovation in recommendations, engaging speaking and teamwork, and Q & A performance.  The feedback from the panel indicated that the SCH foursome demonstrated “impressive delivery and, most notably, great teamwork and effective SWOT analysis.”

The news that they had earned third place was sent out from Australia at 3 AM on Tuesday morning.

Ed Glassman, executive director for the Center of Entrepreneurial Leadership at SCH, has worked with members of the team through the school’s Capstone and Venture Accelerator programs. He exclaims, “Keith, Joe, Andrew, and Ed are resourceful and creative students—true examples of the entrepreneurial mindset that we seek to teach our students in the CEL program. I’m very proud of what they have been able to accomplish on this global stage. Throughout the competition, they applied a unique global perspective and found clever emerging markets. It’s a super well-deserved finish!”

With the title comes a $500 cash prize for the team, a mentorship opportunity with Jamie Beaton, founder and CEO of Crimson Education, and $1,000 of personalized Crimson consulting on the college process — a timely benefit for this team poised to submit their college applications in the next few months.


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