eManagement - May 2014
- JSOM Alumni Strike Deal with Mark Cuban on ‘Shark Tank’
- New Graduate Program Tackles Demand for Data Analysts
- Jindal Students Win Competition with Idea for Connected Car App
- Joint UT Effort Leads to Win in Health Case Competition
- Fundraising Certificate Program to Aid Nonprofit Executives
- Faculty Accolades
- eManagement Calendar
Corey Egan (left) and Swapnil Bora pitched their business idea on the reality television show Shark Tank. (Photo provided by ABC)
Naveen Jindal School of Management alumni Corey Egan, MBA 2010, and Swapnil Bora, MBA 2011, emerged from the Shark Tank reality television show recently with a $350,000 deal with entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Egan and Bora, who appeared in the episode that aired April 18, developed the idea of smartphone-controlled light bulbs for their Plano, Texas-based business as students in JSOM’s Full-Time MBA program. The company makes LED “smartbulbs” that let users control lighting levels and colors through a mobile app.
They asked for $350,000 from the “sharks” — well-known business people and investors — in return for 15 percent ownership.
“Your money gets our products into customers’ hands,” Egan told the investors, explaining that the product was in the final stages of development.
Cuban offered $350,000 for 25 percent. He then backed out after seeing Egan’s hesitation, but then gave the men a second chance.
“Mark, would you be willing to meet in the middle at 20 percent?” Egan asked.
“I’m going to stick to the 25, guys, because you know I can bring a huge amount of value,” Cuban said.
In the end, the classmates-turned-business-partners accepted the deal and have now welcomed Cuban to their newly formed team. The product began shipping at the end of April.
“The great thing about getting Mark Cuban on-board is that we’re able to grow our team,” Egan told a group of about 100 Jindal School administrators, professors and friends who attended a watch party the school hosted. “This is not the destination. This is just one of the milestones along the way.”
Big data keeps getting bigger — and companies need more people who can make sense of it.
The Naveen Jindal School of Management is introducing a Master of Science in Business Analytics degree this fall to meet a growing need for employees who can analyze data in a range of industries.
The new 36-credit hour program can prepare students for careers in analyzing the increasing volumes of data that businesses collect through website traffic, social media and electronic healthcare records. Data analysts use the information to help companies improve efficiency, make better decisions about future sales and identify their most likely customers.
“This degree is about managing big data,” Dr. Srinivasan Raghunathan, coordinator of the Information Systems area, said. “There’s a huge demand for people with these skills.”
The average starting salary for a data analyst is about $65,000 a year, he said.
Students in the program can choose one of the following tracks: financial, healthcare, IT, marketing or decision and operations analytics.
The school designed the program in response to input from industry.
“The availability of talent to effectively advance efforts across such domains has not kept pace with these changes in data growth and analysis tools,” Brian Bonner, Texas Instruments Inc. vice president and chief information officer, said. “The MS in business analytics is a step in the right direction to develop such talent.”
The business analytics degree plan includes new and existing courses, Raghunathan said. The Jindal School offers many of the courses as part of its business intelligence and analytics track in its information technology and management master’s degree program, which will remain an option.
The program includes a fast-track incentive that allows undergraduates to take graduate courses for dual credit and tuition savings. Students also can earn a master’s in business analytics and an MBA in 63 credit hours rather than the typical 89 required for both degrees.
For more information, contact Dr. Srinivasan Raghunathan.
MS in Business Analytics
Credit hours: 36
Tracks: Financial, healthcare, IT, marketing, decision and operations analytics
Job growth: 32 percent for market research analysts from 2012 to 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Pay: $65,000, average starting salary for data analysts; $72,100, median salary for operations research analysts
A team from the Naveen Jindal School of Management (from left) — Chao Li, Dwight Fraencis Dy, Atul Nagar, advisor Mary Beth Goodrich, Jiang Xi and Prachi Sahoo — recently won an international competition for its idea for its car app idea.
A team of Naveen Jindal School of Management students won an international competition for its idea for an in-car app that could diagnose problems and find the nearest auto repair shops, gas stations, restaurants and hotels from a dashboard screen.
The Hermes Road Warrior System was one of six winners in the Global Connected Car Contest 2013 sponsored by the business software firm SAP and the Chevrolet Division of GM. The team won in the convenience and safety category for its idea to connect drivers through wireless technology.
The Hermes app would be accessible through a car’s display panel. It could sync GPS and fuel data for planning gas stops on long trips. And it could scout the best restaurants and hotels along the way.
The team includes information technology and management graduate students Prachi Sahoo, Chao Li and Atul Nagar; Dwight Fraencis Dy, a management and administrative sciences grad student; and Xi Jiang, who earned a master’s degree in information technology and management in December.
The students will travel to Silicon Valley in August to meet with experts from SAP and General Motors to advance their idea.
Dy, the team’s leader, said the group’s members came up with the idea based on their own driving experiences. He predicts that drivers will especially like the app’s feature that diagnoses problems and helps solve them instead of a vague check-engine warning.
The team’s proposal included financial projections that include a profit within the second month of the second year of production.
The team members are part of the Jindal School’s SAP Users Group, which offers educational, networking and career-development opportunities for students seeking careers at SAP or other business software systems.
Winning team members (from left): Kajal Mehta and Jack Squiers, UT Southwestern Medical School; Jonathan Stringer, UT Arlington School of Engineering; Sarah (Jane) Slusher, UT Dallas Jindal School of Management; Luwam Ghidei, UTSW Medical School; and Rohit Tyagi, Jindal School
Two Naveen Jindal School of Management full-time MBA students recently joined three students from UT Southwestern Medical School and an engineering student from UT Arlington on a winning team that placed first and earned $6,000 in the International Emory Global Health Case Competition. The team also won the Participants’ Choice Award, voted on by all competitors, for making the best presentation at the event.
The multidisciplinary UT group successfully responded to the competition challenge to reorganize the World Health Organization, a United Nations agency founded in 1948, to redefine its role and purpose in addressing global health issues.
Sponsored by Emory University’s Global Health Institute, the annual competition focuses on worldwide health-related cases that require an interdisciplinary solution. This year, nearly 140 students from 24 universities across the United States and from Australia, Canada and Sweden competed. A team from Johns Hopkins University placed second, and a team from the University of Alberta placed third.
Details and a dramatic face-to-face appeal made the winning difference for the UT team at the March 29 finals, according to JSOM participants Sarah (Jane) Slusher and Rohit Tyagi.
The judges said “that we were the only team that whatever they asked, we had the answer,” Tyagi said.
And, responding to a finals-round twist — political criticism decrying WHO as too focused on Western ideals and too Westernized — Slusher made a direct appeal to the detractor. Addressing the man, role-playing the president of Russia, as well as WHO’s board of directors in the team’s presentation close, Slusher recalled past successful joint U.S.-Russian efforts to fight the polio pandemic. Then she said to the “pretend Putin” as she walked over to him: “If you don’t belong to organizations like this, you’re going to discount your population from global health.”
Graduating this spring with a risk assurance job in the Houston office of PwC waiting, Tyagi said the global perspective of the competition initially attracted him. “I would say I have a fierce interest in world politics,” he said.
Slusher worked for a patient advocacy company before pursuing her MBA and is focusing her studies on a career in healthcare management. Initially, she worried the competition would hinge on medical issues and answers. “When we got this case, I was actually a little relieved. I was like, organizational structure I can do. So I think having a team that had MBA students on it for this specific problem was awesome.”
Few nonprofits can survive without a good fundraiser.
These experts are in high demand and short supply. But a new professional certificate program in the Naveen Jindal School of Management aims to give fundraisers and nonprofit leaders the skills they need to thrive in an increasingly specialized field.
The program was created by Dr. Kyle Edgington, the program’s director and visiting clinical professor who was formerly assistant dean for development and alumni relations for the Jindal School. As assistant dean, Edgington secured the two largest alumni gifts in UT Dallas’ history. Edgington, who recently served as president of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star Foundation, also held fundraising positions at Texas Tech University.
Texas has more than 100,000 nonprofits — and the number of organizations increased 41 percent from 1999 to 2009, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. That has fueled a growing need for formalized education and training opportunities for fundraisers, Edgington said. He said the Jindal School program is one of a small but growing number of academically based fundraising certificates.
Fundraising jobs often suffer from high occurrences of turnover, and the demand for skilled fundraisers exceeds qualified candidates, Edgington said. He said the certificate program aims to address these issues by building fundraisers’ skills and confidence.
The expectations of nonprofits also have changed, with donors seeking more evidence of the impact of their giving, Edgington said.
“Donors want to know, ‘How can my gift make a measurable and sustainable impact?'” Edgington said.
The four-course certificate program will cover the fundamental theories and emerging models of effective fundraising. The courses are:
- Fundamentals of Fundraising
- Fundraising Methods: Annual Gifts, Major Gifts and Planned Gifts
- Government, Corporate and Foundation Fundraising
- Planning and Leading the Campaign
A groundbreaking researcher in applied mathematics, a distinguished scholar, the go-to guy for corporate governance. Several members of the Naveen Jindal School of Management faculty have been recognized for their achievements recently. Here are a few of them.
Math Society to Honor Professor Alain Bensoussan
Dr. Alain Bensoussan, Ashbel Smith Professor of Operations Management and director of the Jindal School’s International Center for Decision and Risk Analysis, has been selected by the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) to receive an award for his contributions in the fields of differential equations and control theory.
He will be awarded the 2014 W.T. and Ida Reid Prize in Mathematics at SIAM’s annual meeting, to be held in Chicago in July. Inducted as a Charter Fellow of SIAM in 2009, Bensoussan is a leading expert in stochastic control and risk management. He presently is focused on an emerging field of research that studies individual decision-making within large populations.
The SIAM award selection committee said it wished to recognize Bensoussan for his “fundamental contributions in partial differential equations, deterministic as well as stochastic, including applications in filtering, stochastic and impulsive control, optimal stopping, variational inequalities and mean field game theory.”
Besides $10,000 and an engraved medal, the annual prize carries a request that the honoree deliver a lecture at the annual meeting.
Magazine Lauds IECG Executive Director Dennis McCuistion
Dennis McCuistion, Naveen Jindal School of Management clinical professor and executive director of the Institute for Excellence in Corporate Governance, is among honorees recently selected by D CEO magazine to receive one of its 2014 Financial Executive Awards.
McCuistion earned the Excellence in Corporate Governance Award.
“Corporate governance essentially means the system by which a company is run,” reporter Jeff Bounds wrote in The Top Corporate Finance Pros in Dallas-Fort Worth in the May-June issue. “And if you need to get up to speed on it, there is one person in North Texas to call: Dennis McCuistion.”
Purdue Recognizes Professor Kathryn Stecke as a ‘Distinguished Woman Scholar’
Dr. Kathryn E. Stecke’s latest accolade for contributing to the advancement of women in her field comes from Purdue University, where she earned three graduate degrees on her way to becoming a leading researcher in operations management.
In a program and reception March 7, Purdue honored Stecke, Ashbel Smith Professor of Operations Management in the Naveen Jindal School of Management, as one of its 2014 Distinguished Women Scholars.
Recipients of the title “serve as role models to all of our scholars in the making,” Laurel Weldon, Purdue’s interim vice provost for faculty affairs, said in announcing the honorees. She recognized Stecke and five fellow honorees as “impressive and accomplished women” who have made significant contributions in their academic and professional communities.
Stecke recently was re-elected to a second term on the board of the Production and Operations Management Society.
INFORMS Names Professor Sumit Sarkar a ‘Distinguished Fellow’
Dr. Sumit Sarkar, who holds a Charles and Nancy Davidson Chair in Information Systems, last fall was named a Distinguished Fellow of the Information Systems Society last fall at the 2013 meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). The primary aim of the ISS Distinguished Fellow Award is to recognize individuals who have made outstanding intellectual contributions to the information systems discipline. The JSOM Information Systems area boasts two other ISS Distinguished Fellows, Dean Hasan Pirkul and Dr. Vijay Mookerjee, who also holds a Charles and Nancy Davidson Chair in Information Systems. Both were named fellows in the last two years.
Dallas CPA Society Elects Accounting Faculty Member Art Agulnek to Top Leadership Role
Art Agulnek, senior lecturer in accounting, was chosen as chairman-elect of the Dallas CPA Society at its annual meeting in January. He will serve this year and part of next as second-in-command of the local professional group before becoming chairman in the 2015-2016 year.
The society, a not-for-profit association serving more than 6,000 certified professional accountant members in Dallas and surrounding counties, is the local chapter of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. The statewide group has 29,000 members and 20 chapters.
A licensed CPA in Texas and New York, Agulnek joined the JSOM faculty in 2002 after retiring as a tax partner from Ernst & Young. During his time at JSOM, he has served in many professional association leadership roles, including two terms as treasurer of the Dallas CPA Society. The Texas Society recognized him with an award in 2012 for his service as chairman of the editorial board of the state group’s magazine, Today’s CPA. He joined the board in 2004 and served as its chairman from 2009 to 2013.
Jindal School New Addition Opens
Board Dynamics Series