Winners of GMAC Innovation Challenge to Share $260,000 in Prizes
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), owner of the GMAT exam, yesterday announced the winners of its global Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Challenge, part of an initiative to advance business education around the world. Twenty-one winners will share more than $260,000 in prize money for their ideas on how to creatively change management education.
The winners were selected from more than 650 people representing 60 countries who entered ideas into the competition, which ran from July to October 2010. Half of the ideas were submitted by business school alumni and current and prospective students, though the competition was open to anyone. The 21 winners represented nine countries and included current business school students, university faculty members and corporate teams.
The i2i Challenge is part of GMAC’s Management Education for Tomorrow (MET) Fund, a $10 million initiative to help improve graduate management education. Beyond the prize money awarded contestants, GMAC also plans to invest a substantial portion of the MET Fund toward implementing one or more of the winning ideas.
The top prize of $50,000 will go to Alice Stewart, an associate professor at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, for her idea to transform management education into a system of “stackable knowledge units” that would allow students to custom design degree programs for different technological contexts. Implementing different learning activities and teaching techniques in this stackable unit form would allow for the development of specialized managers who can quickly move new technologies and processes to market.
Four second-place prizes of $25,000 each, 10 third-place prizes of $10,000 each, and five $2,500 honorable mentions were also awarded. Among these proposals: development of an Internet-based video repository for management education research and mandatory exposure for MBA students to entrepreneurship training.
“The joy of this contest is that it was an open invitation to everybody,” Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC, said in a statement. “These ideas have the very real potential to change management education for years and even decades to come,” he continued.
Now, as part of the second phase of the i2i Challenge, GMAC is inviting business schools and other nonprofit organizations that deliver education programs to submit proposals for the implementation of one or more of the winning ideas. GMAC will underwrite one or more of the best proposals using the MET Fund.