Dean Unnava’s Big 3 Video | Spring 2018 | UC Davis Graduate School of Management
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Dean Unnava’s Big 3 Video | Spring 2018 | UC Davis Graduate School of Management

♫ [Rao Unnava]: Welcome to the Big 3 for Spring 2018. Our academic year is ending with a flurry of activity. We recently hosted the exciting finals of our Big Bang! business competition, announced a new UC Davis innovation hub in Sacramento and our students competed in a 24-hour data hackathon in San Francisco. First off, it was standing room only at our 18th annual Big Bang! Business Competition finals. Thanks to many corporate and campus sponsors, our UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship awarded a record purse of $112,000 to winning startups. For nearly two decades the Big Bang! competition has inspired and supported entrepreneurs to build the networks necessary for sustainable new ventures. The competition offers workshops, mentorship, and networking opportunities to accelerate promising ideas and research. The Big Bang! and other programs at the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship have helped startups attract more than $200 million in investment. These new companies are fueling job growth and igniting economic development across Northern California and beyond. To spark more new business growth, UC Davis recently unveiled a substantial investment in the economic development of Sacramento, which is home to our UC Davis Health Campus. Chancellor Gary May announced an ambitious plan and chose the UC Davis Health Campus for an innovation hub called Aggie Square. I was fortunate to serve on the Chancellor’s task force to make recommendations on this new collaborative technology and innovation center. Aggie Square will draw on the university’s strengths to become a catalyst for economic change, create jobs for our graduates and help spur the economic vitality of the broader Sacramento region. We will bring business talent and corporate connections to make Aggie Square a reality. Meanwhile in San Francisco, our first cohort of Master of Science and Business Analytics students organized a marathon data analytics competition: Hackathon as we called it. Students teamed up to work on creative solutions to a real customer segmentation data challenge posed by SunRun, a leading solar company. In a sky lounge overlooking the San Francisco skyline, the students hacked away all night and late into the next day. They took catnaps but never strayed far from their laptops. Executives from Uber, Engage 3, and Digital Data Solutions judged the team’s presentations on both analytical and communication skills. The judges’ feedback was phenomenal. Taryn Dukellis of Uber said our students ability to collaborate and translate raw data into compelling insights was amazing. That’s why we plan on making the Data Hack an annual event. Thank you for tuning in to this month’s Big 3! ♫

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