June 8, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 18

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    Students in the GSB take grand prize in first Bain Start-Up Challenge

    A team of students at the Graduate School of Business recently took grand-prize honors over Harvard Business School and Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School in the first Bain Start-Up Challenge, a national business-plan competition sponsored by Bain & Company Inc. The Chicago team’s business, Leasing Point, will receive $50,000 in seed capital, management and logistical support, and the team’s members will meet with leading venture capitalist groups.

    As a business-to-business exchange, Leasing Point focuses on improving inefficiencies in the current system of equipment financing arrangements, specifically targeting transactions greater than $1 million in the transportation and manufacturing industries.

    “Developing the business plan for Leasing Point has been an exhilarating experience, and we are thrilled to be the recipients of this prestigious award,” said Jeff Scolnick, an M.B.A. candidate in the GSB and chief operating officer of Leasing Point.

    A distinguished panel of representatives from such venture capitalist groups as Accel and Greylock, Texas Pacific Group; Red Herring magazine; and bainlab, Bain & Company’s Internet business incubator, judged the competition, which was open to a select group of entrepreneurs from top business schools. Forty-five teams representing seven leading business schools entered the competition, and 10 finalist teams presented their business plans to the judges.

    “What we got out of this challenge exceeded our expectations. The judges offered insights into the strengths and weaknesses of our business plan. They clearly spent a lot of preparation time before meeting with us, and we felt we got their personal attention. This was truly impressive,” said Scolnick.