EnterPrize Awards brings out the best in MBAe visionaries
When Danay Radovic emigrated from Cuba at the age of 10, her family arrived in the U.S. with pocket change, knew little English, but had plenty of hope.
Today, the soon-to-be MBAe graduate of Clemson University is turning that hope into opportunity.
Radovic’s presentation on her employment recruiting software recently won a shark tank-like competition hosted annually by the Clemson MBAe program. The EnterPrize Awards recognized Radovic and Tilly, her start-up company, as the winner of $15,000 over nearly 30 other cohorts.
The EnterPrize Awards is the culmination of an MBAe capstone course that gives cohorts the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to venture capitalists and business owners. Competitions are held in Charlotte, N.C., Charleston and Columbia, before the finale in Greenville. The events allow for the entrepreneurs to receive feedback to refine their presentations, plus nearly $30,000 in prize money is awarded.
Radovic, president and co-founder of Tilly with husband, Evan, said the artificial intelligence software they are developing will change the way job seekers and employers find one another.
“Today, when you go to one of the major job sites, the process of key word searches, guessing whether you’re a fit for the job, then finding the best to apply for, is tedious and time consuming,” Radovic said. “Tilly crunches time and takes the guess work out of determining what position a person is best suited for. Tilly helps companies find the best talent and puts talent in the right companies.”
Greg Pickett, MBA program director and senior associate dean of the College of Business, said the EnterPrize Awards is a significant differentiator of Clemson’s innovation and entrepreneurial MBA program to others around the country.
“The roadshow approach where cohorts are able to pitch their ideas to potential investors and business owners is a perfect example of Clemson’s experiential-based curriculum. It’s crucial for entrepreneurs to practice and develop presentation skills for their businesses to take off. Pitching their vision to a potential investor is a great opportunity to develop a key skill entrepreneurs must have.”
The Radovics are also co-founders of NexusMove, their established business, which provides leadership training and consulting. The recruiting end of that business will be propelled by Tilly, but it’s received a pre-graduation boost in large part because of the MBAe program.
“The MBA program continually emphasizes the importance of bringing more value to clients,” Radovic said. “So, in addition to my classroom work assisting in our business planning, we implemented new recruiting packages that provide coaches to the employer and new hire as part of a value add. That kind of personal touch gives our business a competitive advantage.”
Radovic said the MBAe’s “dream big” mindset was aided by the many people involved in the program.
“The support, encouragement and collaboration among the cohorts was phenomenal and the faculty provided valuable tools for taking action on our dreams,” she said. “Tilly is in a better position to grow in Greenville as a result of the program.”
Joining Radovic as winners in the competition were MBA cohorts Richie Parker, second place ($3,000) and Anthony Mitchell, third place ($2,000). Parker’s business, Parker Engineered Solutions, develops devices to assist those with physical challenges. Mitchell, a retired Army captain, is owner of Centurion Mobile Quick Lube service, which transports its hydraulic lift trailer to customers.
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