A standout team of IMBA students steps up to the challenge and claims a spot among the top ten teams in contention for the grand prize in the thunderbird sustainable innovation challenge competition
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Driven by their smarts and appetite for success, the team of four IE protégés await their chance to present their work in front of the judges panel at Thunderbird’s Sustainable Innovation Summit, which will be held later this month in Phoenix, Arizona.
Madrid, Spain (March 9th, 2007) – As if going through an intensive and rigorous one-year MBA program of the caliber of the IE’s International MBA weren’t enough, a group of students took up the challenge of competing in the Thunderbird Sustainable Innovation Challenge and now find themselves among an elite circle of forward thinking teams vying to win the contest’s top honors. What’s more, the four-member team that will be representing IE Business School at the Thunderbird’s Sustainable Innovation Summit in late March will also be the only team from a European business school.
Camino de Paz, Program Director of MBAs at IE Business School, expressed the school’s support for the student-led team and stated, “At this point in the game, these four students have already demonstrated an incredible amount of drive, vision, and commitment – all qualities that resonate strongly with our institution’s core values. It is an honor to have them represent IE Business School name in such a prestigious and high profile competition”.
The contest, which put 85 post graduate teams on a head-to-head competition to see who delivers the most compelling and ground-breaking piece of work, aims to create innovative solutions to real world business challenges that reflect a commitment to economically, environmentally and socially sound business practices. Competing teams come from the most highly regarded business schools in the United States, Europe and Asia, including MIT Sloan, HEC, IMD, CEIBES, among others.

Now that they have beat out most of the contenders to reach the final round of the contest, the two-German, one-Mexican, and one-Macedonian team representing the IE will be traveling to Phoenix, Arizona, to present their work in front of a panel judges who will have the final word as to the competitiveness of their proposal entitled “Disruptive Thoughts”.
Encouraged by the success they have achieved so far, the team members had the following to say:
Blagoja Hamamdziev – “It is a great pleasure and honor to represent IE in this international competition – especially since we will be the only team from Europe and likely one of the most diverse in terms of nationalities”.
Philipp Pausder – “Last year a team from the IE came in at third place… we believe one should always try to improve. It is like they say in Basketball: ‘You have to leave it all on the court!’, if we do that, I am optimistic we have a good chance to come out on top”.
Tobias Schirmer – “The idea of putting the management tools obtained at IE into real life practice drives us – especially in the context of sustainable business innovation”.
Guillermo Ortega Rancé – “Competition will likely be fierce, but we believe our team has the right mix of people with different backgrounds, different personalities, different ways of thinking, which combined fuels our sense of confidence”.
About Instituto de Empresa
IE Business School is a leading business school recognized as being among the top 15 business schools worldwide, oriented to training entrepreneurs and company directors through its masters and executive education programs. IE Business School is characterized by its global approach, its spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, the development of applied research projects, and the promotion of socially responsible initiatives. Instituto de
Empresa currently has a network of 35,000 alumni that hold management positions in 85 countries.
Press Contact: MediaComm.Club@ie.edu


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