Students Place in National Competition

Contact: Kelley Bozeman

Photo of UK’s Team Indi-Go are (back row left to right) Ramakanth Mudamba, Sree Ram Mangalampalli, Matthew Ullum and Santosh Kumar Cheekatmall; (front row left to right) Mudita Arora and Beth Livingston.
The UK graduate students who comprise Team Indi-Go are: (back l-r) Ramakanth Mudamba, mechanical engineering; Sree Ram Mangalampalli, lean manufacturing; and Santosh Kumar Cheekatmall, computer science, all in the College of Engineering; (front l-r) Mudita Arora, hospitality and dietetic administration in the College of Agriculture; and Beth Livingston and Matthew Ullum, both Master of Business Administration students in the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 20, 2004) -- Six University of Kentucky students competed in the Southwest Business Plan Competition March 25-27, and brought home a $500 cash award in the Elevator Pitch Competition. Students from UK had the opportunity to gain professional experience and compete for cash prizes by developing and presenting a business plan for “Indi-Go,” a fast-food Indian cuisine restaurant chain they hope to someday launch.

Only 36 universities, out of 80 submissions from universities around the world, were chosen for the competition. The teams were mostly comprised of entrepreneurial graduate students who are working toward a master of business administration degree. But, UK’s six-member team, dubbed “Team Indi-Go” after the restaurant’s name, had a different feel.

“We are very proud of the fact that UK’s six team members are cross-disciplinary and draw from across the university,” said Dean Harvey, director of UK’s Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and adviser to the group. “Team Indi-Go is represented by UK students in the College of Engineering, College of Agriculture, and the Gatton College of Business and Economics. This group is a perfect example of how coupling resources and bringing together different areas of expertise can strengthen a team.”

This was the first time a UK team has participated in a national business plan competition. The Southwest Business Plan Competition, hosted by Rice University, is the largest business plan competition in the United States, based on participation.
“We competed with some of the best schools in the nation, like Harvard, Duke,
Texas and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” D. Sudharshan, dean of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, said. “I think the most important thing the students realized is that they could compete toe-to-toe and fare well against students from well-known business schools from around the world. Our students gained confidence and felt proud of the education they received at UK.”

The UK graduate students who comprise Team Indi-Go are Ramakanth Mudamba, mechanical engineering; Sree Ram Mangalampalli, lean manufacturing; and Santosh Kumar Cheekatmall, computer science, all in the College of Engineering; Mudita Arora, hospitality and dietetic administration in the College of Agriculture; and Beth Livingston and Matthew Ullum, both Master of Business Administration students in the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

Team Indi-Go was sponsored by the Gatton College of Business and Economics.


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