CDMBA Student Places as “Entrepreneurial Eight” Finalist in National Student Startup
For release: January 31, 2014
Entrepreneurship is a career path chosen by many, but only successfully accomplished
by a select few. It requires a certain kind of tenacity, ingenuity and willingness
to take risks in order to set the foundations and sustain one’s business plans in
a marketplace as dynamic as ours. But for those that are capable of meeting that challenge,
the rewards to be had are worth it.
Zachary Harrison, CDMBA student of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics,
was recently selected as one of the 2013-14 Student Startup Madness Entrepreneurial
Eight Finalists along with seven other students from universities such as Morehouse,
Rochester and Carnegie Mellon. These finalists will head to Austin, Texas on March
10 in a competition to see who can best impress a judging panel of venture capitalists,
investors and successful entrepreneurs capable of transforming their startup ideas
into successful realities.
Zachary Harrison; Elite Eight Finalist for DepthChartz
The business idea that won Harrison his spot in the finals is an online service by
the name of DepthChartz. The website facilitates interactions between student-athletes
and coaches by highlighting validated statistics and listing various camps and training
programs. This builds the framework from which coaches and student-athletes can come
together for top talent-opportunity parings.
Student Startup Madness (SSM) is a nationwide tournament where college students showcase
their digital media startups and compete for the attention and support of potential
investors and leaders that will help them build elite professional networks. The top
three teams, to be judged in Austin, Texas, will win $5,000 in credits for Google
Cloud. This is a platform that allows startups to build, deploy and manage web and
mobile applications over the cloud.
“Zach is an entrepreneur. He’s constantly looking for any opportunity to showcase
his ideas and projects,” said Dr. Balaji Krishnan, associate professor of Marketing
and interim director of MBA Programs. “Many students in the Entrepreneurship program
may have two or three ideas floating around, and may often switch back and forth.
The impressive thing about Harrison is that he has been fixated on this idea from
the time he got into the CDMBA program. We are very proud of him.”
Harrison laid the foundations for DepthChartz before enrolling as a graduate student
at Fogelman College.
“In order to build this company I needed to develop experience in recruiting, networking,
market research, product development and business modeling,” said Harrison. “Finding
a program that concentrated on these necessary skill sets is what lead me to apply
to the CDMBA program at the University of Memphis. And, these skills have been dramatically
enhanced through my student experience.”
In fall 2013 Zach Harrison applied and was accepted into the Entrepreneurship track
of the CDMBA program. He joined other select students who were interested in acquiring
entrepreneurial skills necessary to start and grow their own technology-based companies.
This program includes a $6,000 stipend and a full tuition waiver.
“Zach’s energy and passion for entrepreneurship is exactly the attitude we want to
encourage and cultivate within students of the Customer Driven MBA program at the
University of Memphis,” said Dr. Rajiv Grover, Dean of Fogelman College. “We are extremely
proud of his accomplishments not only within our program but his successful campaign
to launch his own company.”
Although he did not coach Harrison through the SSM competition and only briefly discussed
his business ideas with him once during his first semester in the CDMBA program, Dr.
Krishnan was not surprised to hear of Harrison’s accomplishment. “I was happy for
him. In this case, Zach has been so driven in the program and this idea that I would
not be surprised if he tops the charts with his DepthChartz.”
Student Startup Madness recognizes the large pool of talented young adults throughout
the nation and offers them the opportunity to take their business aspirations to the
next level by having them take part in their annual competition. Harrison’s exposure
to like-minded students and entrepreneurs that have achieved their own goals will
certainly provide him with further inspiration and encouragement to fight for the
tournament’s top spot.
For more information on the SSM competition or the Customer Driven MBA program, visit
http://studentstartupmadness.com/ssm-entrepreneurial-eight-finalists-announced-for-sxsw2014/ and http://www.memphis.edu/cdmba.