Asia Venture Challenge (AVC) competition was held from March 10 to 12, 2015 at Plaza Athenee Bangkok in Thailand. Twelve top graduate schools from the Asia including APU competed to attract investors and venture capital funds through innovative ideas. (See www.asiaventurechallenge.org for details)
The event theme was “Be Different, win Investors and Customers”. APU Team had of four members, three APU graduate students with one former APU student and faculty advisor:
1. Dr. DRUMMOND Damon, Advisor
2. CHOMICIUS Vladimiras (Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies 2nd year, Republic of Lithuania） (Team Leader/CEO)
3. DANG Hoai Huong (Graduate School of Management 1st year, Socialist Republic of Viet Nam)
4. ALUBE Martin Otini (Graduate School of Management 1st year,Republic of Kenya)
5. URBONAS, Vladas (College of Asia Pacific Management* Spring 2008, Republic of Lithuania)
The team project was ATRIS (Air Traffic Relocation Information System) - software that applies unique algorithms to optimize airline flight routes, benefit in substantial fuel savings, avoid delays and assist in better planning for the aviation industry.
The first day evening program consisted of booth presentation and 60-seconds elevator pitch. With only 1 minute given to pitch your business idea, one must emphasize the most important aspects, keep it simple and go straight to the point. We self-realized then, it’s a real business, not just competition. One minute might be too long for a silence, but too short when you are trying to take someone from the ground to the airline field of knowledge. Nevertheless, it was fantastic learning opportunity to follow the real business model and experience professional business atmosphere.
In real life, would you get more than 60 seconds? Most probably - NO.
The following day teams presented in three divisional rounds. Only one team of each division could go straight to the final round, while second runners would compete to get the second chance for finals. Remaining teams would fight again to become Round Winner.
Our first performance required a lot of improvement. Therefore, we were positioned to the 3rd place and assigned to participate in the MAI Challenger Round.
We did not give up. We came back to the hotel and re-strategized our approach with a complete surgical overhaul. We went through a seriously brutal, yet practical and extremely coherent feedback session from the key judges - CEOs and Directors of the large investment conglomerates - outstanding business professionals.
The MAI Challenge Round was held on March 12. To our utter surprise, we emerged as the winners with the judges noting dramatic improvement from the previous day. Team ATRIS won the MAI Challenge Round, $500 and a shining trophy! Without a doubt, this was a tremendous learning experience and glance at entirely new level of expertise.
In AVC competition, we represented APU and marked our participation for the first time as Round winners. We were personally proud of what our team did. We raised Ritsumeikan’s image and reputation; let our international friends know who we are and what we can do and, most importantly, benchmarked APU between the top business schools in Asia Pacific. Finally, It enabled us to get priceless feedback for other teams to represent university in the near future.
We wish to thank organizers for warm welcome, care and assistance in every detail.
Now, while AVC competition was truly challenging and demanding on all levels, what matters to us is that we came back proud and happy! We cleared the road and are keen to hold the torch. As Mr. Bill Randall (General AVC Organizer and Pacific Agri Capital Managing Partner) said at the inauguration ceremony:
“And now, the winner of MAI Challenge Round, ATRIS, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, the most international team we have ever seen during 10 years of this competition combined of Kenyan, Vietnamese and Eastern European from Japan, Welcome!”
Thank you from our hearts.