David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

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Nazarian College Students Win Big at Small Business Institute’s Project of the Year Competition

March 10, 2022

Nazarian College Students Win Big at Small Business Institute’s Project of the Year Competition by Grace Da Rocha

(Pictured left to right: Dr. Kristen Walker, Dr. Drew Foley, Natalie Simonoff, Adrine Arutyunyan, Daniel Madison, and Dr. Silvina Bamrungpong)

Four Nazarian College undergraduate and graduate Small Business Consulting teams placed within the top three of their respective categories at the Small Business Institute’s Project of the Year competition. 

The Small Business Institute announced the results of their competition on Saturday, Feb. 26 at the 2022 SBI Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.  

Undergraduate students in the Business Honors Program placed in the “Consulting” and “Comprehensive” categories this year. The Hipcooks team that helped the in-person Hipcooks culinary school with a digital branding campaign, placed first in the undergraduate “Consulting” category. It is the Business Honors Program’s second first-place finish in this category within the past three years. 

In the undergraduate “Comprehensive” category, the Redflight Innovation team placed second, marking the second year in a row that a Nazarian College program has placed in the top three of the event’s most competitive category. Students on this team worked with Redflight Innovation that offers a science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) kit to middle-school students with limited access to technology. 

“Seeing the student teams’ work receive national recognition is a credit to the quality of our program, the support of the Nazarian College, and the guidance provided by Dr. Foley,” said Silvina Bamrungpong, director of the Business Honors Program. “To say that as director of the program I am pleased and proud of our students and their work is an understatement.”

Graduate students in the MBA Program entered two consulting projects for the SBI’s Project of the Year competition.  A project with client Kent Toussaint at the Teen Therapy Center placed first in the “Graduate Specialized” category for marketing. The team focused on increasing awareness for the client’s counseling services and developing outreach strategies to teens and families. “The team's hard work and dedication to this project and Dr. Beruchashvili’s advisement made all the difference,” said Dr. Kristen Walker, marketing professor and director of the MBA program.

Another MBA team also won first place in the “Graduate Feasibility/Business Plan” category. Advised by Dr. Walker, the team explored the gap in serving the technical assistance needs of small businesses in the San Fernando Valley. She noted the success of both teams, explaining how “Nazarian MBA students continue to pay their experience forward to the community.”

Between the undergraduate and graduate students, the Nazarian College was honored with four awards. 

“I am so proud of our students and faculty,” said Chandra Subramaniam, dean of the Nazarian College. “For them to have helped these businesses and the communities they serve, as well as be honored at the national level for their work, is extraordinarily rewarding.”