SBA Day Returns to Menlo

Saeed Amidi, Menlo alumnus and Founder and CEO of Plug and Play Tech Center.

November 21, 2011

Menlo College reinstated its honored tradition of School of Business Administration (SBA) Day on Thursday, November 17, with a full day of events. Once again, Menlo students had an opportunity to meet with Silicon Valley business leaders and showcase their own business plans to the wider Menlo community.

The morning kicked off with nearly 300 students and over 60 guests—including Board of Trustee members, SBA Advisory Board members, Accounting Advisory Board members, alumni, and parents—gathered in the Dining Hall to enjoy a networking breakfast and keynote speech from Saeed Amidi, Menlo alumnus and Founder and CEO of Plug and Play Tech Center. Amidi talked about his experience as an entrepreneur and investor, his successes and failures, and some of the most important factors in achieving personal and professional success.

Amidi's speech was followed by six breakout sessions on current business topics ranging from job creation programs to international reporting standards, led by faculty members and staff. One of the sessions featured the Mini-Business-Plan Semi-Finals, where 10 teams of freshmen presented their business plans—in the form of two minute long “elevator pitches”—to a panel of judges. The top five plans selected by the judges moved on to the final round of the competition, in the afternoon session.

The day rounded out with the five finalists of the Mini-Business-Plan Competition presenting their projects to an audience of Menlo students, alumni, and faculty. The teams pitched their plans to—and answered questions from—a panel of judges that included Alireza Masrour, Vice President of Investments at Plug and Play Technology Center; Geir Ramleth, Chief Information Officer at Bechtel Corporation, member of the Menlo College Board of Trustees,  and Chair of the Menlo College SBA Advisory Board; Carolyn Amster, Tax Partner at Burr, Pilger, Mayer Certified Public Accountants; Simon Glinsky, Principal at the Glinsky Group, Organizational Development Consultants; and David Placey, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Planning at Menlo College. Although every team had strong business ideas, Synchronized Studio won the hearts of both the audience and the judges with their “Memorizer” application for synchronizing all your digital devices, and received both the main prize and the “audience favorite” award.

SBA Day is a tradition started in 1956, when enrollment in the Menlo School of Business Administration jumped significantly. It was initiated to bring business people and students together for informal discussion and interchange of ideas, exposing the business students to expert opinions on current trends in managerial policies and techniques. SBA Day was held annually until the early 2000s, and then discontinued. The SBA Advisory Board—formed last academic year—was the driving force behind reviving this annual event.

View the photo gallery from SBA Day:

SBA Day 2011