A team of intrepid contestants from the Sy Syms School of Business—David Schmidt (’21SB), Ariel Schneider (’22SB), Alexander Wildes (’21SB), and Gabriel Miller (’21SB)—placed third out of more than 340 submissions and 7 finalists in the Shared Value Challenge, an international contest hosted by the Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Guilford Glazer Faculty for Business and Management at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The challenge this year, according to the contest website, was to “come up with a business idea that will create shared value … and sustainable management,” or as Schmidt put it concisely, a company that would “both help the world improve in some area, usually aligned with the U.N. Sustainability Goals, while also being profitable.” Sy Syms faced teams from New York, Pennsylvania, Lithuania, Israel and Italy.
Their submission, an app named “Eat IT,” was intended to eliminate the intense food waste dilemma many wealthy countries face and help save families money while simultaneously removing 6% to 7% of greenhouse gases emitted yearly.
Their idea came out of work they had been doing in Dr. Tamar Avnet’s Marketing capstone class. She encouraged them to submit their completed assignment to the contest and, as Schmidt explained, “it was simply editing our presentation down to six minutes and recording it for the presentation format.”
The quartet praised both Dr. Avnet and Dr. Gil Peleg, clinical assistant professor of marketing, for their support, assistance and encouragement throughout the process.
“We are all just really happy we can represent YU on a global scale so that other universities know the great work that’s done here by all the students,” said Schmidt. Miller added that working with his team and to have that work validated by the prize “gives me confidence in my work efforts and abilities as I move on to the work force,” and Wildes felt proud being able to “showcase the skills and entrepreneurial spirit that we had picked up at YU” and to “represent our alma mater in such a positive way.”