Student Business Leader Wins $20,000 In Georgia State Business Plan Competition

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An Executive MBA student at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business has won $20,000 at the university’s Business Plan Competition to further his business in medical technology innovations.

An Executive MBA student at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business has won $20,000 at the university’s Business Plan Competition to further his business in medical technology innovations.

Berkley Baker, head of CIMI Solutions, won the award for his CIMI Robotic Surgery Solution, software that will improve the use and efficiency of robots used in surgery. The surgical robots cost $1.5 to $2.2 million to purchase and $500,000 a year to operate.

“We’re very grateful for the opportunity,” said Baker, an Army veteran whose career includes work in the medical device industry. “It was a privilege to be selected as the winner of the event, and it was exciting to see all of the talent in the room.”

The April 10 competition included presentations of business plans and questioning by business leaders serving as judges. A record 41 teams of students entered the competition this year.

“The Georgia State Business Plan Competition has grown every year since it began in 2008,” said Buddy Ray, associate director of the Herman J. Russell Sr. International Center for Entrepreneurship. “The number of teams or individuals competing, the prize money and the in-kind service prizes all increased by about 30 percent.

“But most important, the quality of the student plans increased again this year. This has become an impressive competition.”

The second-place winner was Justin McLeod, a senior majoring in marketing, who garnered $10,000 for his Event Tent app, focused on event promotion and planning, joined by fellow students junior graphic design major Christopher Davis and senior computer science major Duvall Smith.

Other finalists included The Atlanta Beltline Hostel, Inc., and Goza Tequila, LLC.

Judges included Kevin D. Johnson, president of Johnson Media, Inc.; Lydia Jones, former district director of the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Centers; and Jason Perry, an audit services partner in the offices of Grant Thornton, an audit, tax and advisory firm.

Prize sponsors included Krevolin Horst, LLC, Grant Thornton, SparkMarket, Niche Video Media, Johnson Media and The Myers Group.

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Leah Seupersad
Georgia State University
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