(from left) Roopesh Koowant, FTMBA ’18, and Yujun (Edward) Huang, FTMBA ’18, celebrate their first place win and their $6000 prize in the Notre Dame MBA Tech Innovation Challenge. (Not pictured, team member Arturo San Vicente, FTMBA ’18.) • UCI Paul Merage School of Business

Merage School Team Takes 1st Place in Notre Dame MBA Tech Innovation Challenge

April 24, 2018 • By UCI Paul Merage School of Business

A team of three Full-Time MBA students from the UCI Paul Merage School of Business competed in the Notre Dame MBA Tech Innovation Challenge, taking home first place and a cool $6,000. The final event was held April 22 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.  Focused on blockchain, this year’s case competition final event featured seven teams from top universities across the country.    

“Taking first in this event is an important step toward demonstrating our school’s commitment to educating leaders in a digitally driven world,” said Arturo San Vicente, one of the members of the Merage School team. Other team members included Roopesh Koolwant and Yujun (Edward) Huang. All whom are Full-Time MBA students from the class of 2018. 

"Arturo, Roopesh and Edward exemplify 'Leadership in a Digital World.'  Their ability to work within a cross-cultural format in a leading technological field is what it is all about,” said William Hernandez, executive director of the Center for Global Leadership and a lecturer at the Merage School.  “The implementation of blockchain technology, in a highly practical manner, is truly where the rubber meets the road.  The judges in the Tech Innovation Challenge immediately recognized that fact.  We are exceedingly proud of our team.”

In the win, the Merage School team beat out other finalists including teams from:

  • Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame
  • Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
  • SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University
  • Tuck at Dartmouth
  • W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

School that made the semi-finals included:

  • Broad College of Business, Michigan State University
  • School of Management, University at Buffalo
  • UCLA Anderson School of Management

“We want to give special thanks to Professor William Hernandez and the Dean of the School of Social Sciences Bill Maurer who gave us time in their busy agendas to contribute to us with ideas and key questions that pushed our intellectual capabilities,” said San Vicente. “We’d also like to thank Sofia Dang from the UCI Full-Time MBA program and Niti Shukla, president of the UCI Merage Business and Technology Association, for providing us with financial support to be able to attend the competition.”

“Also, I cannot say enough about the commitment to excellence and professionalism of the team,” San Vicente added.  “I am proud to be part of this group.”

Title sponsor of the Notre Dame MBA Tech Innovation Challenge was Thomson Reuters with SAP as co-sponsor.  For more information visit,