ACI Helps Australian Team Capture Prize Money in VT Global Business Challenge

We recently had the pleasure of mentoring four freshmen students from Australia, here to compete in the 3rd annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Business Challenge.  or

Henry, Jim, and the CARmunity Team

Henry, Jim, and the CARmunity Team

Lucy, Alice, Megan, and Vanessa started in March of this year at the University of Technology, Sydney. They were assigned to develop a business concept that had a positive impact on the environment. Their idea is a carpool matching application for smartphones, paying drivers while saving money for riders, all via secure PayPal transactions. The environmental impact is that each car removed from congested Sydney traffic saves over 4 tons of CO2 emissions per year. The CARmunity project was selected among all entries to represent Australia in this year’s competition. The CARmunity team was composed of all freshmen, and they competed against 12 other teams composed of seniors and graduate students.

ACI executives Jim Wyers and Henry Bass met with the team Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning to refine the 10 minute pitch and prepare for the panel’s questions. Jim and Henry used video cameras to record the practice sessions and uploaded them to YouTube so the team could join in the critique and improvement process in the evening.  Jim Wyers said, “In addition to going over the presentation a half dozen times, we helped clarify some of the business concepts to address key concerns about the market, opportunity, funding, cash flow, and user acceptance. By Thursday, they had improved their confidence tenfold, and it showed on stage.”

Henry Bass expressed particular enthusiasm for the team’s success, “We are so glad to have been a part of their winning pitch! They hit all the right notes: great story, great energy, thinking on their feet, and sound business concepts. We are very proud of Team Australia!”

CARmunity was presented with a check for $5,000 at the VT Awards Banquet. Only three countries represented were able to claim a cash prize amidst the fierce competition of 13 high-quality presentations.

“Automation Creations works with new business concepts every day,” says CEO Jim Wyers. “Designing software is only part of the work we do. We help our customers maximize profit while doing good for our community.  Automation improves business efficiency but is always part of a total package. We enjoy helping people win, whether it is in business, or on the stage!”

About Henry Bass

Henry Bass is the company owner and president, a Reserve Army officer, a CEO Moderator for LX Council, and a civic volunteer for FIRST Robotics, Boy Scouts, The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, and the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council STEM Committee. He holds Masters degrees from Virginia Tech and Washington University in St Louis, as well as certifications in software development and systems engineering. His 20 year old company, Automation Creations, specializes in custom software development and website applications, with a number of successful spin-offs and Fortune 500 customers.
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