MBA Students Win GW/Edens & Avant REIDO Case Competition

March 31, 2009

The students of the Georgetown McDonough School of Business team display
their $10,000 prize check.

A team of MBA students from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business won the GW/Edens & Avant REIDO Real Estate Development case competition on Saturday, March 28. The group comprised both evening and full time program students: Troy Dibley (EP 09), Andrew Flank (EP 10), Steve Fleming (EP 10), Kwangil Kim (FT 09), Gaby Lega (EP 10), and George Vogelei (FT 09). Faculty coach Brian Gill helped the students prepare for the competition. Georgetown's students came in first place out of 16 teams from MBA programs across the country, and won a $10,000 prize. Other finalists were Wharton, Texas A&M, UNC, University of Washington and University of Maryland.

The case concerned the redevelopment of the Florida Avenue Market, next to the New York Avenue metro and bordered by Gallaudet University. MBA evening student Flank said, "This was an extremely challenging site due to the number of stakeholders involved, the politically charged environment, and the requirement to assemble 171 plots of land owned by 86 unique private and public entities. Our vision for the creation of Union Market was a 17-year plan to develop a 24/7 mixed-use community featuring a 'main street' feel. The reality of this, or any, project on the site was contingent upon the ability to build upon the common ground of all the stakeholders involved, developing the community through collaboration. We used connections to reach out to many of the top executives in the industry, getting their input and ultimately a sign-off or testimonial from them about our project. We approached this case as our real project instead of a case competition."

Professor Gill commented that the executives observing the competition considered the group's presentation "so polished that they could present it in the board room 'as is.'"

Flank offered advice for future competitors. "Don't rely on an excel spreadsheet, financial analysis, or reading PowerPoint slides to tell your story. You should focus on creating a compelling, focused presentation that is backed up by your numbers. Selling this bigger picture will lead to your success in these competitions, and in your career."