Undergraduates translate theory into practice and ace the Business Planning Competition

Eighty OSB undergraduate students took their learning to the next level by participating in the 2nd annual Business Planning Competition. The competition, sponsored by Byblos Bank, challenged students to propose future banking solutions for AkramApp, one of the most popular rewarding card loyalty programs in Lebanon.

Each student group pitched their innovative ideas to a judging panel composed of Byblos Bank executives, AUB professors, and independent jurors. A total of thirteen teams worked on their business ideas and were mentored for a period of two months. All teams competed for the top four rankings in the first stage of the competition and then, the four finalist teams competed against each other on Friday November 10, 2017. Two of the AUB teams had a tie and won the competition. 

Team Carti, comprised of Elijah Georgio Berberi, Karen Bouez, Ghida Dimachkieh, Majd Hassanieh, and Dhia Zeitouni, analyzed loyalty card transactions to create data based insights such as geolocation, productivity models and social media channels to better understand consumer behavior. “The team proposed models that would predict future purchases through push suggested transactions, offers, and redemptions which are all relevant to the consumer’s purchasing behavior,” said Dimeshkieh, adding that the team recommended rewarding extra points on the suggested transactions when consumers shop at their favorite stores.

The other winning team, Cronus, included Elissa Nakhoul, Hiba Abou Salbi, Maroun Ramia, Ossama Harb, and Mark Al Helou. They proposed that the Bank introduce a new virtual currency reward system similar to Cryptocurrenc, but that would use both a point rewarding system and virtual currency in one place. “This business planning competition allowed my peers and me to gain new skills in dealing with team issues as well as learning how to use resources efficiently. There were lots of benefits from participating in this business planning competition that will come in handy for future experiences and challenges,” noted El Helou.

Both winning teams received an all-inclusive trip to Dubai and a chance to visit Visa’s Innovative Center, a hub for the company’s future payment technology