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Pepperdine Business Plan Competition Awards $26,000 to MBA Teams

LOS ANGELES, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management awarded $15,000 in seed funding to a MBA business plan addressing California's nursing shortage. Pepperdine MBA students Kimberly Foster and Mara Kamins' Nurse Education Web, a web-based clinical practice reservation system for nursing schools, won first place in the Pepperdine University Fourth Annual Business Plan Competition (, held Saturday, March 8, 2008 in Malibu, CA.

Foster, herself a registered nurse and teacher at a Los Angeles-based nursing school, and Kamins, an experienced entrepreneur and investment banker, proposed an online solution enabling hospitals, clinics and nursing homes to find and book nursing students, who are required to complete 750 hours of on-the-job training to earn their degrees. Using Nurse Education Web's automated scheduling and matching capabilities, nursing schools would not have to contact each individual clinical site for information and available student slots. The improved efficiency would save schools time and money and expand the number of nurses available to enter the workforce.

Second place was awarded to Marumi Marblez, a business plan to recreate "family game night." The Pepperdine MBA team members Zach Pond, Dan Reines, Emalie Brgoch and Vanessa Towning received $5,000 for an original board game that can be played in as little as 10 minutes and left "ready to play" in common areas to encourage family members and friends to conveniently engage with one another at any time.

Finalists, a business plan offering real-time online coupons and promotions from area businesses, and White Coast Solutions, specializing in outsourcing private medical practice administration, were each awarded $2,500.

In addition, MBA students independently awarded $1,000 in prize money to undergraduate students Luke Marvel and Brett Clouser, recipients of the Socially-Minded Entrepreneur Award for their Monument of our Hearts business plan, which married their own brand of organic designer clothing with promoting a healthy body image.

The competition, open to all students attending Pepperdine University, received more than 40 business plan proposals in November 2007. Ten plans were selected to compete in a semi-final round, which produced the four finalists.

Teams presented before a panel of business professionals that included Jim Marshall, managing director of Selby Ventures (; Mark Miller, managing member of Miller Family Holdings LLC (; Don Oparah, founder and director of Venture Acceleration Initiative (; and John Rehfeld, chairman of the Forum for Corporate Directors (

The first-place and second-place winning teams are invited to compete for $250,000 in investment funding at the 4th Annual Draper Fisher Jurvetson Business Plan Competition (, a state-wide contest available to competitors at any college or university in California that currently has a business plan competition. The two Pepperdine MBA runner-up teams also have a possible opportunity to compete as "wild cards" in this event in Menlo Park, CA, on May 28, 2008.

About the Graziadio School:

Founded on the core values of integrity, stewardship, courage, and compassion, Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management has been developing values-centered leaders for contemporary business practice since 1969. Our portfolio of fully accredited MBA and bachelor's completion business programs provide personalized attention in an intimate setting, emphasis on applied and relevant business practices, and the convenience of six campus locations throughout Southern California. With an alumni network of more than 30,000 business professionals, the Graziadio School delivers superior flexibility, quality of experience and depth of knowledge for professionals continuing their education as full-time students, fully-employed degree recipients and senior executives.

SOURCE Pepperdine University
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