PVAMU wins HBCU Battle of the Brains during SXSW
Prairie View A&M University Panthers won this year’s HBCU Battle of the Brains competition in Austin on March 10, 2019, during South by Southwest (SXSW). PVAMU’s team conquered well-known HBCU rivalries battling it out, winning $25,000 – and bragging rights.
Organized by the Black MBA Association, the event’s mission is to promote the talented business and STEM students within the African American community while highlighting the benefits of SXSW, as well as the technology industry, in an engaging and dynamic way. The competition pits groups of students from HBCUs around the country, who develop solutions to a complex issue, then pitch their solution in front of judges, as well as a live audience.
PVAMU’s team of five students, Dannick Boyogueno, Amber Diehl, Oluseun John, Uchechukwu Uboh, and Seif Hediya from the College of Business and the College of Engineering, reigned as victors. “This win shows not only how talented and competitive our students are, but the power that comes from having a diverse interdisciplinary team,” said Munir Quddus, dean of the College of Business.
The PVAMU competitors spent long hours and several days preparing for the competition under the direction of faculty advisors Rick Baldwin, associate professor of Management & Marketing, Audria Ford, adjunct professor of Finance, and Herbert Thomas, program specialist and counselor to the team. In the end, the team had 24 hours to conduct research and prepare a comprehensive solution for an NFL case study.
The group also met with a host of sponsors and had opportunities to network with potential mentors and employers. HBCU Battle of the Brains offers opportunities for students to enjoy the SXSW conference, and build fellowship, their professional skills, and improve their network as they are interviewed by sponsors (including the NFL and NBA this year).
Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries, the annual event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. Industry experts, brilliant minds, and global icons gather every spring to exchange concepts, revolutionary ideas, to launch startups, and find talent that changes how people see and engage the world.