LMU Places Second in Global KPMG Innovation Challenge

A team of four undergraduate business students from LMU placed second in the Global Finals of the KPMG Innovation and Collaboration Challenge (KICC), held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The interdisciplinary team made up of Liam Cerniglia (accounting), Alex Coletta (marketing), Alicia Mock (entrepreneurship) and Connor Sobczak (entrepreneurship) proudly represented the United States against 30 other schools from around the world.

“We could not be more proud of our students as well as the entrepreneurship faculty who helped the team prepare for the local, regional, national and global competitions,” said Dayle Smith, dean of the College of Business Administration. “I want all undergraduate business students to have an experience like this by the time they graduate.”

KICC gives students the opportunity to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges and present their innovative ideas to a panel of business leaders. The team – advised by Professor David Choi, director of the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship – won the local competition in Los Angeles against UCLA and California State University, Northridge before sweeping the regional competition in San Francisco against teams from USC and University of Washington. They came out on top once again at the national competition held in New York City.

“I decided to participate in this competition because I really wanted to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone,” said Alicia Mock. “I’ve never done anything like KICC and thought it would be a good chance for me to experience something completely new.”

Though the competition has been stressful at times, all agree it’s been really fun and rewarding, and has provided valuable real-world experience for these budding business professionals.

“I’ve learned is that being able to communicate with my teammates really helps us perform better and having confidence in ourselves goes a long way in this competition,” said Mock.

“Through this experience, I’ve been able to gain great real-world knowledge, network with one of the Big Four firms, and most of all – prove to myself that I can do it!” added Connor Sobczak.

“I’m incredibly thankful to be a part of this amazing university,” said Sobczak. “Dr. Choi has been instrumental in our team’s success and I cannot thank him enough for his commitment. I’d also like to thank my teammates for their hard work and dedication to this competition. Without everyone putting in their full effort, there’s no way we would’ve made it this far.”

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