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UTS protégés scoop Microsoft awards

UTS Business undergrads walked away with the two top awards at the inaugural Microsoft Protégé Grand Finals, held this week at Microsoft’s Australian headquarters in Sydney.

The challenge: to create demand for MS Office 2010 – successor to MS Office 2007 – among tertiary students.

The prize: a tantalizing paid month’s internship with Microsoft for the winning team – a resume must-have for all marketing gonna-be’s.

Winning team, The Titans, ‘nailed a touch down’, in the judges words. The five UTS students, Jack Pilon, Sabrina Selvaratnam, Lyall Sundel, Steve Pillon, and Timothy Cummings, combined their intimate understanding of the target market (they are after all, the target market), with a clear map of how to convert brand awareness to sales. 

The winners were thrilled: ‘when we started we thought it would be amazing to win, then we just assumed that somebody else would,’ said Jack Pilon, modestly.

The judges praised the ‘exceptional commercial thinking and marketing know-how. Your presentation was schmick and the piece-de-resistance was using the software. Well done!’

The People’s Choice award (voted by the audience on their mobile phones, a la Idol) was taken out by UTS group All Star Solutions, who proposed a nationwide lipdub competition to raise awareness, and create a little cool for the brand. Sophie Green, Ayumi Yoshida, Elizabeth Mercer, Jodie Rivers and Wai Yan Ha backed up an excellent presentation with solid research and smart analysis.

The initiative was embraced at UTS by marketing academics Simone Peres, (tutor to the winning team), Dr Kyuseop Kwak and Chelsea Wise, who worked together on the original brief so that it could be incorporated into the work of the 14 week Research for Marketing Decisions course.

Microsoft received sixty submissions which were whittled down over a two stage judging period to the final six who were invited to present at the Grand Finale. Four out of the six teams represented the University of Technology, with excellent entries from Macquarie University and Sydney University.

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