Corcentric Honors Innovation and the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Recently, Corcentric was privileged to sponsor the second annual Corcentric Case Competition for the University of Maryland’s Honors College Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP). The EIP program gives Honors College freshmen and sophomores the experiences they need to build an entrepreneurial mindset, skillsets, and relationships with a goal of working to develop, in UM’s words, “innovative and impactful solutions to today’s problems.”
Last year, Corcentric challenged students to develop a new product or service idea and marketing strategy to monetize Corcentric’s data. This year, the competition revolved around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Since Corcentric’s services involve generating and processing vast numbers of transactions and other business information, resulting in huge quantities of data, the ability to leverage that data through the use of AI to improve and expand products and services is an important and forward-looking challenge.
Students, divided into teams, were given one month to develop a product strategy to help Corcentric determine where it could use AI and machine learning to add customer value to our products and services. Teams looked at the competitive landscape for Corcentric and, with that top of mind, designed the strategies.
“The Corcentric Case Competition was a fantastic opportunity for our students to look at a technology that will be hugely important in the future and apply it to a real-world business,” said EIP Director Jay Smith. “Corcentric was great to work with. They really see the value of working with our students.”
“I always stress that we should focus on what the customer outcome will be and work backwards from there,” said Corcentric President and Chief Operating Officer Matt Clark. “These students did so remarkably well, and provided us with fresh perspectives and truly good ideas for us to carry forward.”
Student teams reviewed Corcentric’s products and services and analyzed the company’s markets, customers and competition. Next, they defined the top three types of artificial intelligence functionalities that Corcentric could offer to its customers. Teams then proposed a marketing strategy, identified risks and mitigation, and validated their findings through a customer prospect.
Finally, students presented their findings to a panel of judges, including Corcentric’s Matt Clark and Sudarshan Ranganath, Vice President of Product Management for Corcentric. The judges scored teams based upon the tasks outlined above, as well as for their coherence, thoroughness, creativity, persuasion, and professionalism.
1st Place (and a prize of $1000) – Adam Rosenbaum, Ian Rosario, and Ritvik Jain for their presentation, “The Power of Foresight,” which illustrated how AI could be used in Corcentric’s billing solution for supply chain financing, payment management, and dispute management.
“AI is right on time as it is being used across disciplines,” said Rosenbaum, the team’s leader. “I was excited to dip my feet in. It’s one thing to talk about it in classes; it’s another to do research and see where the value-add is.”
2nd Place (and a prize of $500) – Adharsh Babu, Aviral Agarwal, and Jonathon Taylor for their presentation, “AI Solutions for Corcentric,” which identified personal assistants to help access data and auditing reports and expenses for the best usage for AI and Robotic Process Automation.
3rd Place (and a prize of $250) – Ankit Sheth and Fiona Whitefield for their presentation “Corcentric,” which identified how AI, machine learning and robotic process automation could be instrumental in onboarding new clients; pattern recognition; and data inputs and invoice processing.
“The two teams that finished first and second had terrific concepts,” said Clark. “Reflective analytics is really relevant to a lot of things we are doing now. In addition, the concept of data engineering as a service has a good deal of potential. We hope to take these kids and have them help us carry these ideas forward. We would love to have them be a part of the refinement and formulation process. That’s how we want to evolve this.”
Congratulations to all of the students that participated in this event. You are a testament to the excellence of the University of Maryland and your own visions.