University of Vermont

University Communications

$100,000 Gift Will Support Business Pitch and Case Competitions at the School of Business Administration

David Aronoff

A $100,000 gift from a University of Vermont alumnus will support the creation of a Business Pitch Competition this fall. David (’86) and Jessica Aronoff designated the money to be used for Student Experiential Learning: Case Competitions. 

"Business plan competitions provide important opportunities for students to integrate their learning across a variety of functional areas,” said Aronoff. “Winning or losing the contest doesn’t matter as much as the experience the students gain from developing their own ideas into concrete plans, presenting them in a public forum and working in teams. Judges, usually with very relevant backgrounds, give immediate feedback to students, which provides a unique learning opportunity to help with both academic and professional development. And through case competitions, the university gains valuable insights that can help it tune their MBA program."

Thanks to the Aronoffs' donation, the school will host a Business Pitch Competition during homecoming weekend (Oct. 4-6). The goal of the competition is to create and present an overall business plan that is comprehensive, realistic and has potential value. Five finalists will present their ideas to prominent alumni and members of the business community to compete for cash prizes toward their entrepreneurial innovation.

“Case and business pitch competitions provide our students with the opportunity to build confidence, develop leadership skills and sharpen analytical and presentation skills,” said Dean Sanjay Sharma, of the School of Business Administration. “We are extremely grateful to David and Jessica for their donation and look forward to hosting the competition this fall.”

The UVM Entrepreneurship Club is working to finalize the competition details. The hope is that this competition will act as an incubator for undergraduate students looking to pursue innovative ideas and business ventures. Registration for the competition will begin in March.

David Aronoff is a general partner at Flybridge Capital Partners. He graduated cum laude from the University of Vermont in 1986 with a bachelor of science in computer science. David was also a member of the first class of Vermont Scholars, now called Green and Gold Scholars. He has a master of science in computer engineering from the University of Southern California, and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. He and his wife Jessica have two children.