What’s the sponsor’s role?
ICE sponsor executives work closely with approximately 16 student teams, guiding them through company data and history while also facilitating their understanding of the marketplace and the relevant issues at stake. Through the process, each student team develops its own business plan, integrating their strategies across a broad swath of disciplines, to address the sponsor firm’s real-world business problem.
What’s a typical ICE project?
Most ICE projects have a current theme and are integrative, strategic and high-level. Like board members, students address a business development question or opportunity currently being grappled with by the sponsor company. Sponsors may decide to have students offer cases for either a Project A or B, or leave the project more open-ended, asking students to focus on one area of the business and make strategic recommendations. The teams conduct market analyses, do in-depth research, financial analysis, and ROI, and consider how the opportunity fits into the company’s long-term strategy — everything a company would expect when considering a new opportunity.
Who should be on the sponsor team?
ICE sponsors generally elect a sort of “relationship champion” — a person who makes decisions on behalf of the company as they pertain to the sponsorship and the project. It is often helpful to appoint a junior executive to regularly interact with the student teams as they access company data, need a sounding board for ideas, and coordinate executive involvement.
How much collaboration or interaction should we expect?
Sponsors first interact with a faculty member to identify the question they want answered — the growth opportunity or potential new business — and, with professors, share pertinent information with students throughout the semester. Communication is roughly monthly at the late-summer outset but becomes more frequent as the student teams’ presentations draw nearer.
What is the timeline for involvement in ICE?
July Planning Session: An introductory meeting with the ICE faculty team members to identify the project and discuss parameters. Follow-up discussion by phone/email.
September Intro Night: An evening session on Grounds, during which representatives provide a company overview.
October Project Launch: Evening session introducing project parameters to students.
November Project Check-In: A meeting to respond to questions about the project either in person, by videoconference, or by conference call.
December Final Presentations: Observe project presentations and participate in Q&A session over one or two days on Grounds.
What is the financial commitment for ICE?
ICE sponsorship requires a two-year commitment, along with a $25,000 annual contribution to the McIntire School of Commerce. In addition to the many benefits of ICE sponsorship, sponsors also receive benefits and recognition in the McIntire Corporate Partners Program.