An AECOM business plan for a new innovation developed by a business innovator and supported by four students from the Malaysia campus of Edinburgh Business School, the graduate school of business of Heriot-Watt University, has been short-listed in the prestigious AECOM Global Challenge.

The annual Global Innovation Challenge of AECOM, one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Companies 2017, is an open invitation to all 87,000 employees to propose innovative solutions for the complex challenges that exist in the world today. Every year this results in hundreds of submitted entries which are then whittled down to a shortlist of 25. The Challenge then moves into its second phase: Business Plan Development. At this point AECOM invites MBA students from business schools around the globe to join 25 teams to help decide which of the shortlisted ideas have the highest potential for success in the marketplace.

This was the first year that Edinburgh Business School was invited to take part and three teams were fielded, one comprising students studying with Edinburgh Business School’s partner the School of Business and Computer Science in Trinidad and Tobago, and the two others from Edinburgh Business School students studying at the Dubai and Malaysia campuses. With mentoring and coaching from AECOM strategists and support from Edinburgh Business School faculty the AECOM teams worked on turning each of their allotted initial concepts into a concrete commercial proposal for review by The AECOM Global Challenge panel.

Edinburgh Business School Malaysia Campus AECOM Global Challenge team.

The proposal from the team which included Edinburgh Business School students studying at Heriot-Watt Malaysia, comprising Shi How Wong, Yew Cho Lim, Laura Aristizabal Sanchez and Sreetharan Thiruchelvam, was shortlisted into the final ten. This is where their involvement of our students ceases, but the top ten proposals now move onto the Accelerator Stage manned by AECOM experts where financial and in-kind support is provided to enable prototyping, access to clients, events, brokerage services and support from various AECOM departments such as legal, accounting and marketing. At the end of this stage the aim is that the business plans have become a viable product or service that is then pitched in a ‘shark tank’ style, with the winner or winners being announced later this month.

Edinburgh Business School Dubai Campus AECOM Global Challenge team

Comments Dr Barbara Jamieson, MBA Programme Director:

“I am delighted that one of our teams has reached the final stage of the AECOM Global Challenge, it pays testament to the calibre of our students at Edinburgh Business School. The teams from Trinidad & Tobago and Dubai, whilst not through to the Accelerator Stage were pipped to the post and worked equally hard, but most importantly have gained invaluable real life business analysis experience.” 
Comments Dr Moira Storey, Partnership Director:

“Edinburgh Business School students’ participation in the AECOM challenge has been a positive and challenging experience.  We are hopeful that the same opportunity will be available to students in future years and that the relationship with AECOM continues.”