Tech@Tuck 2016 Ushers in the Latest and GreatestFebruary 22nd, 2016
by Robert Wilson, MBA Fellow, T’16
This past Thursday I had the privilege of taking part in Tech@Tuck activities for the second consecutive year. This included vendor demos in Stell Hall as well as a panel in the afternoon in Borelli Classroom. I enjoyed both events and felt the quality of each raised the bar from the year prior. Just as with other subjects of interest at the Tuck School of Business, the study and influence of Technology continues to evolve and strengthen.
This year’s vendor fair included a balanced mix of local start-ups, Tuck resources, and big name tech companies. This resulted in a “something for everyone” feel that was quite well received. While the Oculus Rift was undoubtedly the most popular item to demo, all booths provided an opportunity to ask questions and interact with individuals. Credit should also be given to the Dartmouth Football team for loading their practice footage onto the Oculus and sharing it with us. That was my first time trying the latest and greatest of virtual reality and it’s ready for the mainstream. I also enjoyed visiting FreshAir, where Michael Boches (VP of Customer Experience) lived up to his title and gave a guided tour of the sensor’s inner workings. I visited the Feldberg Library’s table where they demonstrated how eMarketer, Mintel, and Statista software could all provide customer data for those interested in startups. Gametheory, a company out of Burlington, VT that is built on gamification was also present. Their ability to whitelabel, design from scratch, or consult on app development provides unique value in a space where most people think they need to build in-house. Overall, very cool demos.
The Tech@Tuck panel addressing digital transformation and commerce included Alison Gregg Corcoran T’86 of Staples and Cary Rosenberg T’05 of BlueFly, with Larry Weber of Racepoint Global as moderator. What most impressed me about this panel was the complete lack of softball questions. Everything discussed was relevant to MBAs interested in technology, marketing, or related fields. The panelists discussed whether there is a theoretical cap on the number of e-commerce sites, how to manage multi-device development, and where MBAs can add the most value to companies. The answers that stuck with me both addressed that last topic. For Alison, MBAs need to understand that it’s not just about reporting, it’s about the “so what” business implications. Carly built on that in discussing the ubiquity of software in organizations, if you can show that it solves real business problems, the software solution is here to stay.