Inventing a New Future
Industrial engineering student advances to global finals of 3M innovation competition
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Vamshi Voruganti, a junior industrial engineering student, is advancing to the global finals of the 2017 3M Invent a New Future Challenge after placing first at the national competition March 30-31 at 3M headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Each of the 10 national finalists in the innovation competition was randomly paired with a fellow finalist to work on a business case related to corporate growth and sustainability. Voruganti and his teammate Bryce Nyberg – an MBA candidate from the University of Utah – pitched a telemedicine healthcare solution for developing countries that resonated well with the judges.
"The national round was one of the most impactful experiences of my college career,” Voruganti said. “Meeting and competing against inspiring student leaders from across the country helped me grow immensely as a professional in a very short amount of time.”
The judging panel for the national competition was comprised of GM managers in operations, human resources and finance. The head judge was an investment specialist for 3M Gives, the non-profit wing of 3M.
Voruganti and Nyberg will represent the United States during the global round of the competition to be held in July. Two finalists from each participating country will take part in the international event.
“I am very excited for the global round because I think it will be an opportunity to be exposed to different cultures and to learn more about diversity in the world,” Voruganti said. “I can't wait to represent Penn State and the United States this July!"
The global round of the competition, which will be held at 3M headquarters, will be judged by members of the 3M senior leadership team.
The Invent a New Future competition places college students in competition against their global peers in a business simulation case challenge that tests problem-solving, leadership and teamwork skills, while helping students gain invaluable business insights and experience.
This year, 3M received more than 4,000 applications from both undergraduate and graduate students representing 12 countries worldwide.
The overall winner of the international competition will earn a trip the 3M Innovation Center and a six-month mentorship with a 3M senior leader.
A native of Exton, Pennsylvania, Voruganti is involved with the Penn State chapter of the National Organization of Business and Engineering. He was also on the team that placed first at the Inaugural Smeal Supply Chain Entrepreneurship Pitch Contest last spring.
For more information on the 3M competition, and for a list of previous winners, visit the Invent a New Future Challenge website.
Pamela Krewson Wertz