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Press Release -- December 1st, 2011
Source: AT&T

MBA Teams Answering “Challenge” to Help Small Businesses Tackle Cloud Technology

AT&T-Sponsored Innovation Challenge matches creative thinking of graduate students with emerging business issues

Dallas, Texas, December 01, 2011

Top college athletes can imagine themselves carrying off a national championship trophy, for MBAs there’s The Innovation Challenge®.

These teams aren’t competing in stadiums with thousands of cheering fans. They’re developing innovative business ideas to give small business owners with limited IT budgets the tools available to the pros. AT&T is ready to tap into that pool of creativity as a sponsor of The Innovation Challenge®, an annual contest pitting MBA teams in a battle of innovation and creative thinking.

“The Innovation Challengebrings together a very deep talent pool of next-generation business leaders,” said Anil Rathi, CEO & Founder of Skild, the contest organizer. “Key to its success is the participation of companies like AT&T, which helps create an experience that uniquely addresses real-world business and social innovation challenges.”

This year’s five finalists in AT&T’s challenge group feature teams representing Virginia Commonwealth University – University Brandcenter, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, the Haas School of Business at University of California at Berkeley, Harvard Business School and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India.

Participating teams researched, brainstormed and presented a detailed plan for addressing questions on emerging technology and how AT&T can better connect its cloud-hosting services with mobility applications and services to meet the needs of small businesses. After several rounds of judging by AT&T and industry experts, the finalists were selected from among the 60 MBA teams competing.

The winning team will be announced in early December and awarded prizes that include cash and exposure to some of AT&T’s top executives and key innovators. AT&T’s involvement in The Innovation Challenge is spearheaded through its own internal crowdsourcing and collaboration program called The Innovation Pipeline (TIP). As part of this, AT&T has reached outside its internal parameters to tap the minds of top students.

“AT&T’s TIP program and The Innovation Challenge are similar in that they both bring together great minds to collaborate and elevate the best ideas to the top,” said Sam Zellner, AT&T’s Executive Director of Innovation. ”Our role with the Challenge is demonstrative of how we can collaborate outside traditional lines by connecting with tomorrow’s leaders to help shape the future of technology.”

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T, news, filings) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile broadband and emerging 4G capabilities, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising.

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