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West Michigan's Next Generation of Business Leaders to Compete for Inaugural ACG Cup

- MBA & MS Finance students square off; connect with local business leaders -

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the prominent themes addressed at the 2008 West Michigan Regional Policy Conference was keeping home grown talent -- this area's next generation of leaders -- in West Michigan. In response, the Association for Corporate Growth Western Michigan (ACGWM), the region's fastest growing business organization, is pleased to announce its inaugural ACG Cup, which is a masters-level deal analysis competition designed to give MBA and MS Finance students real-world experience while networking with this region's top merger and acquisition professionals.

"ACG Cup represents an exciting opportunity to put the spotlight on West Michigan's next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs," said Christine Moag, president of ACGWM. "At the same time, it helps our community address a critical challenge in our region - talent retention. We want our home-grown, best and brightest to learn and work here."

Four of the area's best MBA programs will be taking part in the inaugural ACG Cup - Davenport University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University and Western Michigan University. Teams from each school will analyze a complex business case (provided by ACGWM) and recommend strategies involving valuation, identifying capital markets, developing merger/acquisition strategic alternatives and financing options. Prominent members of the corporate community will apply their industry expertise as judges for the competition.

"To stay competitive in a global marketplace, we as a business community need to make it our priority to keep our next generation of leaders here in West Michigan," said Birgit Klohs, President of The Right Place, Inc. "I am encouraged to see an organization like Association for Corporate Growth take the lead on this initiative, providing these students with an platform to showcase their talents to future employers."

Schedule and Format

-- Round 1 (January 14 - 31, 2009): ACGWM will distribute a case study to participating teams two weeks prior to their scheduled Round One competition. During Round One, teams will present their recommendations and respond to judges' questions for 30 minutes. After all teams present, the judges will choose one team from each school to advance to the Finals to be held February 25.

-- Round 2 (February 25, 2009): The Finals will be held at Grand Valley State University's Loosemore Auditorium on Wednesday, February 25, 2009. The session is open to the public (contact ACGWM for tickets). During the Finals, a new case study will be presented to 4 finalist teams (one from each University) who will present their recommendations and respond to judges' questions for 30 minutes. After all teams present, the judges will deliberate and the winners will be announced at the ACG Outstanding Growth Award reception held in March 2009 at DeVos Place.

-- The Prize: The winning team will receive $5,000 at the ACGWM Outstanding Growth Award reception held in March 2009 at DeVos Place.

To learn more about ACG Cup, visit or call ACGWM at 616.732.7149.


Founded in 1999, ACGWM is focused on domestic and international new business and market development, joint ventures and alliances for West Michigan corporate and service members. Approximately two-thirds of ACG members are the primary decision-makers in their organizations. Mergers and acquisitions and corporate growth, including the use of new channels and technologies is center of interest for membership. Chapter meetings provide an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to develop networks of like-minded corporate growth professionals. Each month industry experts and members exchange experiences about successes and problems in dealing with growth issues. To learn more about ACGWM, visit or call 616.732.7149.

SOURCE Association for Corporate Growth Western Michigan

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