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Alumnus Andrew Barkett Endows Big Bang! Business Competition

Each year, the UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition brings together interdisciplinary teams of students, researchers and faculty with mentors from the region’s business community. The event is sponsored by the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The competition has received a five-year, $50,000 gift from alumnus Andrew Barkett MBA 09, who has long been involved in—and passionate about—innovation and entrepreneurship. His generous donation creates an endowment to provide long-term support and stability for the Big Bang!, as well as current use funds to support annual planning and immediate costs over the next five academic years. The goal, says Barkett, is “to increase awareness, attract competitive participants and enhance student learning.

“The Graduate School of Management helped me to learn about business and to think about turning my ideas into action,” he explained. “The Big Bang! embodies that spirit. I want to help the competition become the premiere vehicle through which all members of the UC Davis community can take an idea, refine it, find collaborators, and ultimately get the help needed to realize their idea in the form of a successful business.”

Recently named the first chief technology officer for the Republican National Committee, Barkett’s career has included stints at Facebook, in Google’s SRE department building datacenters and working on search quality, and IT management consulting for Nvidia, Adobe and Livescribe. He is an involved volunteer with the Human Needs Project, which is attempting to build a platform to deliver infrastructure, education and sanitation services to some of the poorest slums in Kenya and throughout the world.

The Andrew Barkett Business Competition Fund is part of The Campaign for UC Davis.

by Marianne Skoczek

Read a Q&A with Andrew Barkett >