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Last modified: Thursday, November 8, 2012

Billionaire IU alum Mark Cuban to host public 'conversation' in support of BEST competition

Technology contest, now in second year, also gains Cuban's financial support

Nov. 8, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Billionaire entrepreneur and 1981 Indiana University Kelley School of Business alumnus Mark Cuban will give remarks and take questions during a public event Nov. 16 sponsored by the IU School of Informatics and Computing and in conjunction with the school's Building Entrepreneurs in Software and Technology competition.

In its inaugural competition that ended in April, BEST provided $250,000 in start-up funding to four businesses conceived by IU Bloomington students.

"A Conversation with Mark Cuban" will take place from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in the Indiana Memorial Union's Whittenberger Auditorium. Cuban will provide opening remarks and then take questions from the crowd during the free, public event.

Cuban graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Kelley, which is a co-manager of the BEST competition with the School of Informatics and Computing. The competition was created when 10 Indiana entrepreneurs and IU's Research and Technology Corp. together invested $1.1 million to fund the annual event. Cuban has now joined the group of BEST investors.

School of Informatics and Computing Dean Bobby Schnabel said the school and BEST supporters were thrilled to have one of the nation's leading and most creative entrepreneurs revisit the IU Bloomington campus in support of the new student competition.

"Having Mark come back to Bloomington in support of the student entrepreneurship that BEST is designed to support is a wonderful opportunity for this still-young program," Schnabel said. "We're thrilled to have him visit, to have him share his ideas and thoughts with the community, and to welcome him to the BEST investor family."

The 10 original individual investors in the BEST program -- nine of whom are IU graduates -- are CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson (B.A., political science, 1989); ExactTarget CEO Scott Dorsey (B.S., business, 1989); Luceo Solutions LLC CEO Mary Delaney (B.S., marketing, 1986); Compendium Software chairman and ExactTarget co-founder Chris Baggott; serial entrepreneur and Azuki Systems chairman Cheng Wu (M.S., computer science, 1977); Intercall CEO Scott Etzler (B.S., business, 1975); Ferguson & Ferguson partner David Ferguson (B.S., business, 1978; J.D., 1981); Cook Group chairman Steve Ferguson (J.D., 1966); Cornerstone Information Systems CEO Mat Orrego (B.S., business, 1985); and Taylor Building Corp. CEO Eric Taylor (B.S., business, 1987).

For more information please contact Steve Chaplin, IU Communications, at 812-856-1896 or