Georgia State student veteran awarded $20,000 in business plan competition

Medical robotic software may receive an upgrade due to Georgia State doctoral student and U.S. Army veteran Berkley Baker.

Baker received $20,000 for winning first place in the Herman J. Russell, Jr. International Center for Entrepreneurship’s Business Plan Competition held April 10 for his plan to develop software boosting the efficiency of surgical robotics, according to Georgia State news.

Baker has three family members who underwent robotic surgery and said the idea for the software is based on his scholarly thesis.

“My doctoral dissertation is actually on the [goal] of industry structure, on customer value, and robotic surgery,” he said. “And it was really out of that that I got the idea around CIMI Solutions [the name of the plan and product] which I wrote my business plan.”
Baker intends to use the $20,000 to build upon the CIMI Solutions software development plan he designed for surgical robotics.

“I’m going to look at continuing some product development efforts that are specific to technologies that help hospitals to drive more customer value and their robotic surgery programs,” he said.

Associate Director of the Herman J. Russell Sr. International Center for Entrepreneurship Buddy Ray said he believes Baker won due to his enthusiasm and knowledge.

“Berkley showed a keen understanding of his market and identified a need in that market,” he said. “He knew his plan and was enthusiastic, confident and clear in his presentation. He was able to answer the judges questions without hesitation and overcame any objections they had.”

Baker said he was proud to win the competition considering the expertise of his competitors.

“Clearly when you look at Georgia State’s business program, there’s just the high level of talent in their undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as their doctoral programs,” he said. “It’s a great accomplishment to win [this] competition.”

Ray said students benefit from entering the competition because they learn how to bring their innovative ideas to fruition.

“The Business Plan Competition inspires students across the university to make their dreams a reality,” he said. “Sitting down and writing out their plans is a first step in that process. It motivates and inspires students to begin or continue that journey towards value creation.”

Ray also said he has high hopes for scholastic diversity in future competitions.

“I hope we continue to draw a wide variety of business ideas from different schools at GSU and from different industries from hospitality to medical to media to technology to non-profit,” he said. “Georgia State University’s strength and unique position in Atlanta is the diversity of disciplines that we teach across our colleges and departments.”