Harvard Business School and TopCoder Community Fuel Entrepreneurship with Groundbreaking Online Innovation Platform

MBA Students Can Build New Businesses Entirely On Internet From Idea through Product Roll Out

Jan 23, 2012, 10:30 ET from TopCoder, Inc.

GLASTONBURY, Conn., Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TopCoder®, Inc., the leader in online programming competition, skills assessment, and competitive software development, announced today that it is working with faculty members at Harvard Business School (www.hbs.edu) to provide an environment where HBS MBA students can build new online businesses, from idea generation through product development and final roll out to market.  In support of the School's new FIELD course (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development), part of the required first-year MBA Program curriculum, TopCoder has created an online platform, a virtual "factory" environment, in which student entrepreneurs will explore how to use professional communities and digital creatives to conceptualize, build, manage, and grow real digital products and businesses. See http://community.topcoder.com/hbs-field/ for full details.

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"We want our students – tomorrow's business leaders – to become comfortable managing and building products in a rapidly evolving world," noted Alan D. MacCormack, one of ten faculty members at HBS responsible for the launch and design of FIELD.  "The resources, immediacy, cost savings, and overall improvements in quality and process provided by the Internet are dramatically changing how organizations work at the most fundamental level.  Business formation, product development, sales, and marketing are all undergoing fundamental shifts.  We see working with the TopCoder Community as a way to help our students understand this new reality."

The TopCoder Community was challenged to create a dedicated HBS portal within which student projects will run starting as early as this month. The platforms created by the TopCoder Community will be an integral part of the third module of HBS's FIELD course, which challenges more than 900 students - working in teams of six – to develop and launch a microbusiness in an accelerated time frame.  Competitions began January 9th for prototype themes and wireframes with full builds of mobile and web storyboards, logo designs and mobile/web assembly starting February 15th.

"We are providing the practical foundation for a new age of competition in the fastest growing market in the world – the always on, always changing world of online business," said Jack Hughes, Co-Founder and Chairman of TopCoder, Inc. "We believe this program can be a model to help fuel entrepreneurship and the spirit of business competition by breaking down the entry barriers in terms of access to talent and overall cost."

About TopCoder, Inc.

TopCoder is the world's largest competitive software development community with more than 380,000 developers representing over 200 countries. The TopCoder community builds software for a wide-ranging client base through a competitive, rigorous, standards based methodology. This methodology results in a highly consistent set of software components allowing a software-as-parts approach to application development. For more information about sponsoring TopCoder events and utilizing TopCoder's software services and platforms, visit www.topcoder.com.

TopCoder is a registered trademark of TopCoder, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Jack Hughes
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SOURCE TopCoder, Inc.