Columbia Business School Comes to Town

Posted on: May 9th, 2014 by admin 3 Comments
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CapeRay has been the beneficiary of visits by two groups of business school students. In January 2011 a team of four MBA students from Harvard spent two days with us, learning about our business culture and developing an export marketing plan. Then, in the latter half of 2012, four MBA students from the University of Cape Town spent almost two months conducting an analysis of our company. They concluded that we had a secret “weapon” in the war on breast cancer in the form of our dual-modality Aceso system but we needed to hone our strategy to ensure a competitive advantage.

This year it was the turn of the Executive MBA class from Columbia Business School to visit Cape Town. With a focus on entrepreneurship, 45 students were hosted at the Bandwidth Barn, a not-for-profit organization located in Woodstock that enables people to start successful businesses, develop innovative products and contribute to economic prosperity to the Western Cape region. The visiting students were split into groups of three and allocated to one of 15 entrepreneurial companies, meeting with company executives yesterday afternoon.

CapeRay’s CEO Kit Vaughan spent two hours with three young executives who work in the financial services sector in New York City. William Brame is a registered broker-dealer agent employed by JP Morgan where he concentrates on listed companies in the medical technology space. Lee Grzesh is a certified public accountant and Assistant Vice President at Grosvenor Capital Management, while Christopher Filley is an Assistant Vice President for institutional investments at AllianceBernstein where he has worked for the past five years.

Will Brame, Lee Grzesh and Chris Filley with CapeRay’s Aceso system

Students in Columbia’s Executive MBA programme hold down full-time jobs, spending their Saturdays attending classes at the prestigious institution that is, quite literally, at the centre of business. Their logo features the sign of the Greek god Hermes who, according to legend, bartered with his brother Apollo for the exchange of animals, and “thus began trade and commerce.” At CapeRay we have used the names of Greek goddesses like Pandia and Soteria to name our products, and there is an appropriate connection with Columbia’s Business School: our breast platform for Aceso is hermetically sealed.

Over the next few weeks Will, Lee and Chris will be completing a careful analysis of CapeRay’s business plan, providing insight and suggestions for the company’s strategy to commercialize our dual-modality imaging system, Aceso. Let’s hope they are inspired by the example of the iconic Hermes!

3 Responses

  1. Kit,

    I’m glad you got to benefit from the Columbia eMBA batch. It was almost a no-brainer to put forth CapeRay as a enterprise that could benefit from their mentorship and advice. I’m glad you’ve benefitted from it.

    I wish you all the best!


    Chief Operating Officer, Africa

  2. Kit Vaughan says:

    Many thanks for this feedback, Zach.

    I look forward to seeing you in Milan tomorrow. So far the U-Start training camp has been going well and I’m really looking forward to the actual conference on Tuesday and Wednesday,

    Travel safely.


  3. Leendert Santema says:

    Dear Kit
    It was very interesting to read your Blog and I am very anxious to be informed about their vision how to create a functioning Export business plan in comparison the one you made during the expro seminar in Rotterdam. New ideas can work refreshing