Stamford Learning Accelerator Student Teams Propose New Business Uses for IBM’s ‘Watson’

IBM, developer of the “Watson” computing system best known for beating human contestants on the TV game show, “Jeopardy!” has turned to student teams at the University of Connecticut School of Business’ Stamford Learning Accelerator for ideas on turning data among Watson’s vast inventory of unstructured information into purpose-based recommendations.Continue Reading

MBA Students Welcome President of Bigelow Tea to Stamford Learning Accelerator

Cindi Bigelow, president of Bigelow Tea in Fairfield, Connecticut, the #1 market leader of specialty teas in the United States, spoke to 45 MBA students recently in the Stamford Learning Accelerator (SLA) Rotunda at the University of Connecticut’s Stamford campus. Also present from Bigelow Tea were Lauren Westbrook, Brand Manager, and Patrick Rowan, Sales Representative.

Cindi was invited by Brian Brady, director of the SLA and faculty Instructor in Residence for “Thinking, Acting and Managing Entrepreneurially” in the Management Department, one of the MBA classes Bigelow addressed. Additionally in attendance were Professor Wynd Harris of the Marketing Department and students from her MBA course, “New Product and Management Innovation.” Also attending was Professor Tim Dowding of the Operations and Information Management Department and Associate Director of the International Business Accelerator at UConn Stamford.

Under Cindi’s energetic leadership, Bigelow Tea has embraced social media and continues to expand a product line that now includes over 120 varieties of black, green, decaffeinated, herbal and iced teas. The company produces over 1.6 billion tea bags annually.

Weeks prior to Cindi’s visit, the MBA students conducted research on tea drinkers and shared their findings with Cindi who led an interactive discussion on what it’s like to be the third generation running a family business, staying ahead of the competitive tea industry and why Bigelow Tea’s over 300 employees are like family. Cindi also engaged all of the students in a hands-on Earl Grey tea cutting demonstration, comparing Bigelow Tea’s brand to major competitors.

Photos from the event can be viewed at

To learn more about the Stamford Learning Accelerator, please visit

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Innovation for Business Growth in Fairfield County

Over 110 UConn Alumni and business leaders from Greater Stamford gathered at the “Innovation for Business Growth in Fairfield County” event at the Stamford Learning Accelerator last Thursday. The event, hosted by the University of Connecticut School of Business and The Business Council of Fairfield, Connecticut, featured a panel discussion on topics such as new business growth in Connecticut and why companies are relocating to Fairfield County.

Moderated by Dean John Elliott of the UConn School of Business and Christopher Bruhl, President and CEO of The Business Council of Fairfield County, the panel was comprised of UConn alumni business leaders in the area as well as UConn faculty. Panelists included Tim Hunter, Professor and Head, Digital Media & Design Department, UConn Schools of Business and Fine Arts; Lincoln Millstein ’77, Executive Vice President, Deputy Group Head at Hearst Publications; Seth Ruzi, VP & Associate General Counsel, Starwood Hotels & Resorts; and Joseph Parsons ’79, Management Committee Member, Bridgewater Associates.

The interactive discussion was followed by a cocktail party and networking reception welcoming the new Dean, where attendees were also able to chat with panelists directly.

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