UNH students team with tech firm

The peaks of the White Mountains may seem like a far cry from the classrooms at the Univeristy of New Hampshire in Durham, but Laura Finn and Miranda Miller, recent MBA graduates from UNH’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics, learned a great deal about marketing.

As part of their curriculum, Finn and Miller spent a semester with Conway-based Zakon Group, analyzing the company’s OpenConf Web-hosting and event management software.

With over 400 customers using the software, Zakon Group was interested in knowing more about its market position and partnered with the Whittemore School to conduct competitive and market analysis.

Whittemore’s MBA program requires students to spend a semester working as consultants on a real-world project for a business. Companies submit project proposals to the school, which are then evaluated, and those chosen interview interested students, the company said.

“This program is a tremendous benefit for startup and small businesses, while also providing students with the unique opportunity to make a real impact and be mentored to hone their business skills,” said Robert Zakon, chief technology officer of Zakon Group.

Finn and Miller researched and analyzed OpenConf’s market and competition, and wrote a report that Zakon Group will incorporate into its business plan, which, according to their findings, “is well positioned in an emerging market that has tremendous growth potential.”

Both Finn and Miranda said the project “provided an invaluable experience.”

Zakon Group LLC is a high-tech consulting firm offering services and solutions ranging from Web development and hosting to systems integration and rent-a-CTO consulting. — CINDY KIBBE

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