Vancouver, Canada – The Second Annual Sauder Summit Global Case Competition, the only one of its kind held by the Sauder School of Business, challenged student teams from 12 business schools spanning across five continents with real case studies based on some of the largest industries in the province. With support from sponsors such as SAP and Microsoft, this week-long competition from March 8th to March 14th brought together an audience of over 250 students and executive judges, an organizing team of 80 students, and 60 competing delegates and advisors from 12 schools.
The competition consisted of two Preliminary Round and one Knock-Out Round. At the beginning of each Preliminary Round, all teams were invited to an industry lecture from the case company. The industry lecture provided in-depth background information on the company, along with a short Q&A period. Each team was then placed in isolation with the case study for five hours as they analysed the given situation, conjured a set of recommendations and prepared a 20-minute presentation to a panel of industry experts such as executives from SAP, McKinsey and Sandstorm Gold.
The first Preliminary Round took place on Monday, March 10th with a case on a marketing plan for Whole Foods Market, a chain of supermarkets selling high quality natural and organic foods across North America and the U.K.. This marketing plan was to be designed for the Vancouver region and its five store locations, who aimed to communicate the value of Whole Food Market’s products and core values to its customers while operating under a limited budget. Recommendations included various community events promoting an active and healthy lifestyle, and a mobile app detailing nutritional information for Whole Food Market products.
The second Preliminary Round took place the next day with a case on FortisBC, one of the largest electricity and natural gas providers in the province. Teams were asked to design a sustainability strategy that would increase awareness and use of natural gas. Recommendations included providing incentives for companies to retrofit transportation vehicles to run on natural gas, and exporting excess natural gas supply to developing nations.
The Knock-Out Round began on Thursday, March 13th with a case for HootSuite, one of the world’s leading social media management systems born in Vancouver. As a rapidly growing company aiming to explore the global market, HootSuite asked teams to recommend three countries in the Asia-Pacific region for the company to expand into. Unlike the previous rounds, the case preparation was 24 hours long and the industry lecture was replaced with an opportunity to speak with a representative from HootSuite through a 10-minute analyst phone call. The case presentations began the next day and the Top 4 Finalist Teams were selected to present again before an audience of over 250 people.
Throughout the week, the teams explored Vancouver with Sauder students entitled International Ambassadors, who led the delegates on snowshoeing trips to Mt. Seymour and tours around Downtown Vancouver, and supported each team throughout the competition. This week-long event closed with the Awards Gala at The Kitsilano Boathouse, where the results were announced.
A team from National University of Singapore emerges victorious in the competition. The team won the First Place and People’s Choice, followed by Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) in second and Melbourne Business School (Australia) in third.
About Sauder Summit
Sauder Summit is an annual global business case competition that brings together 48 students representing 12 business schools from around the world. For one week in March in Vancouver, Canada, these students ‘reach for the peak’ as they solve complex, real-life cases and present their recommendations to a panel of executive judges. For more information, please visit Sauder Summit website.
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