Tag: Case competition

Since 2012, the Olin Business Council has annually hosted the Target Case Competition. This year, on February 10, 2017, five teams advanced to the final round. Nine teams participated. Three Target representatives judged the competition and presented prizes of $1000 for first place, $700 for second place, and $300 for third place.

“It was a good competition. We had some great teams this year; the ideas and PowerPoints were among the highest quality,” said Olin Business Council President, Lillie Ross, BSBA’17. The case competition’s prompt was: “Developing the Modern Shopping Experience.”

Target case comp

As technology infiltrates brick-and-mortar stores, younger customers, like Olin students, provide invaluable insight for Target.

The second place team recommended transforming guest interaction with the store. “We wanted ideas that were based around the consumers interacting with Target in the comfort of their homes,” said group member Chloe Naguib, BSBA’18. The team recommended sending fabric swatches to consumers to test them in their house instead of using pictures to figure out which drapes go best in the guest bedroom. The team also proposed donating 2% of the profits to local homeless shelters (chosen by customers) to incentivize consumers to purchase more goods and emphasize Target’s community initiatives.

A team consisting of brothers from Phi Gamma Nu came up with the idea of Home ID: home identity and home interior design. The team encouraged Target to use its online and physical presence to further its home innovation program. They advocated Target incorporate a Bullseye Board to their website; this bulletin board would serve as a Target version of Pinterest, allowing consumers to pin pictures of layout designs of rooms or furniture featuring products available at Target. They also suggested Target Quizzes, where shoppers could take Buzzfeed-like quizzes that harness consumer preferences and recommends a corresponding color. “These quizzes are really addicting and a fun way for customers to choose their living room color,” said teammate Brady Delgadillo, A&S’20.

Every idea was innovative and unique; however, the first place prize could only be rewarded to one team. The winning team took a slightly different approach: they suggested Target personalize each store’s inventory according to location to appeal more to customers. The winners also leveraged personal anecdotes for their recommendations. For instance, teammate Lucy Meng, BSBA’18,  an international student, does not have access to a car, hindering her from visiting the store. Therefore, the group suggested Target offer a delivery service so international students could still access Target’s fresh produce and merchandise.

Overall, the competition was a success with the winning team pocketing $250 per member. As always, we appreciate Target’s sponsorship and relationship with Olin and look forward to next year’s competition!

Guest Blogger: Daun Lee, BSBA’20

MBA team at Tulane 2016 Case Competition

For the second straight year Olin went south to New Orleans and returned as the conquering heroes.  The team of Zhongxing Zhang, Jonathan Hum, Dylan Faust, and Tom Siepman (all Olin MBA Class of 2017) took first place in the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Case Competition at Tulane University.  It is now clear to all: Olin rules in New Orleans.

The 20th annual Tulane case competition challenges student teams with analyzing a real-world finance case and then presenting their recommendations to a panel of finance professionals charged with selecting the top presentations.

The sponsors and founders are Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence.  Berdon founded a tank barge company, Hollywood Marine, which eventually merged with Kirby Corporation, where he later served as Chairman of the Board before retiring in 2010.

The judges were Casey Herman, a partner at PWC; Joe Agular, a partner at Johnson Rice & Co., an energy investment firm; and Chris Conoscenti, a Managing Director at Credit Suisse’s Oil & Gas investment banking group.

The runner up was Tulane and third place was University of South Carolina. Other teams competing included UNC, Vanderbilt, UT Dallas, and SMU.

Next year will be a chance for the coveted “three-peat”.

Beryl Py Lee (PMBA 40), Catherine Briggs (Biostatistics), Francis Monsada (MBA 2017), Gary Wang (Biostatistics), and Laurel Li (MBA 2017) competed on January 23rd at the Biotech & Healthcare Case Competition  at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management against Top 20 MBA/MD/PhD programs globally.

The 13th annual event was held at Northwestern University on Saturday, January 23, 2016. Eleven teams were selected to compete in the final showdown.  This year’s case focused on the merits of and concerns with direct-to-consumer marketing.    Teams from the Kellogg School of Management took the top two spots.  A team from University of Chicago, Booth School of Business placed third.  Judges were executives from the sponsoring company – AbbVie.

Team member Beryl Lee shares a few memories and insights:

“The acclaimed Laurel Li led the team’s opening presentation and Catherine Briggs presented our enlightening proposal. We were enthused to apply our interdisciplinary backgrounds although to be fair we had expected the case to be about blockbuster drugs in the USA or global health initiatives in Africa, as all of the cases seemed to have been within those territories in the past. This was a surprising and admittedly very timely twist.”

In 2015, Poets & Quants included the Kellogg Biotech and Healthcare Case Competition in its list of 20 Top Global Business School Case Competitions.  This year more than 35 teams applied to participate. From this group, eleven teams representing nine different schools were invited to compete in Evanston. The nine schools were:

-Anderson School of Management, UCLA

-Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

-ESADE Business School (Spain)

-Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley

-Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

-Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

-McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

-Olin Business School at Washington University

-Said Business School, University of Oxford (UK)

The weekend started with an informal reception on Friday evening. Saturday, teams presented and attended the Kellogg Business of Healthcare Conference. Saturday evening featured a case debrief, dinner and an award ceremony.  More about the competition can be found at: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/departments/hema/activities/case_competitions.aspx

Our congratulations to Olin Graduate students Teja Mysore (MBA 2017), Cheyenne Martins (MBA/EECE 2016), Shun Li (MSSCM 2016) and Marcus Lei (MSSCM 2016) for their third place showing at the Purdue Case Competition event last weekend.  Six finalist schools battled it out in the finals after a preliminary elimination round narrowed it to just those six schools.  The finalist schools were the University of North Carolina, University of Illinois, Pennsylvania State University, The University of Michigan, Purdue and Washington University in St. Louis.

Schools from across the US and around the globe were invited to participate in the 2016 GSCMI Inercollege Case Competition. Written by Center Director Dr. Ananth Iyer & Eyal Barash, the case emphasized the conference theme of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) & the Global Supply Chain Impact.  The student competition consisted of two phases. The 1st phase occurred in November served as a virtual qualifying round to select the top six teams to participate in the final phase.

The six teams participating in this final phase received the case on Thursday, January 28th before the conference. This case provides student teams with new case materials, questions and problems for the team to reconsider as they build on their 1st phase case presentation. All six invited teams work through the night to develop their new problem solution and prepare tirelessly to present the new solution before the panel of industry judges and all our attendees here at the conference on Friday, January 29, 2016.

The top three teams with the most compelling solutions were announced at the end of the conference and will receive cash awards for their efforts thanks to generous funding from  founding partner firms and event sponsors- GM & ArcelorMittal.

Congratulations winners!  1st place: Penn State University;  2nd place: UNC;  3rd place: Washington University of St. Louis

What do you get when you mix and match four WashU/Olin students, representing three different graduate programs, from two different schools, and send them off to one of the most competitive MBA case competitions of the year?  When you send these four young women you get a picture of the team standing proudly on the winners’ podium.

The Washington University – Olin Business School Team comprised of Aditi Saxena, MBA’16, Beryl Py Lee, PMBA Class 40, Catherine Briggs, MS Biostatistics – Medical School, and Grace Velker, MBA’17, nabbed 3rd place at the Energy in Emerging Markets case competition held on November 10 at Duke University – Fuqua School of Business. This fantastic outcome was achieved competing against thirteen other teams, including nine representing top-20 MBA programs in the US. Curiously, ten of the 13 teams were all-male teams.

The Energy in Emerging Markets Case Competition (EEMCC), sponsored by the MBA Energy Club, engages diverse and creative teams to address real energy challenges affecting the developing world. The one-day competition connects students, academia, and industry in pursuit of unconventional business-based solutions that expose unrecognized opportunities with positive social and environmental impact. Showcasing analytical and presentation skills, future leaders in the energy industry can demonstrate their global mindset, innovative thinking, and passion.

Our congrats to the members of Team Wash U/Olin!  You give us good reason to be proud.

The Case
This year’s case content was sponsored by Off.Grid:Electric (OGE), the world’s first massively scalable “solar as a service” company. Under its MPOWER brand, Off.Grid:Electric distributes high-quality lighting and energy services to communities that cannot access or afford the electrical grid. They employ local agents who specialize in matching their offerings to customer needs and providing all necessary maintenance, with the aim of making renewable energy services available to millions of households across Africa.  Established in Arusha, Tanzania, Off.Grid:Electric has built a thriving business that employs hundreds of Tanzanians to serve the bottom of the pyramid.  Tech and energy giants in US are taking notice, with Off.Grid:Electric receiving investments from Solar City, Vulcan Capital, and the Omidyar Network. For more information, please visit offgrid-electric.com.

This year’s case focused on Off.Grid:Electric’s aspirational product line and how to best serve customers that are looking to access services like television.

For more details on the competition, click here.

At the 11th Annual MBA-Exclusive (MBA-X) Minority Case Competition, hosted by Howard University in Washington D.C. on Oct 15-16th 2015, the Washington University in St. Louis team of Ellen He, Palma Bordan, Srini Raghunathan, and Andit Mandari secured a 2nd place finish! It is the second consecutive year in which an Olin Team finished in the second spot at this national  case competition.  Kudos to the Olin Team!