Global Business Case Competition

Global Business Case Competition 2017 Champions: Universidad Panamericana Guadalajara.

The Global Business Case Competition (GBCC) is a leading international case competition that brings together undergraduate students from the United States and 11 other countries to compete in a fast-paced and challenging business case study. Starting in 1999 as the Global Business Challenge, our competition is one of the oldest of its kind.

AboutScheduleTravel InformationGuidelines & RulesSponsorsParticipating UniversitiesFAQsArchives


This week-long program provides students a chance to build cross-cultural relationships, experience the city of Seattle and most importantly, participate in two real-world case studies to analyze and develop a business recommendation. The competition culminates on the University of Washington campus, where each team presents their long case solution to a panel of judges who select the GBCC Champions. The judges of the competition are experienced professionals from the local and regional business community.

Congratulations to our2017 GBCC Champions, the Universidad Panamericana Guadalajara team!

Be sure to connect with the Global Business Case Competition onFacebook


Day Activities
Mon, April 9 Teams arrive, check into hotel & receive welcome packets
4-10 PM: Check-in to take place at Residence Inn
Location: Residence Inn Seattle-University District, 98105
Tue, April 10 **Attire Note: GBCC T-Shirts All Day**
Welcome Events & City Tour
Wed, April 11 **Attire Note: Business Attire All Day**
Competition Orientation
Short Case Challenge
Thu, April 12 **Attire Note: Business Attire for Company Visits**
Company Visits
Long Case Distribution and Case Work
Team Advisor Activities
Fri, April 13 **Attire Note: Casual All Day**
Teams work on Long Case
Team Advisor Company Visit
Sat, April 14 **Attire Note: Formal Business Attire All Day**
Preliminary Round Presentations, PACCAR HALL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Final Round Presentations, Shansby Auditorium, 1st Floor, PACCAR HALL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Awards Banquet & 20th Anniversary Celebration
Sun, April 15 Teams Depart

Travel Information

We look forward to hosting your visit, and we hope that your time here will provide you with a very memorable and valuable experience. We realize you will have many questions as the competition draws near, and we hope we can answer them all for you through our website. If not, please do not hesitate to email us.

Hotel Accommodations
Travel Logistics
What to Bring

Guidelines & Rules

Team Composition
Short Case Challenge
Long Case Analysis
Short Case Presentations
Short Case Judging
Long Case Presentations
Long Case PowerPoints
Long Case Judging

Corporate Sponsors

The Global Business Case Competition would not be possible without the support of corporate sponsors. Their dedication to global business education is greatly appreciated. The following sponsors listed alphabetically help to make this competition a reality.

2018 Participating Universities

We look forward to hosting a diverse group of universities in 2018. If your university would like to participate, please express your interest in receiving an invitation by filling out this form by June 30, 2017. In July, our selection committee will choose 12 teams which will be extended invitations to the 2018 Global Business Case Competition. Selected schools will receive invitations in August 2017.


Q: What internet connectivity will I have access to at the hotel?
A: The hotel will have wireless connectivity.

Q: What technology access will we have on the UW Campus?
A: You will receive a UW NetID & password upon arrival. Your UW NetID serves as your identification as a UW student or guest. This will allow you access to UW libraries, networks, and other resources. If you bring your own laptop – with UW NetID and password, you can access wireless internet on campus. If you do not bring your own laptop – with UW NetID and password, you can log onto computers on campus.

Q: Will I have access to the UW library databases?
A: Yes, when you log onto computers in UW libraries with your UW NetID, you will automatically be allowed to access library databases. You can research more in advance on the UW Libraries homepage or at the homepage for the Foster Business Library.

Q: Will I have access to printers?
A: Yes, teams will be provided access to additional computers and printers on the UW Campus.

Q: Will I have access to a presentation clicker?
A: Yes, during the preliminary and final rounds of the long case presentation, teams will be provided with a presentation clicker.

Q: What hardware and software will I have access to?
A: Various computer centers on campus will have different software installed. However, you should be aware that these additional programs will not be installed on the presentation computers and should only be used to interpret data, not present results. You should plan to use Microsoft PowerPoint.

Q: Can I bring my own laptop and use it on campus?
A: Yes, you are required to bring your own laptops as we will not be providing them. You will need your laptop for the short case analysis on Wednesday. You may not use your personal computer for the long case presentations on Saturday. GBCC laptops or podium computers will be provided on Saturday for each presentation room. You will bring your presentation on a USB drive.

Q: What peripheral equipment is needed?
A: Please keep in mind that the US has a 120 volt electricity system. If any of your equipment is programmed to function with a different system, please bring your own converters and adapters. Headphones are recommended for the short case challenge.

Q: What if my technology question has not been answered?
A: For answers to other technology-related questions, please contact the GBCC Co-Chairs at

Q: Where can I find the competition rules?
A: Please visit the Competition Guidelines & Rules tab to view the competition rules. It is your responsibility to know them.

Q: Will our faculty advisor be able to assist us while we prepare for the case?
A: No. The faculty adviser/coach may not help team members during preparation of the case analyses or on the days of competition. This applies to both long and short case competition. This rule applies to any non-team member i.e. staff, ambassadors, other students/faculty. Only the four participants of each team will be allowed to work on the case material. Your coach can only help you prepare before the competition begins with practice cases, for example.

Q: What can I do to prepare for the competition?
A: To prepare for the competition, teams may want to practice analyzing past GBCC cases or other business cases such as Harvard Business School Cases.

Q: Will we need to bring our own supplies?
A: Teams will be provided with a small packet of office supplies to help them prepare their case analysis. If you anticipate having special needs as you prepare, please bring those items with you. If you find you need more office supplies than what is provided, there are several stores nearby where you will be able to purchase a variety of items.

Q: Will our presentations be recorded?
A: Long case presentations will be professionally videotaped and distributed to all teams after the competition. No additional video or audio recording of presentations will be permitted. Short case presentations will not be recorded.

Q: What expenses are not covered by GBCC?
A: The competition covers most meals and transportation for Tuesday through Saturday of GBCC Week. The team is responsible for covering one lunch and two dinners during the long case analysis period. The GBCC does not cover any personal expenses or expenses related to activities outside of the event schedule. Additionally, it does not cover:

  • Additional materials and supplies related to your case preparation
  • Additional food or snacks outside the scheduled meals
  • Optional events and associated expenses
  • Transportation to the airport for departure
  • Long Distance phone calls
  • Hotel room services: food, movies, etc.

Q: How does a university receive an invitation to participate?
A: The University of Washington Foster School invites selected schools from across the globe to compete in the annual undergraduate Global Business Case Competition. Invitations are sent out in the summer. Contact us for more information at You can also fill out the ‘Expression of Interest Form’ that is linked on the ‘Participating Universities’ tab of our GBCC website. See Archives for schools who have participated in the past.

Q: What is the length and nature of the case that will be analyzed?
A: We recommend that you examine the previous years’ cases. This year’s long case will be approximately the length of previously used cases. The issues, of course, will be different. The short case will be in video format.

Q: How are the cases distributed?
A: Teams will receive both the short and the long case at staggered times depending on the team’s presentation time. The short case will be distributed four hours before the team’s presentation. The long case will be distributed 44 hours before the presentations. Distribution will be staggered in exactly the same way as the preliminary presentations, to allow exactly the same time for each team to analyze and prepare their presentations.

Q: What software is used during the competition?
A: The presentation computers will be installed with Microsoft Office 2010, and PowerPoint is required during presentations.

Q: How many advisors are there for each team? What is their function?
A: We permit one adviser/coach per team. These advisors/coaches are invited to participate in many of the activities held throughout the week, including the corporate tour. They are not allowed to assist in the case analyses. They should not have contact with their teams during the case analyses periods except in the case of an emergency.

Q: What are advisors allowed to do while the competition takes place?
A: Due to space limitations, advisors are welcome to observe only their team’s short case presentations. Advisors are also welcome to observe all four preliminary round presentations for the long case, but may not change rooms during the preliminaries. Advisors will also be permitted to observe all four final round presentations.

Q: Will advisors receive a copy of the case?
A: Advisors will receive copies of the cases prior to the presentations from the Global Business Case Competition committee staff.

Q: What are some activities that advisors need to attend?
A: The following lists which events are required versus recommended:

  • Welcome Breakfast and Orientation (required)
  • Competition Orientation on Wednesday (required)
  • Short Case Presentations on Wednesday (recommended)
  • Faculty Adviser’s Social Events on Thursday (recommended)
  • Friday Business Visit (recommended): In the past, we have visited the Boeing Plant and participated in a VIP factory tour. The 2017 adviser business visit has not been finalized.
  • Long Case Presentations on Saturday (recommended)

Q: May the advisor participate in activities for students?
A: Yes, you are invited to all events during the week of GBCC. The only exception is the case preparation! Please check the event schedule for more information.

Q: May advisors do activities of their own?
A: Yes, you are welcome to arrange your own activities throughout the week. Please feel free to explore Seattle and University of Washington while you are here.


2017: Fitbit: The Business About Wrist
2016: Volkswagen Group: The Emissions Scandal and the Costs of Deception
2015: First Solar Inc. in 2013
2014: Nike: Sustainability and Labor Practices 2008-2013
2013: Frog’s Leap Winery in 2011: The Sustainability Agenda Case
2012: Li & Fung 2012, Harvard Business School
2011: Urban Water Partners (A), Harvard Business School, October 2010