Global Business Case Competition


CUHK winning team in 2015 with Mohamed Abdel-Kader, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) at the U.S. Department of Education.

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 & RulesParticipants & SponsorsFAQsArchives


This week-long program provides students a chance to build cross-cultural relationships, experience the city of Seattle and most importantly, participate in a real-world case study to analyze and develop a business recommendation within 48 hours. The competition culminates on the University of Washington campus, where each team presents their 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 our 2015 GBCC Champions, the Chinese University of Hong Kong team! Save the date for next year’s GBCC Week, April 4-9, 2016. See the schedule tab for more details.

Be sure to connect with the Global Business Case Competition on Facebook.


Day Activities
Mon, April 4 Teams arrive, check-in to hotel, & receive welcome packets.4-10 p.m.: Check-in will take place in the Command Center.
Location: Hotel Deca, Seattle, 98105
Tue, April 5 **Attire Note: GBCC T-Shirts All Day**
Welcome Events & City Tour
Wed, April 6 **Attire Note: Business Attire All Day**
Competition Orientation
Community Service Activity
Corporate Challenge and Showcase
Thu, April 7 **Attire Note: Casual All Day**
Case Distribution & Case Work
Team Advisor Activities
Fri, April 8 **Attire Note: Casual All Day**
Teams work on Case
Team Advisor Company Visit
Sat, April 9 **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 Reception
Sun, April 10 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 Registration
Travel Logistics
What to Bring

Guidelines & Rules

Team Composition
Case Analysis
Presentations and PowerPoints

2016 Participating Universities

  • Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
  • McGill University, Canada
  • National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Purdue University, USA
  • Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • Technologico de Monterrey Campus Queretaro, Mexico
  • Thammasat University, Thailand
  • Universidade do Porto, Portugal
  • Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  • University of California Berkeley, USA
  • University of Washington, USA
  • Global Team, Made up of one student from four schools

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.


Q: What internet connectivity will I have access to at the hotel?
A: The hotel will have DSL and wireless connectivity. Please bring your own DSL cord if you wish to use DSL. The Command Center in the hotel will be open from the time the teams receive the case until the final presentations. The Command Center will be equipped with two desktop computers, and printers.

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 in the Command Center of the hotel.

Q: Will I have access to a presentation clicker?
A: Yes, during the preliminary and final rounds, 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.

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 laptops. You may not use your personal computer for the presentations on Saturday. GBCC laptops or podium computers will be provided on Saturday for each presentation room. You will bring your presentation on a thumb 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.

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 advisor may not help team members du ring preparation of the case analysis or on the day of 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.

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: Presentations will be professionally videotaped and distributed to all teams after the competition. No additional video or audio recording of presentations will be permitted.

Q: What expenses are covered by GBCC?
A: The competition covers all meals and transportation for Tuesday through Saturday of GBCC Week.

Q: What expenses are not covered by GBCC?
A: The GBCC does not cover any personal expenses or expenses related to activities outside of the event schedule. Additionally, it does not cover:

  • Hotel accommodations
  • 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 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 case will approximate the length of previously used cases. The issues, of course, will be different.

Q: How are the cases distributed?
A: The competition begins when teams receive their cases on Thursday morning. Distribution will be staggered in exactly the same way as the preliminary presentations, to allow exactly 48 hours for each team to analyze and prepare their PowerPoint 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 advisor per team. These advisors are invited to participate in many of the activities held throughout the week, including the corporate tour. The advisors are not allowed to assist in the case analysis. They may be available during the 48-hour analysis period only to help with non-case-related issues, such as bringing up food and water.

Q: What are advisors allowed to do while the competition takes place?
A: You are welcome to observe all four preliminary round presentations in your team’s presentation room, but you may not change rooms during the preliminaries. You will also be permitted to observe all four final round presentations.

Q: Will advisors receive a copy of the case?
A: You will receive a copy of the case during the Faculty Advisors’ Happy Hour. If you do not attend the Faculty Advisors’ Happy Hour, you can pick up a copy of the case in the Command Center located in the hotel on Thursday.

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

  • Welcome Breakfast and Orientation (required)
  • Competition Orientation on Wednesday (required)
  • Faculty Advisors’ Happy Hour (recommended): This is a chance for faculty advisors to interact and share insights on business school programs around the world.
  • Friday Business Visit (recommended): In the past, we have visited the Boeing Plant and participated in a VIP factory tour. The 2016 advisor business visit has not been finalized.

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.


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
2010: Boeing 787: The Dreamliner
2009: Holland America and the Global Economy
2008: Starbucks Entertainment: Global Delivery of Music
2007: vCustomer: Establishing a Global Footprint