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UW Global Business Case Competition

GBCC 2019 Champions

UW Global Business Case Competition 2019 Champions: Copenhagen Business School

The UW Global Business Case Competition (GBCC) is a leading international case competition that brings together undergraduate students from the United States and around the world 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.

UW GBCC 2021 will be held virtually from April 15-26, 2021. To express interest in UW GBCC 2022, please complete this form by July 1, 2021.

About

UW GBCC enables students to build meaningful, cross-cultural relationships, experience what the city of Seattle has to offer and most importantly, challenges them with the task of analyzing and developing a business recommendation for two real-world case studies. The competition concludes with each team presenting their case solutions to a panel of industry-leading judges, who are tasked with the difficult decision of selecting the UW GBCC champions.

Congratulations to our 2019 GBCC Champions, Copenhagen Business School!

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Participating teams can find rules and detailed schedule information on the exclusive GBCC 2021 website – please email [email protected] for access.

GBCC Week Overview

Date Morning Afternoon
Thursday 4/15/2021 7:00 – 8:00 AM LIVE Kick Off, Global Teams Announced
Friday 4/16/2021 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM Case 1 Distribution (24 Hours)
Saturday 4/17/2021 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM Case 1 Submission 3:00 PM Judges Begin Reviews
Sunday 4/18/2021 PARTICIPANT SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Monday 4/19/2021 PARTICIPANT SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Tuesday 4/20/2021 7:00 – 8:00 AM Case 2 Briefing/8:00-3:00 PM Distribution (3 Days)
Wednesday 4/21/2021
Thursday 4/22/2021
Friday 4/23/2021 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM Case 2 Submission 4:00 PM Judges Begin Reviews
Saturday 4/24/2021 PARTICIPANT SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Sunday 4/25/2021 PARTICIPANT SOCIAL ACTIVITIES 1:00 PM Finalists Announced
Monday 4/26/2021 7:00 – 9:20 AM Final Round LIVE 10:30 AM Announcement of Winning Teams

2021 Participating Universities

2021 Participating Universities to be announced in Fall 2021

If your university would like to participate in a future GBCC, please express your interest in receiving an invitation by filling out this interest form by the deadline of July 1, 2021. In late July, our selection committee will choose the teams who will be extended invitations to the 2022 UW Global Business Case Competition. Selected schools will receive invitations in August 2021.

Corporate Sponsors

The UW 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.

Archives

2019: Amazon Go Stores: New Directions in Grocery Retailing

By Dr. Debra Glassman, University of Washington Foster School of Business, April 2019

In January, 2018, the first Amazon Go store was opened to the public in Seattle. It featured a checkout-free experience. Upon entering, the customer scans a QR code on the Amazon Go phone app. As the customer shops, cameras track his or her movements. The shelves have weight sensors that detect when a product is removed from a shelf (or returned to it). The app keeps track of purchases and charges a credit card when the customer leaves. Amazon calls this Just Walk Out technology.

Amazon has plans for as many as 3,000 Amazon Go stores in the US by 2021. It has identified a site in London for the first overseas Amazon Go store. It is logical to think that Amazon will consider further overseas expansion, but it is not clear what form that should take. Cross-border expansion in the grocery sector is notoriously difficult, and other retailers are already launching cashierless grocery stores around the world, from the UK to China.

This case asks the student teams to identify and evaluate three global expansion strategies and to present an implementation plan for the strategy that they recommend.
The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below.

Champions: Copenhagen Business School, Denmark PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
Finalists: Chulalongkorn University, Thailand PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
Finalists: Maastricht University, Netherlands PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
Finalists: University of Melbourne, Australia PowerPoint Final Round Presentation

2018: Amazon Web Services: Searching for Global Growth

By Suresh Kotha and Debra Glassman, University of Washington Foster School of Business, April 2018

The case focuses on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world leader in provision of cloud computing services, from data storage to computing and applications. Moving to “the cloud” means that customers rent data center services from third-party providers via the internet rather than maintain their own data centers. The major cloud providers, such as AWS, Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud Platform, are rapidly building networks of very large (“hyperscale”) data centers, grouped in geographic Regions around the world.

This case asks the student teams to play the role of AWS managers who will recommend locations for new data center Regions to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and other top managers. The presentations must identify the top three criteria for location selection and recommend three new Region locations.

Read the student charge. The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below. Please email the case author to request additional case information.

Champions: Thammasat University, Thailand Powerpoint Final Round Presentation
Finalists: University of Texas at Austin, USA Powerpoint coming soon! Final Round Presentation
Finalists: Maastricht University, Netherlands Powerpoint coming soon! Final Round Presentation
Finalists: University of Sydney, Australia Powerpoint coming soon! Final Round Presentation

2017: Fitbit: The Business About Wrist

The case focuses on Fitbit, a company with a big share of the wrist-worn wearables market. The market has become increasingly competitive and is characterized by a convergence between the functions offered by fitness trackers (such as Fitbit) and smartwatches (such as Apple Watch). Due to this connectivity, there is a growing recognition of the privacy and security risks associated with the data generated by wearables. The teams in this competition were asked to play the role of Fitbit managers asked to recommend how to protect data from Fitbit devices. They were also asked to develop a plan for marketing Fitbit’s new data protection efforts.

Read the student charge. The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below.

Champions: Universidad Panamericana Guadalaraja, Mexico PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
Finalists: University of Vermont, USA PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
Finalists: University of Auckland, New Zealand PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
Finalists: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands PowerPoint Final Round Presentation

2016: Volkswagen Group: The Emissions Scandal and the Costs of Deception

In 2007, Martin Winterkorn, the new CEO of the Volkswagen Group, led the adoption of Strategy 2018, a bold plan for the company to become the world’s number-one-selling automaker. By early 2015, the Volkswagen Group had achieved that goal, in part by increasing US car sales through offering “clean diesel” vehicles. The clean diesel engines allowed VW, Audi and Porsche cars to meet the strict US emissions rules on nitrogen oxides. Then, in September 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced that VW diesels had cheated on the emissions tests with a “defeat device” – software that detected when a car’s emissions were being tested. The device reduced emissions during testing, but allowed emissions as much as 40 times higher during regular driving. Eventually it was revealed that the company had installed defeat devices in 11 million VWs, Audis and Porsches worldwide, including 600,000 in the US. Winterkorn was forced to resign and governments and customers around the world launched recalls and lawsuits. The VW Group is facing huge potential costs, as well as damage to its reputation. As new CEO Mathias Muller revises the Group’s strategy, he must address these questions: What will be the total costs of the cheating scandal, and how will they constrain the VW Group’s strategic options in the future?

Read the student charge. The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below.

Champions: National University of Singapore, Singapore PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: McGill University, Canada PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: Global Team: National University of Singapore (Singapore), University of California, Berkeley (USA), Universidade do Porto (Portugal), University of Washington (USA) PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: Queensland University of Technology, Australia PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation

2015: First Solar Inc. in 2013

Each of the GBCC teams spent 48 hours analyzing a business case on First Solar Inc. In 2010, First Solar was the global leader in production of solar panels. However, by 2013, Chinese producers dominated the world market, helped by generous government subsidies. First Solar was also challenged by falling prices for solar panels made with a competing technology. First Solar responded by vertically integrating into the solar systems business, making the company a “one-stop shop” for utility customers. First Solar’s sales have been concentrated in the US market, but they are exploring opportunities outside the US. The GBCC student teams were tasked with identifying the external forces affecting First Solar’s business over the next five years and then prioritizing the non-US target markets.

Read the case study on the Harvard Business School website. Find the student charge. The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below.

Champions: Chinese University of Hong Kong, China PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: Florida State University, USA PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: Simon Fraser University, Canada PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: University of Southern California, US PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation

2014: Nike: Sustainability and Labor Practices 2008-2013

Acting as Nike mangers, students examine Nike’s sustainability and labor practices from 1998 to 2013 and provide recommendations on three case questions: 1) Where should Nike move its collegiate apparel production? 2) What is a feasible way for Nike’s supply chain to be more transparent? and 3) How can Nike build consumer awareness concerning its improved labor sustainability projects?

Read the case study on the Harvard Business School website. Find the student charge. The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below.

Champions: Global Team: NHH (Norway), CUHK (China), FSU & UW (USA) PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: Concordia University, Canada Powerpoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: Shantou University, China PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: University of Melbourne, Australia PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation

2013: Frog’s Leap Winery in 2011: The Sustainability Agenda Case

From 2000-2010, John Williams, co-founder of Frog’s Leap Winery in California, invested in dry farming, organic, and biodynamic agriculture; geothermal and solar power; year-round employment and benefits for immigrant workers; and the industry’s first LEED-certified tasting room. Despite static production, inventory and debt load grew. Students were tasked with finding solutions to help Frog Leap increase sales and become more sustainable while remaining a small winery.

Read the case study on the Harvard Business School website. Download the student charge. The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below.

Champions: Concordia University, Canada PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: National University of Singapore, Singapore PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: University of Arizona, USA PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation
Finalists: University of Hong Kong, China PowerPoint Executive Summary Final Round Presentation

2012: Li & Fung 2012, Harvard Business School

Students act as the top executives at Li & Fung in the midst of preparing an important presentation to stock market investors and analysts. During the presentations, executives (students) will explain the strategies that will be implemented to achieve a goal of $1.5 B. core operating profit in 2013.

Read the case study on the Harvard Business School website. Find the student charge. The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below.

Champions: University of Hong Kong, China Video
Finalists: Simon Fraser University, Canada Video
Finalists: Indiana University, USA Video
Finalists: University of Porto, Portugal Video

2011: Urban Water Partners (A), Harvard Business School, October 2010

Students teams took on the role of the founders and executives at Urban Water Partners. Each team was asked to develop a business plan and subsequent presentation outlining possible business expansion and possible risks.

Read the case study on the Harvard Business School website. Find the student charge. The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below.

Champions: University of Western Ontario, Canada PowerPoint
Finalists: Thammasat University, Thailand PowerPoint
Finalists: University of Auckland, New Zealand PowerPoint
Finalists: University of Washington, USA PowerPoint