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Russell Investments International Case Competition (RIICC)

The Russell Investments International Case Competition is an annual event in which teams of business students apply their knowledge and skills to a real-life international business problem. Panels of judges evaluate team analyses and recommendations based on the teams’ diagnosis of the problem, application of theory and classroom concepts, ability to communicate ideas, teamwork, and creativity.

The 2021 Russell Investments International Case Competition will take place in a hybrid format from October 18 – 23, 2021. Visit the Case Competition Platform for more information and registration.

*Registration opens September 25, 2021

Competition Highlights:

  • Undergraduate Grand prize: $1,000
    • Undergraduate 2nd Place prize: $400
  • Masters Track grand prize: $1,000
  • Northwest Regional Track grand prize: $400
  • Freshman Direct Track prize: $400
  • Pre-competition workshop – October 15th, 2021, 10:00-11:00 AM
  • 48-hour Virtual Case Analysis
  • LIVE Coaching Session with Foster faculty & industry professionals
  • Virtual Preliminary and LIVE Final Round
  • Award Reception and Champions Announcement – October 23rd, 2021

Schedule – RIICC 2021

Please see below for 2021 Schedule Information:

Date & Time Event
September 25th – October 15th RIICC Registration Open
Monday, October 18th 4:00-5:00 PM Kick Off & Case Distribution, 48-hr Case Analysis Begins!
Wednesday, October 20th 12:00-1:30 PM Virtual Coaching Round
Wednesday, October 20th 5:00 PM Case Submission Deadline – Submit via Website
October 20th – 22nd Judge Review Period
Friday, October 22nd 5:00 PM Finalist Announcement & Team Feedback Provided
Saturday, October 23rd 10:00-11:20 AM LIVE Final Round Presentations, Paccar Hall
Saturday, October 23rd 11:20-12:00 PM Judge Deliberation
Saturday, October 23rd 11:30-1:00 PM LIVE Award Reception, Paccar Hall

Team Rules and Eligibility

  1. Undergraduate and Freshman Direct Tracks: Teams should consist of 4 undergraduate business students from the Seattle, Tacoma, or Bothell University of Washington campuses. Teams can have at most 2 non-business undergraduate students from the Seattle, Tacoma, or Bothell University of Washington campuses.
  2. All student participants in the Freshman and Undergraduate tracks must be currently enrolled as UW undergraduate students for Fall Quarter.
  3. To compete in the Freshman Direct Track, at least one team member must be a Foster School Freshman Direct student. All team members must be currently enrolled freshmen at the University of Washington.
  4. Masters Track: To compete in the Masters Track, all team members must be a current Foster School graduate student. Teams can include graduate students from any Foster School programs including Daytime MBA, Evening MBA, Hybrid MBA, TMMBA, EMBA, MSIS, MSCM, MSBA.
  5. Teams may substitute members until Friday, October 15th. After this date, teams can no longer substitute team members, but may still present with only two or three team members. Teams that withdraw after this date may have their names sent to Associate Dean Sefcik to review eligibility in future competitions.
  6. Space is limited. The first 25 teams to register in the undergraduate track, the first 10 teams to register in the Freshman Direct track, the first 5 teams to register in the Masters Track, and the first 5 teams to register in the NWRT will have a confirmed spot in the competition.
  7. If your team does not receive a confirmed spot, your team will be added to a waitlist. Teams on the waitlist will be selected to participate in the case a team withdraws from the competition.
  8. The Preliminary Round for all tracks will take place remotely from October 18-22nd. The Undergraduate Track will hold an in-person Final Round on October 23rd in Paccar Hall.
  9. Winning teams for all other tracks will be announced via email on October 22nd and at the Award Reception on Saturday, October 23rd after the Undergraduate Final Round. All winning teams are welcome to attend.

Competition Details

Please see below for RIICC 2021 competition information:

  • The competition Kicks Off virtually at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, October 18th, followed by Case Distribution at 5:00 PM that evening.
  • Teams have 48-hours to analyze the problem, develop a solution, and create a PowerPoint presentation.
  • Remote Coaching for all teams will be available on October 20th from 12:00-1:30 PM. Sign up for a coaching round when registering your team!
  • Teams will submit their PowerPoint slides and Presentation Recordings at the end of the 48-hour Case Analysis period on Wednesday, October 20th, at 5:00 p.m. Changes to the presentation cannot be made once the presentation has been submitted.
  • Preliminary round presentations will be reviewed by judging panels from October 20th – 22nd.
    • Undergraduate Track: The top three scoring teams from the preliminary round will move on to the Final Round on November 6th, 2020
    • Freshman, Masters, and NWRT Tracks: The top scoring team will win first place. Winners will be announced via email on Friday, October 22nd and at the Champions Announcement on October 23rd after the Final Round. All winning teams are welcome to attend the Award Reception.
  • The winning team from the Undergraduate Final Round will win $1000. The 2nd place team will win $400.

Masters Track

  • This will be the third year that graduate students can compete in the Russell Investment International Case Competition.
  • Teams in this track will consist of four Foster graduate students who will compete in the preliminary round against one another.
  • Teams can include graduate students from any Foster School programs including Daytime MBA, Evening MBA, Hybrid MBA, TMMBA, EMBA, MSIS, MSCM, MSBA.
  • All team members must be currently enrolled at UW.
  • There will be no final round for this track. Winners will be announced via email on October 22nd and again at the Award Reception on October 23rd.
  • The top-scoring team from this Master’s Track will be awarded a Grand Prize of $1000.

Freshman Direct Track

  • Teams in this track will consist of four freshmen students who will compete in the preliminary round against one another.
  • Each team must have at least one Foster School Freshman Direct student on it. All team members must be currently enrolled freshmen at UW.
  • There will be no final round for this track. Winners will be announced via email on October 22nd and again at the Award Reception on October 23rd.
  • The top-scoring team from this Freshman Direct Track will be awarded its own Freshman Direct Track Grand Prize of $400.

Northwest Regional Track

  • For more information on how to participate, contact Ronda Rutherford, Office Manager, Global Business Center, UW Foster School of Business, [email protected].
  • Teams in this track will consist of four students currently enrolled in a Washington State community college, and they will compete in the preliminary round against one another. Each team must be nominated by a Community College faculty member.
  • There will be no final round for this track. Winners will be announced via email on October 22nd and again at the Award Reception on October 23rd.
  • The top-scoring team from this NW Regional Track will be awarded its own NW Regional Track Grand Prize of $400.

Volunteer

Get a behind-the-scenes look at a case competition in action. Your generous time commitment makes this important event possible! Email Nedda Soleymani at [email protected] for information on how to volunteer.

Archives

2020

Canada-based Shopify provides tools for merchants to create e-commerce stores and to integrate e-commerce with other selling channels, including brick-and-mortar, mobile commerce, and social commerce. Shopify’s mission is “making commerce better for everyone.” Its merchant-focused philosophy is that Shopify will do well if its merchant customers do well. Students played the role of Shopify managers tasked with global strategy development for Shopify including:

  • picking one target country outside North America for growing Shopify’s business
  • proposing a three-year plan for increasing sales by Shopify’s North American merchants in said target country
  • proposing a three-year plan for increasing the number of the target country’s merchants that use Shopify

View the Three Finalist Presentations
Team 1: Adrian Fleuchaus, Dora Zhang, Crystal Le, and KT Nguyen
Team 2 (Runner Up): Mikaela Cagampan, Sam Kuo, and Natalia Villamil
Team 3 (Champions): Daniil Kaizer, Nicholas Haynie, Connor Weed, and Allison Harvey

View the Champions Announcement

2019

Students played the role of outside consultants who have been hired by Ooredoo, an international telecommunications company headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Teams analyzed both mobile financial service options (i.e., mobile wallet and OTC service) and recommended a future strategic direction for Ooredoo (given its most recent launch of a mobile wallet, M-Pitesan). Teams were tasked with analyzing the following uncertainties and opportunities:

  • Evaluate Ooredoo’s decision to launch a mobile wallet, M-Pitesan
  • Consider the impact of the decisions to launch M-Pitesan on key stakeholders
  • Analyze Ooredoo’s positioning vis-à-vis Telenor; specifically addressing the two competitors’ advantages in their respective spaces?
  • Make strategy recommendations for Ooredoo:
    • Ooredoo expansion into the financial services space
    • Focus on core business in mobile telecommunications
    Champions: Team 3
    Ben DeLacy, Everett Buck, Jennifer Chen, Peony Situ
    PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 1
    Audry Tjokro, Mario Ramlie, Helena Huray, Euginia Natalie Wong
    PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 2
    Smrithi Sudip, Mikee Cagampan, Sam Kuo, Natalia Villamil
    PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 4
    Jason Yang, Benny Zhi, Vittorio Rossi, Siewon Kim
    PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 5
    Jonathan Alverson, Mac Anderson, Helly Shah, Arun Solanky
    PowerPoint Final Round Presentation

    2018

    Students played the role of outside consultants who were hired by the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), the marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Tacoma and Seattle. NWSA was in the process of determining what it should be doing in the digital supply chain/blockchain space, and they asked participants to evaluate TradeLens. The teams were asked to address the following:

    • Perform a SWOT analysis on TradeLens.
    • Describe the motivations of IBM and Maersk – what benefits do they get from TradeLens?
    • Recommend which of these options NWSA should choose:
      • Participate in TradeLens,
      • Participate in one of the other blockchain platforms being developed, or
      • Do nothing now and wait to see how trade digitization evolves (if so, how long should they wait?)
    Champions: Team 4
    Rose Jao, Keenan Goodman, Skye Scofield, Aarthi Ganapathi
    PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 1
    Annemeike Schanze, Michelle Batjargal, Alfred Mugho, Bariso Hussein
    PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 2
    Christopher Beardsley, Ana Alvarez, Keaton Layman, Erik Nielson
    PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 3
    Faith Dowsett, Lina Zhou, Emily Albertson, Lena Shelley
    PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 5
    Yue Yang Chan, Roy Chapman, Mike Guevarra, Valarie Chen
    PowerPoint Final Round Presentation

    2017

    Each of the participating teams spent 48 hours analyzing the 2017 case, Global Wine War 2015: New World Versus Old (Harvard Business School, March 2015).

    Student team members played the role of consultants, hired by the Washington State Wine Commission. The Commission was looking for recommendations on how Washington State wineries should market their products to China. The teams were asked to address the following questions:

    1. What kinds of Washington State wines should be sold in China and why?
    2. What are the target market segments?
    3. What marketing strategies should be implemented?
    4. In particular, how should Washington State wines be marketed in China in order to compete against wines from Australia and France?

    The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below.

    Champions: Team 3

    Rose Jao, Cody Ng, Skye Scofield, Davin Yeom

    Powerpoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 1

    Chris Cave, Aarthi Ganapathi, Kalei Munsell, Brandon Naluai

    Powerpoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 2

    Bianca Cheung, Keenan Goodman, Karah Hsu, Jack Post

    Powerpoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 4

    Andrew Chan, Preston Gulledge, Amanda Schmitz, Sophie Wong

    Powerpoint Final Round Presentation

    2016

    Each of the participating teams spent 48 hours analyzing the 2016 case, Emirates Airline: Connecting the Unconnected (Harvard Business School, January 2014). Student teams played the role of outside consultants, and presented their recommendations to a panel of community member judges, who played the role of top management at Emirates Airline. The teams were asked to 1) consider the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Emirates and 2) present recommendations as to which route expansions Emirates should pursue over the next five years.

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

    Champions: Team 4 Kim Perdue, Dennis Wong, Andrew Stearns, Aarthi Ganapathi PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 1 Rose Jao, Sheldon Spring, Ishani Ummat, Chris Cave PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 2 Sabina Hsu, Preston Gulledge, Vincent Lawson, Patrick Ren PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 3 Yue Yang (Ted) Chan, Tomoki Yamaguchi, Andrew Kiffe, Bianca Cheung PowerPoint Final Round Presentation

    2015

    Each of the participating teams spent 48 hours analyzing a business case on the IMAX Corporation. Student teams played the role of a strategic planning group within IMAX Corporation, and presented their recommendations to a panel of community member judges, who played the role of IMAX CEO and upper management of the company. The teams were asked to, 1) determine how IMAX should allocate its future expansion into the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), 2) create specific recommendations for growth and risk mitigation, and 3) provide recommendations about how IMAX should invest in Research and Development going forward.

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

    Champions: Team 3 Madeline Down, Ben Hagen, Midori Ng, and Steven Xu PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 1 Jonathan Bannick, Daniel Park, Emmeline Vu, and Deme Xenos PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 2 Jacob Bentzen, Jacob Hoogerwerf, Kalei Munsell, and Jack Post PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 4 Sean Mitchell, Edward Whalen, Corinne Parkinson, and Michael Adams PowerPoint Final Round Presentation

    2014

    Teams played the role of outside consultants hired by the Munich Oktoberfest Organizing Committee to develop a strategy recommendation to increase profitability of Munich Oktoberfest, the world’s largest festival. Teams spent 48 hours developing their background analysis, and presented their recommendations to panels of community member judges.

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

    Champions: Team 2 Zachary Bickel, Erica Cheng, Michelle Hara, and Crystal Wang PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 1 Anthony Li, Jeremy Santos, Emmeline Vu, and Steven Xu PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 3 Eric Zhu, Corinne Parkinson, Dennis Ahrling, and Dann Van Dijk PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 4 Tatiana Boonstra, Andrea Kang, Raymond Russell, and Emily Sorg PowerPoint Final Round Presentation

    2013

    Headquartered in Copenhagen, Maersk is a global conglomerate with large shipping and oil and gas businesses. As Maersk’s businesses become ever more international, the company wants to increase the geographic diversity of its work force. Competing student teams played the role of Maersk managers who were tasked with the following:

    • Setting geographic diversity goals
    • Recommending recruitment and retention strategies designed to achieve the goals
    • Developing measures of progress towards these goals (key performance indicators)
    • Estimating the costs of the recommended strategies.

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

    Champions: Team 3 Jonathan Bannick, Tara Ghassimekia, Sam Tanner and Demetra Xenos PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalsts: Team 1 Jonathan Matson, Drew Cienfuegos, Jonathon Wilson and Jeremy Santos PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 2 Sean Fitzmaurice, Nabil Sutjipto, Athichai Ounkomol, and Dinesvara Airlangga PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 4 Natalie Wang, Nick Schuler, and JC VanBrunt PowerPoint Final Round Presentation

    2012

    Each of the participating teams spent 48 hours analyzing a business case on Phase Separation Solutions (PS2). PS2 was offered two opportunities to bring its proprietary technology to China in collaboration with a government agency and a private company. Students were asked to recommend a course of action regarding PS2’s opportunities in China.

    Read the case study on the Ivey Publishing website. Read the student charge (PDF). The champion and finalists’ presentations are compiled below.

    Champions: Team 2 Colin Chang, Tomo Kumaki, Ian Tan, and JC Vanbrunt PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalsts: Team 1 Chelsea James, JaeHwan Kim, Lauren Kronebusch, and Mark Reutter PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 3 Adam Greenberg, Evan Griffith, Curtis Howell, and Munir Nanjee PowerPoint Final Round Presentation
    Finalists: Team 4 Cullen Berry, Micah Blyckert, Ryan Seacrist, and Chris Wagner PowerPoint Final Round Presentation

Special thank you to Russell Investments for their generous support of this program.