Undergrads take CaseIT challenge to the world

Nov 14, 2012

The 2013 CaseIT Organizing Committee

In 2004, two Beedie School of Business undergrads founded the SFU-hosted CaseIT, an internal undergraduate case competition focused on management information systems (MIS). In the years since, the competition has grown to become the largest MIS case competition in North America, with teams participating from all over the world journeying to Vancouver and the Simon Fraser University campus to compete.

Yet, rather than being surprised by the success of the competition, founders Paul Cyr and Zephaniah Wong had foreseen this path for CaseIT all along.

“When CaseIT was founded in 2004, the vision was for an international MIS case competition,” says Zephaniah. “We originally booked the Asia Pacific Hall at SFU’s Wosk Centre for the inaugural event, but were forced to initially scale back the competition. The CaseIT logo is actually a diagram of the Asia Pacific Hall – just one of the reasons why we pushed so hard for CaseIT to take place there in future years.”

CaseIT has now evolved into an annual four-day event, in which the best and brightest students from around the globe congregate to showcase their abilities in business case analysis by applying them to real world scenarios. The competition is held each year in downtown Vancouver, with SFU’s Harbour Centre and the Segal Graduate School of Business acting as the venues for the final presentations.

Due to its popularity, CaseIT has undergone a number of rule changes over the years to ensure that only the highest quality entries advance to the final 16 teams. Since 2009, the competition has employed a 24-hour format, and has added preliminary and lightning rounds in recent years to cope with the sheer volume of entrants. Last Friday marked one of the competition’s annual landmarks, as entrants hoping to be chosen for the final 16 submitted their preliminary case to the CaseIT evaluation committee.

However CaseIT goes beyond the boundaries of a pure case competition, also acting as a forum for future business leaders to build relationships and strengthen their networks with other students, university faculty and industry professionals. Last year also saw the creation of the CaseIT Foundation, a non-profit society which aims to further CaseIT’s influence in the community.

Since its creation, CaseIT has become one of the highlights of the Beedie School of Business’ calendar. According to Peter Lew, the current Chair of CaseIT, the competition has potential to expand further.

“I am optimistic about the competition’s prospects in the next ten years and can only see further growth in our future,” says Lew. “With the success of the past decade fresh in our minds, we have to credit Paul and Zephaniah’s vision in setting the foundation, and recognize the past organizing committees for their amazing execution. We will continue to search the planet for the best talent and ensure that the competition remains at the pinnacle of global MIS competitions.”

For more information about CaseIT, visit http://caseit.org/

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