SFU Beedie’s CaseIT thrives in first online edition

Mar 12, 2021

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The winners of SFU’s CaseIT 2021, a leading international case competition focusing on management information systems

The student organizing committee behind CaseIT, the leading international case competition focusing on management information systems (MIS), faced a daunting challenge as they planned the 2021 event. The competition attracts top business students from high-calibre business schools all over the world to compete and network with one another in close collaboration. With international travel and in-person meetings impossible, the organizers were sent back to the drawing board with no precedent to follow, as they created the first virtual competition in CaseIT’s 18-year history.

“Rather than trying to transition the elements of an in-person CaseIT to an online environment, we focused on what new opportunities were available to us with a virtual competition, and how we could best take advantage of them,” says Jordan Wong, Chair of CaseIT 2021. “With this new mindset, we were able to execute an extremely well-organized virtual competition that provided a hospitable and engaging competition for all attendees.”

The Organizing Committee consisted of Wong and 42 other SFU undergraduate students from the Beedie School of Business, the School of Interactive Arts & Technology (SIAT), and the School of Computing Science, who worked diligently for the more than 10 months to bring the competition to life. The team successfully attracted competing teams from 16 universities around the world across North America, Europe and Asia.  Alongside the continuous monetary and faculty support from the Beedie School of Business, they also secured sponsorships from major businesses, including the CIO Association of Canada – Vancouver Chapter, Beedie, and Baker Tilly Canada, who provided funding for the event, and two case sponsors, Arc’teryx and EA, who provided real world business cases for competitors to tackle.

The Organizing Committee researched various different methods to run the competition and decided on an event management platform called Hubilo, integrating Zoom with other engagement and organization features. The event platform featured a reception page, event feed, sponsor booths, and a “Chat and Meet” feature to emulate the experience and interactions of an in-person event.

In addition to challenging competitors with finding solutions to challenging cases, the competition week included several virtual events. These included “ReadyForIT”, a social event including improv competition; “PaintIT”, an opportunity for case competitors to learn more about what Vancouver has to offer, in both its art scene and landscapes; and RaceIT, a virtual “Amazing Race”-style competition. The team also debuted a virtual sponsor networking session, pairing industry professionals from event sponsors with students from competing universities.

“CaseIT 2021 was an enormous success as CaseIT’s first online case competition,” says Academic Director Simon Ford. “It was an amazing effort from the Organizing Committee who organized and executed the competition entirely remotely. I’m proud of them for their collaboration and creativity in re-imagining CaseIT this year, and to the wonderful support of our sponsors, judges, faculty and staff.”

The winning teams from the event, representing the best and brightest from some of the world’s leading universities, were as follows: 

  • 1st Place: Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
  • 2nd Place: Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
  • 3rd Place: Maastricht University

In addition to crowning the top three teams, a Best Speaker Award and Spirit Award were also presented.

The Best Speaker Award was awarded to the competitor who, despite the challenges of presenting over Zoom, excelled, and demonstrated presence, strong storytelling, and confidence during their case presentation. The winner of the CaseIT 2021 Best Speaker Award was Kalea Miao from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.

Finally, the Spirit Award recognized the competing team that best represented the values and spirit of camaraderie, enthusiasm, and dedication. The CaseIT 2021 Spirit Award was awarded to HEC Montreal.