The Sauder Summit Global Case Competition is a week-long case competition taking place March 11 – 17, 2017. It pits students against one another to solve real and complex business situations, and presents a challenge – a peak for participants to reach. The competition consists of two 5-hour cases, one 24-hour case, several industry presentations from executive business leaders, and a lifelong network of international connections. Twelve of the world’s most prestigious business schools will be invited to send one team of four students to represent them. The reach of this global competition spans across five continents and multiple nations, including China, U.S.A., Australia, Denmark, Japan, Singapore, and more.

The preliminary and knockout rounds will take place on March 13 and 14, respectively. The final round will be on March 17.


Competition Format

The competition will have three rounds: preliminary, knockout, and final. Firstly, the preliminary round will consist of two five-hour live cases. The first round will feature 4 pools of 3 teams with these two cases providing the “seeding” for the second (knockout) round. The seeding will be arranged so that the first place team will compete against the 11th and 12th, the second place team against the 9th and 10th, and so on. (This structure is similar to professional sports in which performance in the regular season determines playoff positions.) Each team has four people.

The second is a knockout round in which the best team from each pool is selected based on their performance on the third case, which is a 24-hour case. The final round involves the four finalist teams presenting the third case to a large audience in a Sauder auditorium.

Competition Rules

This document outlines the rules of the competition as of November 20, 2016, and these rules are subject to minor modifications (e.g., for clarity of language, completeness). Sauder Summit expects all competitors to recognize the principles of fair play and integrity. Any situations not specifically contemplated in these rules will be evaluated by the Sauder Summit Organizing Committee, whose decision will be final.

1. Eligibility

  • 1.1. Teams will comprise of four full-time undergraduate students. Any students enrolled in joint programs (e.g., bachelor/master) must not have completed more than four years or 120 credit-hours toward his/her degree.
  • 1.2. Each team member may only compete in one Sauder Summit.
2. Structure and format of competition
  • 2.1. The competition consists of three rounds: preliminary, knockout, and final.
  • 2.2. The preliminary round consists of two five-hour cases. All teams compete in this round. Teams will be randomly allocated into one of four divisions for each case. Division assignments for these two cases will not remain the same (excepting coincidences).
  • 2.3. The knockout round consists of one 24-hour case. All teams compete in this round. Teams will be allocated into one of four divisions based on performance in the preliminary round. Top ranked teams will be matched with bottom ranked teams (see section on scoring/ranking below). One winner from each division will advance to the final round.
  • 2.4. In the final round, the four finalist teams will present their solutions to the same 24-hour case f rom the knockout round using the same presentation file(s). Teams may, of course, modify their oral delivery of the presentation.
  • 2.5. Cases can involve organizations that are for-profit or not-for-profit. Companies can be publicly traded or private. Cases companies/organizations can be from any industry. Cases can involve any business and business related disciplines (strategy, finance, marketing, etc.).
3. Case preparation period
  • 3.1. Team members cannot discuss the case with anyone outside of their team between the start of the preparation period and the completion of their presentation.
  • 3.2. Teams are required to bring their own laptops, at most one per competitor. Sauder Summit will provide a USB to transfer the presentation file(s) from competitor’s laptops to the presentation room. As there is always a risk of data loss during transfer, teams should retain copies on their laptops. Teams may bring their own calculators of any type (programmable or non-programmable, scientific or financial, graphing).
  • 3.3. For the five-hour (preliminary round) cases, teams will not have access to the Internet nor any external resources.
  • 3.4. For the 24-hour case, teams will be able to access the Internet and other external resources. Teams may bring their own textbooks and other reference material. Teams can use any resource that is generally available to students. Being “generally available to students” includes any library resources, for example, but excludes any resources that are purchased for a fee, such as analyst research reports. Any resource made available through a competitor’s employment is also prohibited.
  • 3.5. Teams will be allocated office supplies (pens, paper, flip chart paper).
  • 3.6. Organizers will print copies of presentation slides for distribution to judges (3 slides per page).
  • 3.7. Printers will be available to competitors if they wish to print additional materials; however, teams will not be given additional time for this additional printing.
  • 3.8. There will be a transition period of 15 minutes from the end of the preparation period to the beginning of the presentation period to allow for printing and uploading of presentation files.
4. Presentation
  • 4.1. The preliminary and knockout rounds will each be 30 minutes in duration. Teams may present uninterrupted for at most 20 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer (Q&A) period. Time not used up during the allotted 20-minute presentation time will be available for Q&A. Teams will be notified of the 15 minute and 19 minute marks. Presentations will be stopped at the 20-minute mark precisely, and Q&A will be stopped at the 30-minute mark.
  • 4.2. The final round will be 35 minutes in duration. Teams may present uninterrupted for at most 20 minutes, followed by Q&A. Time not used up during the allotted 20-minute presentation time will be available for Q&A. Teams will be notified of the 15 minute and 19 minute marks. Presentations will be stopped at the 20-minute mark precisely, and Q&A will be stopped at the 35-minute mark.
  • 4.3. Presentations will be supported by MS PowerPoint and all presentation rooms will have large projectors. If needed, a microphone will be available.
  • 4.4. Teams may use additional software other than PowerPoint (e.g., Excel) to prepare presentations, but teams cannot access these files other than through the PowerPoint interface during the presentation and Q&A (i.e., the additional files must be embedded within PowerPoint).
  • 4.5. Presentations files, including appendices, must be 50 slides or less. If a team submits a presentation file with more than 50 slides, a random selection of 50 slides will be included in the file used for the presentation.
  • 4.6. Faculty advisors can watch any teams present; however, an advisor cannot enter or leave a room while a presentation is in progress. Competitors are not allowed to watch other teams’ presentations in the preliminary and knockout rounds. In the final round, teams not competing may watch the final presentations, and those who have already presented may watch subsequent presentations.
  • 4.7. Presentations may be recorded by Sauder Summit organizers, but no other recordings may be made (i.e., by competitors and advisors). Teams are required to provide a copy of their PowerPoint file to Sauder Summit organizers. These recordings and presentations become property of Sauder Summit and may be shown online or through other media.
  • 4.8. Presentations must be in English.
5. Scoring / ranking
  • 5.1. Judges can consider all aspects of the presentation such as content, delivery, and ability to handle questions. Judges can use their professional judgment to determine the relative weighting/contribution of various components.
  • 5.2. Judges will rank teams within each division first, second, and third. There will be no ties in ranking. Judges may use additional scoring aids to reach their conclusions, but for purposes of the competition, only the ranks will be used.
  • 5.3. In the preliminary round, ranks will be converted to scores: 3 points for first, 2 points for second, and 1 point for third. The first case in the preliminary round will have a weight of 40% and the second case a weight of 60%. The combined weighted score from the two preliminary cases will determine seeding for the knockout round. In case of ties in the weighted score, a tie-breaking convention will be used (e.g., a coin toss).
  • 5.4. Divisions for the knockout round will be determined using the rankings from the preliminary round as follows: Division A: #1, #11, #12 Division B: #2, #9, #10 Division C: #3, #7, #8 Division D: #4, #5, #6
  • 5.5. Decisions of the judges will be final.