On Friday the divisions for competition were chosen, and the 30 teams were put into 6 different rooms. Our room included the University of Melbourne, Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterey Mexico (ITSM), Pennsylvania State University, Escoal de Administracao de Empress de Sao Paulo Brazil and of course Haas!
The case involved Disney/Pixar, and was based on a Harvard Business case which had been updated with additional information that was furnished by Disney. The questions were centered around Disney’s acquisition of Pixar and whether there should be a merging of the companies or should they remain autonomous. Based on this answer, the next question dealt with Disney’s direction in the marketplace.
The Haas team did a great job. Their energy was high, their story was strong (great slides with Disney and Pixar characters infused throughout the presentation!) and they all presented well. At the end, the advisors from the room thought we would advance, but that did not happen, it was the University of Melbourne who made it out. The team took it well and we all stayed to watch the 6 teams present in the finals.
The schools that made the finals were: University of Florida, University of Illinois, National University of Singapore, University of Melbourne, Queen’s University, and the University of Manchester. At the end of the day the winner was University of Melbourne, second place University of Illinois and third place National University of Singapore.
At the dinner that evening, Kevin Meyer the EVP for Corporate Strategy/Business Development and Technology Group from Walt Disney Company gave the key note address and entertained questions from all of the participants.
Although the day was very long for all in attendance, the energy after the dinner was high and the networking continued. All of us had a wonderful week meeting new friends and engaging in a wonderful case competition experience.