UW Foster’s Global Business Case Competition Celebrates 20 Years

GBCC 2018 Participants, Advisors, Ambassadors & Student Leadership team at Husky Stadium.

Last week, the Global Business Center celebrated the 20th anniversary of UW Foster’s Global Business Case Competition (GBCC). Twelve undergraduate teams, representing nine countries, competed for the title of GBCC Champion. The teams and their respective countries were:

  • American University of Beirut, Lebanon
  • Maastricht University, The Netherlands
  •  Peking University, China
  • Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Ecuador
  • Thammasat University, Thailand
  • Universidad Panamericana Guadalajara, Mexico
  • University of Arizona, USA
  • University of Hong Kong, China
  • University of Sydney, Australia
  • University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • University of Washington, USA
  • Western University Canada, Canada

GBCC teams tackled both a short and long case during the week. On Wednesday, teams analyzed the short case, “Harley-Davidson: Transforming into a Global Enterprise,” written by Foster faculty members Suresh Kotha and Sadie Raney. The case asked teams to recommend a five-year strategy for the iconic American motorcycle brand. Teams provided their recommendations, boardroom style, to a team of business executives on Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday afternoon, teams received GBCC’s long case, “Amazon Web Services: Searching for Global Growth.” This case, written by Foster faculty members Suresh Kotha and Debra Glassman, asked teams to prepare a strategic plan for AWS’s global data center expansion. The plan had to include two parts: (1) identification of the top three criteria AWS should apply in Region location decisions and (2) recommendations for three new Regions where AWS should expand over the next two years. The new Regions had to be outside of the United States and could not include Regions AWS had already announced to the public. On Saturday morning, after 44-hours of analysis, twelve teams entered into the preliminary rounds. Only four were selected to move on to the finals: Maastricht University, Thammasat University, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Sydney.

The finalists presented their recommendations to an enthusiastic crowd of students and community members in Shansby Auditorium on Saturday afternoon. Each team provided three unique locations into which AWS should expand. The competition was fierce but in the end, after an hour and a half of deliberation, the judges chose Thammasat University (Thailand) as this year’s GBCC Champion. The University of Texas at Austin took home second place honors. The winners were announced Saturday evening at the GBCC 20th Anniversary Gala, held at the Burke Museum. Teams heard from Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, Steve Sefcik, and Lisa Dang, former GBCC 2014 Co-Chair.

GBCC 2018 Champions: Thammasat University from Bangkok, Thailand

We would like to acknowledge the hard work of our GBCC Student Leadership Team who spent countless hours organizing this big event.  And finally, GBCC would not be possible without our major sponsors:

The Boeing Company
Costco Wholesale
F5 Networks
Starbucks Coffee International
Wells Fargo

GBCC 2018 Student Leadership Team (l to r): Kristina Moutafov, Michelle Pyke, Davin Yeom, Macey McGovern, Alyssa Sanford, Sydney Solis, Marisa Leong, Brendan Harris, Lily Mara, and Cathy Feng.