Global Business Case Competition Teams Analyze Fitbit & Data Security

This Saturday, the Global Business Center hosted its 19th annual 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:

Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Florida State University, USA
IE University, Spain
National University of Singapore, Singapore
Royal Roads University, Canada
Simon Fraser University, Canada
Universidad Panamericana Guadalajara, Mexico
University of Auckland, New Zealand
University of Vermont, USA
University of Washington, USA
Zhejiang University, China

Each of the GBCC teams spent 44 hours analyzing a business case focused on Fitbit, a company with a big share of the wrist-worn wearables market. When wrist-worn wearables first launched, around ten years ago, these devices were fitness trackers, recording data on steps taken, calories burned, and heart rates. Over time, the devices have gotten “smarter”, with functions that range from collecting data on sleep cycles to location-tracking and notification of texts and calls. The market has become increasingly competitive and is characterized by a convergence between the functions offered by fitness trackers (such as Fitbit) and smartwatches (such as Apple Watch).

The teams in this competition were asked to play the roles of Fitbit managers. The CEO asked them to recommend how to protect data from Fitbit devices. They were also asked to develop a strategy for Fitbit’s new data protection efforts in global markets.

Four teams were selected to move on to the final round: Universidad Panamericana Guadalajara, University of Vermont, University of Auckland, and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

In the end, the judges chose Universidad Panamericana Guadalajara as this year’s GBCC Champion. The University of Auckland took home second place honors.

We would like to acknowledge the hard work of our GBCC Student Leadership Team who spent countless hours organizing this big event. The Global Business Center would also like to thank Debra Glassman for selecting and adapting a case for this competition. And finally, GBCC would not be possible without our major sponsors:

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

The next year will find the Global Business Center planning GBCC’s 20th Anniversary, a milestone we can’t wait to celebrate!