Students Develop Blockchain Platform Recommendations for the NW Seaport Alliance (NWSA)

2018 Russell Investments International Case Competition

On Saturday, November 17th, the Seattle skies were blue and bright, however inside PACCAR Hall, the students who participated in the 2018 Russell Investments International Case Competition shone brighter.

After 48 hours of intense analysis, the 32 teams who participated in the case competition dazzled judges with their impressive recommendations based on the 2018 case, Maersk: Betting on Blockchain.

2018 RIICC Champions Aarthi Ganapathi, Rose Jao, Keenan Goodman, Skye Scofield

Student teams played the role of outside consultants who were hired by the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), the marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Tacoma and Seattle. In the case, NWSA was beginning a process of determining what it should be doing in the digital supply chain/blockchain space, and they asked participants to evaluate TradeLens, one of many possible blockchain solutions. Teams presented their recommendations to a panel of community member judges, who played the role of NWSA upper management. The teams were asked to, 1) Perform a SWOT analysis on TradeLens; 2) describe the benefits IBM and Maersk would receive from TradeLens; and 3) provide recommendations about if NWSA should utilize TradeLens or another platform going forward.

The five top teams moved on to the final round. We would like to congratulate the five finalist teams:

Team 1 (A3): Annemieke Schanze, Michelle Batjargal, Alfred Mugho, Bariso Hussein

Team 2 (B4): Christopher Beardsley, Ana Alvarez, Keaton Layman, Erik Nielson

Team 3 (E3): Faith Dowsett, Lina Zhou, Emily Albertson, Lena Shelley

Team 4 (C2): Aarthi Ganapathi, Rose Jao, Keenan Goodman, Skye Scofield

Team 5 (D1): Yue Yang Chan, Roy Chapman, Mike Guevarra, Valarie Chen

After watching the final round teams present, the panel of finalist judges selected a winner. Of the five stellar finalist presentations, Team 4 took home the title of 2018 Russell Investments International Case Competition champions and $1,000. Team 3 took 2nd place and won a $400 prize.

Congratulations to all of the teams, especially to the first-place team members, Aarthi Ganapathi, Rose Jao, Keenan Goodman, Skye Scofield. The winning team recommended that the NWSA work with Accenture to develop an API that could work with multiple different blockchain platforms. The judges were impressed with their innovative solution, their realistic and comprehensive NPV analysis, and how they handled the Q&A session.

Of the 32 teams that participated, nine of those were teams of Foster School Freshman Direct students who competed in their own track of the competition to win the title of Freshman Direct Champion and $400. We are excited to see these students getting involved so early in their Foster careers. The Freshman Direct Track winning teams were team F4, Felicia Yan, Grace Lee, Eric Fong, and Zoe Tucker; and team G4, Megan D’sa, Antyush Bollini, Syed Mustafa, and Aaron Zhao.

2018 Freshman Direct Winning Teams

For the fourth year in a row, RIICC now includes a Northwest Regional Track. Four teams travelled to the UW campus from North Seattle College, Highline Community College and Yakima Valley Community College to compete.  Each team gave an impressive presentation and North Seattle College took home the title of Northwest Regional Track Champions.

2018 Northwest Regional Track Winning Team: Jaimee Franzer, John Furagganan, and Adam Jackson from North Seattle College

Please congratulate these students if you seem them in class or in the halls!

Finally, this competition would not be possible without the support of our sponsor and partner, Russell Investments. The more than 120 student participants and the Foster School’s Global Business Center are so grateful for Russell Investments’ generous sponsorship of this flagship event.