(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – March 31, 2017): Yesterday, over 60 Business Administration students from across Northern Ontario and Michigan gathered at The Water Tower Inn to compete in the 11th annual Northern Ontario Business Case Competition. The cohort of students represented 16 teams from Algoma University, Algoma U at Brampton, Lake Superior State University, Nipissing University, and Laurentian University, the largest group to compete in the competition to date.
The 16 teams were tasked with solving two business cases without any technology, except for a calculator. Once having developed a strategy to solve each case, students then presented their solutions to a panel of business experts from across the Algoma district, as well as three special celebrity judges, including Nicole Verkindt (founder of OMX), Graham Sherman (founder of Tool Shed Brewery), and David Segal (founder of DAVIDsTEA).
An Algoma University team, comprised of Anna Stilin (Sault Ste. Marie), Mitchell Marinovich (Sault Ste. Marie), and Kazi Faisal Atahar (Bangladesh) were crowned case competition champions. Stilin, Marinovich, and Atahar earned the highest marks in the competition after solving the cases on the decline of the Twitter and Axe brands.
“I thought we had a really great experience. It was really great to be able to get feedback from the judges, have community members judge us and give us advice. For us to be able to present to them was a really great opportunity,” said Stilin immediately following the competition.
Two out-of-town teams from Lake Superior State University (LSSU) and Laurentian University tied for second place. Carly Banchiu, James Bending, Mary Jaws, and Chris Toulouse made up the squad, while Kiersten Briscoe, Ryan Dubeau, and Trevor Rainville rounded out the Sudbury-based team.
After eight hours of competition, participants and judges enjoyed a panel discussion from Verkindt, Sherman, and Segal, which detailed their successes and struggles as entrepreneurs. They offered valuable advice on how to be successful, when to consider joining the entrepreneurial world, and the importance of mentors and leaders.
“It’s very exciting. I think that the work that they’re doing here [Northern Ontario Business Case Competition] is very important for these students because they’re getting real-life experience. We talked a lot about the diversification of the economy in Northern Ontario and it is critical that this entire community rallies behind new ideas and rallies behind entrepreneurial energy and the youth,” said Verkindt following the panel.
“The spirit of Northern Ontario is strong and it was such a pleasure to be here today. There are many bright young minds with bright futures that competed here today,” added Segal.