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The Engineering and Commerce Case Competition is back

In its second year, this student-organized contest sparks entrepreneurship and collaboration
January 26, 2015
By Laurence Miall

The organizing committee of the second annual Engineering and Commerce Case Competition. The organizing committee of the second annual Engineering and Commerce Case Competition. | Photo by Concordia University

The Engineering and Commerce Case Competition (ECCC) is the only one of its kind in Canada. Run exclusively by students, the second-annual competition will be hosted at Concordia from March 10-15 with more corporate partners, a diverse variety of world universities and an enhanced sense of its mission.

Uniting engineers and business students, it promises to unleash some great new ideas and create memorable experiences.

Emran Ghasemi, an industrial engineering undergraduate student and president of the competition’s organizing committee, explains the need for such an event.

“Given the world’s tough economic times, governments want to accelerate innovation. This competition is a way to rise to some of the present-day challenges. We want to help forge harmonious teams that can solve problems using knowledge and skills from different spheres,” he says.

New to the competition this year are teams from the American University of Cairo and the University of British Columbia. They will compete alongside eight other teams, including one from Concordia.

Each team is made up of two engineering students and two commerce students who work on a case that represents any number of plausible scenarios from the real world, from supply-chain management to the introduction of technology to a new market. They prepare a 15-minute presentation, which they will deliver to a panel of four judges — each one from an engineering, business, entrepreneurship or “wildcard” background.

“Collaboration and cooperation across our various fields is crucial in industry,” says Amir Asif, dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. “This competition is preparing students for that world. I am very proud of the efforts of all the volunteers at Concordia who founded it and are continuing it into a second successful year.”

The top teams will go on to the final, public stage of the competition, held March 15. There, they will present their cases to a new panel of judges, and an overall winner will be declared. The first-place finisher in 2014 was the University of Alberta.

The planning and coordination of such an event is no small task, and Ghasemi is proud of what he and the organizing team have accomplished. They are preparing a warm welcome for 40 students, 16 volunteers, 15 team coaches and representatives of the corporate partners, for a total attendance of 150.

“We want to create communication channels between different faculties, different disciplines and to encourage dialogue, while the skillsets that students are acquiring in school are being tested, helping engineers and business students to better understand each before they graduate,” he explains. “And I think we’re achieving these goals!”

Concordia has a long history of organizing and hosting case competitions. ECCC is one of four annual competitions hosted by the university, the other three being the John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition, the John Molson MBA International Case Competition and the Van Berkom – JMSB Small Cap Case Competition.

Learn more about the Engineering and Commerce Case Competition.


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