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36 MBA teams from 21 countries vie for the $10,000 Concordia Cup

JAN. 7-11: The 38th annual John Molson MBA International Case Competition, the largest of its kind, takes on disruptive technologies
December 7, 2018
By Kelsey Rolfe


The 38th annual John Molson MBA International Case Competition promises to be a disruptive affair.

The competition will bring 36 teams from 21 countries to Concordia to take part in a round-robin tournament from January 7 to 11, 2019. It will also encourage teams to think creatively about the future of business.

“Disruption is any new innovation that changes the course of the market,” says Ankit Kumar, the member of the competition’s student organizing committee responsible for marketing.

“Montreal, for example, is a hub of artificial intelligence and blockchain. It’s not limited to that, but those are some examples of how innovations are changing the face of the industry.”

The five-day event is organized each year by a group of MBA candidates from the John Molson School of Business. Concordia's MBA program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the case competition is the largest of its kind in the world. At stake for the participants is the Concordia Cup’s $10,000 grand prize.

The teams, made up of four students and one coach, will analyze seven unpublished business cases and make oral presentations about them — including one live case, which Kumar says will be a real-life problem that a company has faced and for which teams will need to come up with a solution. Notably, Kumar adds, this year JMSB is sponsoring the team coaches dinner event.

The brightest minds from all over the world

Another impressive note for the competition is that about half of its 300-plus judges are women.

“We try to keep the ratio of men to women at 50-50, but usually it’s somewhere closer to 60-40,” Kumar says. “This year, we have a more even ratio.”

In addition to being a valuable learning experience, the competition provides ample networking opportunities and a busy social calendar for participants.

“It’s like the brightest minds from all over the world are all in one place,” Kumar says, adding that many of the judges are C-Suite executives and directors within the industry who could be great connections for students.

At the end of each day, participants can enjoy games and karaoke in the competition’s hospitality suite. There will also be a theme party, where people can dress up as their favourite hero or villain, and a hockey game at the Bell Centre.

“For a lot of participants from outside Canada, it’s their first hockey game,” Kumar says. “And they’ll also experience the winter season and get to know Montreal.”

Members of the organizing committee — who, in addition to coordinating the competition itself, also handle hotel and travel arrangements, sponsorship, social events and marketing — will receive six credits toward their MBA. Their executive assistants will receive three. The JMSB team members also earn three credits for the one-term course they take to prepare for the competition.

The John Molson MBA International Case Competition will be held at Hotel Bonaventure. Presentations are open to the public with no registration required. The live case is held on Wednesday, January 9 from 9 a.m. to 3:55 p.m.


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