MBA students from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) recently took home the championships of the Sofaer International Case Competition in Israel and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Case Competition in Hong Kong. This extends their winning streak to four competitions this Spring semester.
The annual Sofaer International Case Competition, organized by Tel Aviv University, challenges MBA students from around the world with a real business case that focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship. This year, the competition asked contenders to propose a go-to-market strategy for an ultra-sound surgery method created by an Israeli medical technology start-up called InSightec. The procedure is used to remove uterine fibroids and bone tumors.
The HKUST team, Alexandra Ho, John Hsieh, Derek Lowe and Constantin Slioussarenko, outperformed nine other teams, including students from Cambridge University and the University of California Los Angeles, to win the grand prize.
The “razor blade” business model proposed by the HKUST team demonstrated how the company could achieve a steady revenue stream. Team member Alexandra Ho explained, “Like razors or printers, they are inexpensive to buy, but the price of their replacement blades or cartridges could be high. Providing a more affordable option for healthcare and insurance providers is the best way to promote the adoption of this technology.”
“But presenting to an audience of 200 academics and top executives from leading Israeli companies was another story. We needed to work on our presentation section by section and challenge each other to build our confidence. This proved to be highly valuable in the competition,” she added.
In a separate case competition organized by the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in late May, Alexandra together with another three MBA students Brandon Kung, Sean Kerr and Kevin Yeung took home the championship with their innovative yet practical CSR strategy for Swire Pacific’s inflight catering services, one of the three case companies for participating teams to choose and design a CSR strategy.
After being selected as one of the three finalists from nine teams, the HKUST team competed with the two other finalists, CUHK and the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. They impressed the judges with their waste-cutting solution that focused on eliminating waste sources by re-designing the trays and re-thinking the food selection. The solution not only showed how disposable plastic utensils could be minimized, but also how to enhance a dining experience. The winners will receive an internship with Swire Pacific where they will be given the opportunity to implement their proposal.
Mr Sean Ferguson, Associate Dean (Master’s Programs) and Director of MBA Programs at HKUST Business School, congratulated the two winning teams on their outstanding accomplishments. “Our MBA program is designed to challenge our students academically in a way that prepares them to handle the real world issues that global managers face on a day to day basis. Case competitions provide an excellent learning platform for participants to demonstrate how to solve current business challenges in a competitive pressurized environment. I am glad that we have concluded this season with our MBA student teams winning multiple international and regional case competitions,” he said.
This Spring semester, HKUST MBA teams placed first in four case competitions:
Marshall Global Consulting Challenge organized by the University of Southern California, USA
Odyssey Global MBA Competition organized by Columbia University, USA
Sofaer International Case Competition organized by Tel Aviv University, Israel
CSR Case Competition organized by the Chinese University of Hong Kong
HKUST Business School
Communications & External Affairs
Mr John Poon
Phone: (852) 3469 2090
Ms Anna Chan
Phone: (852) 2358 8242