Global Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge

Tauranga, New Zealand 26 - 31 August 2018

Hosted by Waikato Management School

48 students from around the world, 12 universities, 3 business cases over 5 days – all set in the stunning seaside location of Tauranga, Bay of Plenty. Waikato Management School is proud to have hosted the inaugural SDS Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge.

GIEC was part of the Groundswell Festival of Innovation, held from 27 August to 2 September 2018, when Tauranga showcased the city’s innovative people and businesses. Involving students from 12 New Zealand and overseas universities, our business case challenge added to the buzz of the festival.

GIEC pitted 12 four-member student teams against each other and against the clock as they raced to analyse case studies from real New Zealand companies and pull together a knockout presentation on smart strategies to grow their business.

We are pleased to welcome the following teams to the 2018 challenge:

  • Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
  • HEC Montréal, Canada
  • Lancaster University, England, UK
  • Penn State University, United States
  • Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • University of New South Wales, Australia
  • University of Otago, New Zealand
  • University of Waikato, New Zealand
  • Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

In keeping with Waikato Management School's strategic theme of ‘Leading through Innovation’, the student teams were required to come up with strategies that they presented in a boadroom setting to a panel of judges drawn from the business world, including representatives from each case company.

Students were exposed to the sort of pressure that management consultants regularly face. During the week, teams worked on disruptive strategies for ZURU Toys (a disruptive and award-winning NZ company that designs, manufactures and markets innovative toys and consumer products), as well as local companies such as Ubco Bikes (an electric utility motorbike) and Good Buzz Kombucha.

The four teams that made it through to the finals presented to a panel of judges from across the Tauranga business community.

The case competition model is a great example of work-integrated learning, where students apply what they learn in the classroom to the practice of business – analysing issues and developing business strategies to help companies innovate.

They also provide a tangible demonstration of how our teaching aligns with (1) what the business community expects, and (2) the quality of our student base. Employers are looking for graduates with skills in teamwork, oral presentation and the ability to think on their feet under quick-fire questioning from seasoned executives.

The business people involved in the challenge relished the interaction with bright students. Our students relished the opportunity to engage in conversations with current and future innovators.

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