A team from the Carlson School took first place at the fourth annual CoMIS Case Competition on March 28. Team members Sam Bagley, Teja Choudhary, and Spencer Price defeated 14 other teams, including second-place Georgia Tech and Arizona State in third. 

CoMIS winners

“This marks the second consecutive year that the team from the University of Minnesota took the top prize at CoMIS,” says team coach Ken Reily.

The CoMIS Case Competition is a business challenge related to management information systems. Student competitors are given the case and 24 hours to prepare their presentations. The judges, who represent sponsoring organizations, select a few teams to move onto the second round, and then declare a winner. This year’s case was to create a plan for a business to successfully integrate the Affordable Care Act into its strategy. Team Minnesota’s solution was to have the business rework its website, create an app, and introduce a rating system–“Health ID”–to track employee fitness.  

“Our team struggled in the beginning with not being clear as to what our recommendation was but we improved significantly,” says Choudhary, who handled strategy and prototypes for the team. “We constantly kept going through our slides to make sure they were clear and simple. Our coach always says ‘even when you think your slides are simple, go back and make them even simpler to the point where a four-year-old can understand the idea behind it.’”

While Choudhary worked on strategy, the other team members had their own parts to play–Bagley was in charge of finance and Price covered the IT-related tasks.

“This team has been highly motivated this year, even requesting some extra practice and coaching leading into last week’s competition,” Reily says

By taking first place, the team earns a trophy and the opportunity to compete internationally. Team members will depart on May 1 for Singapore for the APEX Biz-IT Global Case Challenge on May 4-8, 2015.

CoMIS is sponsored by United Health Group, 3M, Medtronic, Target, General Mills, Travelers, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and the MIS Quarterly.