The Carlson School took first runner up at the eighth-annual APEX Business-IT Global Case Challenge hosted by Singapore Management University from May 3 to 6. This marks the first year the Carlson School has gone directly through its preliminary rounds to the finals and the second year it has been explicitly seeded – the top four schools receive special seeding in their tiers.
Also, this is the fourth consecutive year the Carlson School has made the finals and the third year it has placed, taking second runner up in 2013 and first place in 2015. This year’s team, going by the name Pitbull Consulting, included Katrina Rudisel, Lauren Lee, Matt Finley, and Connor Lane.
APEX is an annual case competition that highlights the intertwined nature of information technology and business, attracting top upper-year undergraduates from universities across the world. Sixteen teams competed in this year’s event. From receiving the case to the last presentations, teams are working for 56 hours straight.
The theme of this year’s competition was Conscious Capitalism: Doing Good While Doing Business. Businesses that employ conscious capitalism serve the interests of all major stakeholders, including employees and communities. Teams were asked to propose a solution that would enable Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing platform, to utilize its technological platform to do good. The solution would enhance customer relationships by doing social good while demonstrating business value to key stakeholders.
The Carlson School team’s solution was to increase driver income by bringing demand to the driver and make the sharing economy the caring economy by leveraging passenger power. Rudisel and Lee presented in the preliminary and semi-final rounds by themselves as Lane fell ill. Finley replaced Lane in the finals.
Taking first place at the event was Canada’s Simon Fraser University and the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia was second runner up. This year's event sponsors include Optum, Medtronic, General Mills, the Mayo Clinic, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Target. More information about APEX can be found on its website.