Undergraduate students from around the world will put their business technology skills to the test in the sixth annual Competition on Management Information Systems (CoMIS) March 29–April 1 at the Carlson School.

Twenty teams, each comprised of three students, will take on a real business problem from a Twin Cities company — with 24 hours to read the case, research and develop a solution, and prepare a presentation for the company. Judges from the company will then evaluate the teams on their understanding of the problem, their proposed solutions, their presentation skills and their ability to answer questions during a subsequent 10-minute Q&A session.

Final-round presentations will take place April 1 from 2:00–5:00 p.m. in the Carlson School’s Honeywell Auditorium and are open to the public, including business leaders and information technology recruiters.

This year’s field is the largest yet for the competition, and the 20 participating schools come from nine countries. CoMIS is one of just two management information systems-focused undergraduate business case competitions in the world, notes Ken Reily, an instructor of information science at the Carlson School and the faculty advisor for the competition.

“We hope this year's competition will set the standard for CoMIS for years to come,” he says.

The competition, which was founded by a group of Carlson School undergraduate students in 2011 and remains a student-run endeavor, is a win-win for all involved. The students get real-world experience presenting their ideas and solutions to senior-level business executives, while the partnering company taps into fresh ideas for a genuine business challenge.

“CoMIS represents an opportunity for the competing students to demonstrate their skills in defining and solving a real-world business problem,” says Reily.

Past cases have involved plotting strategies to increase season-ticket sales for the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild, identifying disruptive technology that will impact health insurance for Optum, and boosting grocery revenue for Target.

This year’s corporate sponsors include Blue Cross Blue Shield, General Mills, Medtronic, Optum, and 3M.

Visit the CoMIS website for more information.