Mendoza School of Business

IBM Wants Smart Solutions from MBA Case Competition at Wake Forest University

Published: February 5, 2010 / Author: Mendoza College

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — At an international case competition at Wake Forest University on Thursday, IBM Inc. challenged some of the world’s brightest MBA students to provide fresh ideas for its Smarter Cities program, an initiative designed to revitalize developing markets like Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, Prague, Rio De Janeiro and Mumbai.

The eight MBA student teams will now have 36 hours to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that will earn them a chance to win a first-place cash prize of $50,000. “Many cities, even those considered to be emerging markets, are at a near-breaking point. Their infrastructures – designed to serve much smaller populations – are unable to cope with rapid growth,” the MBA case study states. “IBM is looking for ways that it can infuse existing infrastructures with new intelligence. In short, IBM wants to revitalize cities so they can become smarter and more efficient.”

IBM is the primary sponsor of the 2010 Marketing Summit, a premier annual case competition produced by the Wake Forest University Schools of Business. The company said it wanted to sponsor the case competition in order to tap into the minds of the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs, and bring fresh thinking to tough business challenges. The annual student-run event, which continues through Saturday, is centered around MBA and undergraduate case competitions with total cash prizes of $78,000.

The six teams of undergraduate students competing in the event are also preparing cases focused on IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative. Their challenge is to evaluate the market conditions, dynamics and environmental factors IBM should consider in order to ensure the success of the program. On Saturday, all the student teams will present their cases before panels of judges, and winners will be announced at a gala awards presentation that night.

Throughout the three-day event, competing students will be joined by corporate leaders, marketing professionals, higher education officials, alumni and peers in a packed schedule of networking, camaraderie and idea exchange highlighted by the flagship case competitions. New for 2010, the Marketing Summit will be broadcasting live updates for 36 hours to catch all the action. Video footage, blogs, and news feed are available online at

In addition to Wake Forest University’s School of Business, other participating programs include, for the MBA competition: University of Notre Dame; The Ohio State University; London Business School; IESE Business School (Barcelona, Spain); Dartmouth College; University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; and Brigham Young University. For the undergraduate competition: University of Maryland; U.S. Military Academy (West Point); University of Toronto; University of Pennsylvania; and Emory University.


Topics: Mendoza