NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business won the 11th annual MBA National Case Competition by presenting a thorough analysis and innovative solution to the business problem posed during the competition. Team members Neal DeCroo, Anushree Godbole, Olivia Koziol, and Shawn Reid earned a combined scholarship of $20,000 for their winning presentation.
New York University Stern School of Business took second place; University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and University of Texas, Austin McCombs School of Business followed in third and fourth place, respectively. The competition was held virtually for the first time Jan. 7 through 9.
More than 1,000 students from leading MBA programs across the country entered regional competitions, with 64 advancing to the national finals. At this year's Deloitte MBA National Case Competition, 16 teams of four students each developed a strategic proposal and presentation to answer a business challenge posed by Banza, an innovative and fast-growing consumer packaged goods food company. Banza, an organization that has always focused on creative ways to challenge the conventional wisdom around traditional dishes, uses chickpeas to upgrade favorite comfort foods — like pasta, macaroni and cheese, and pizza — that are typically made with wheat, corn or rice and, until now, considered by some as "guilty pleasures." The teams presented their recommendations to the question: "What's next for Banza: Where and how they should innovate?" to a panel of 21 judges that included a combination of top company, industry and Deloitte leaders.
"I am proud that we are able to continue to support these highly impressive MBA students throughout the past 11 years. The University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business team and all other finalists should be extremely proud of their achievements," said Katie Dye, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "This year, we presented the teams with a case focused on innovation in the food sector. Given the open-ended nature of the case presented by Banza to the teams, I am confident this year's students will go on to make a significant impact in business as they showed a great deal of creativity and strategic insights in their responses."
"The Deloitte Foundation is committed to preparing the next generation of workforce leaders through a range of experiential learning opportunities," said Seán Morris, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and member of the Deloitte Foundation board of directors. "As a real-world extension of the classroom, the MBA National Case Competition enables students to apply keen insight and team skills to solve a complex business challenge. The exceptional talent each student brings to this annual competition and the ability to pivot to a virtual environment this year, continues to inspire."
In addition to the winners, this year's finalists included teams of students from the following MBA programs:
- Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
- Columbia University (CBS)
- Cornell University (Johnson)
- Dartmouth College (Tuck)
- Duke University (Fuqua)
- Emory University (Goizueta)
- Northwestern University (Kellogg)
- University of California, Berkeley (Haas)
- University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson)
- University of Chicago (Booth)
- University of Virginia (Darden)
- Vanderbilt University (Owen)
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