The world’s only case competition focused exclusively on family business, the sixth FECC (Family Enterprise Case Competition) returned to its home earlier this month, the University of Vermont’s Grossman School of Business. 98 competitors and coaches organised into 25 teams travelled from 26 countries around the world to compete over four days, from the 9th to the 12th of January 2019.
Judge Adam Ifshin, Founder and CEO of DLC Management Corp., spoke of the FECC as an invaluable platform for both students and family businesses:
“I think the more young people who begin to understand family business dynamic, the more willing they are going to be to go into this incredibly huge and rich world that most young people don’t know about. And I think it’s a great way for all of us who are family businesses to expose the next generation of people who may not have grown up in them into what the opportunity and the value proposition is.”
Bram Kleppner, another adjudicator and the CEO of Danforth Pewter described the extraordinary environment at the competition:
“The family enterprise case competition is really remarkable. In my point of view, the opportunity to spend two or three days immersed in students who are studying family business and have thought a lot about it, professors whose career is built around the study of and contributions to family business and management of family businesses and family transitions is tremendously educational and energising.”
Judge James R Keller, President of Green Mountain Business Consultants and Chairman of the Board of the Newark Group, commented on the student participant’s impressive ability to defend their positions in front of the judging panel:
“These students are getting experience, and really doing the work that I do over a long period of time they’re doing it in a four hour period of time and making a presentation to management, and so not only do they have to have a good analytical approach to what they’ve done, but also to be able to on their feet answer some of these (the judge’s) questions.”
Richard Owens, Chairman of Shoey’s Pty Ltd, and one of the judges on the panel described the trajectory of the winning graduate team from Adelaide:
“In the first round they came last, and they weren’t much better in the second round but they scraped into the final. Then they got the message — they worked out how you have to perform in this thing. Anyway, when they announced the winner I couldn’t help crying with pride.”
Top undergraduate honours went to a Canadian team, Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business. Awards were also given to individuals for their contributions as presenters, coaches and ambassadors for the institutions they represent. Here are the winners:
1. Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Competitors Cassandra Lee, Nicole Opsteen and Hala Saoudi, coached primarily by Liam Gravely took top honours. The winning team’s members are all fourth-year Commerce students.
2. Universidad Pan Americana, Guadalajara, Mexico
Second place went to one of two teams hailing from Mexico. They were represented by Rodrigo Tamayo Morales, Arturo Gonsalez Robles and Regina Erickson Torres with primary coach Maria Begoña Cota Mendia. Morales and Robles are Business Management Students in their fourth year, while Torres is a Family Business Management Student in her third year.
3. Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Coming in third, the team from Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences was made up of Ankie Lemmens, Lars van Marrewijk and Mark Sluijs with primary coach Simon Cornet. The student participants, all in their fourth year, are studying Business IT and Management, Finance and Control and Business Economics respectively.
4. Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada
The fourth-place team and one of eight from Canada were represented by Sloane Keilty, Josh Kravitz and Quinn Robinson with primary coach John C. Young. The students, in their third and fourth years, study Business Administration with different concentrations.
5. Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont, Burlington, United States of America
The host team, represented by David Gringeri, Olivia Mekkelsen and Clara Stejskal with primary coach David Mount came in fifth place. Of the competitors, Grinjeri is in his second year of Business Administration, and Mekkelsen and Stejskal are fourth-year Business Administration and Business Major students respectively.
1. The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
The top placing graduate team was made up of MBA students Brent Alexander, Jack Lee and Sean O’Gorman with primary coach Francesco Barbera.
2. Universidad Francisco Marroquin (UFM), Esquela de Negocios, Guatemala
Second place went to the only team from Guatemala represented by MBA students Brenda Maria Alonzo Juárez, Mario Fernando Zuñiga Ramirez and Luis Jose Aragon Yanes with primary coach Jaly Chea.
3. Asian Institute of Management, Philippines
Third place was awarded to the Asian Institute of Management represented by MBA and Executive MBA students Timothy Clark Dauz, Ava Española and Cindy Saw with primary coach Andrea Santiago.
4. Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Sweden
Competitors Kristina Baumgartner, Steven Lau and Rita Stefanuto, students of BA/Global Management, Strategic Entrepreneurship and Global Management respectively came in fourth place.
Undergraduate presenters Josiah Dueck from Brock University, Andrew Alber from Grand Valley State University – Siedman College, David Gringeri from Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont and Hala Saoudi from Carleton University received individual awards for their outstanding performance.
In the graduate category, Kristina Baumgartner from Jonkoping International Business School, Hardik Kotecha from the Indian School of Business, Mario Fernando Zuñiga Ramirez from UFM and Ava Española from the Asian Institute of Management were awarded for their superlative poise in presenting their work.
The Undergraduate coaching award went to Luis Diaz Matjira from Universidad Los Andes, Colombia while the Graduate coaching award went to Biga Diambeidou from ICN Business School.
Jacob Rucker and Hugo Rapp from Universidad Panamericana and the Indian School of Business respectively received awards for the exemplary conduct as ambassadors for their institutions.