The HEC winning team – Modigliani 2.0 – of the 2016 Harvard Global Case Competition made it to the finals in the 2017 edition.
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As last year’s winning team, Modigliani 2.0 participated again in this year’s Harvard Global Case Competition organized by a business society at one of the schools of Harvard on 7-9 April. We are 4 students in the MiM – Grande Ecole from 4 different countries: Jason Lin (China), Vaibhav Longani (India), Dominik Campanella (Germany), and Piotr Dziadosz (Poland).
There were over 145 teams registered for the contest. After the 1st round case submission the organizers shortlisted 10 best teams to present the results of their work at the prestigious Jospeh B. Martin Conference Center in Boston, MA, to a jury consisting of Harvard professors and experienced industry experts. The finalists represented business schools from all around the world (e.g. Harvard, Wharton, HKUST…) and ranged between 0 and 20 years of professional experience.
We had the task to submit a solution to the case study about a strategic buyout of the Boston-based drug technology firm, Syntonix, by a biotech giant, Biogen. Two questions were posed to the participants: shall Syntonix sell to Bogen? If so, at what price? Thus, the teams were challenged not only to access the strategic aspects of the business but also carry out its valuation. In the business part, we started out with the industry analysis and proceeded with the acquirer analysis laying a special emphasis on how the acquisition would supplement its current drug portfolio. The case required us to delve into very technical specifics of the medical sector, e.g., calculating the probability that a drug passes 3 phases of clinical trials by the Federal Drug Association, an American body responsible for approving the drugs for commercialization. Meanwhile, we valued the company using 3 methods: DCF, real options, and Venture Capital approach. Beside deriving a final value, we structured the deal into upfront and contingency payments as well as computed the value of synergies.
The final presentations took place on Saturday morning and the winners of the $10,000 prize were announced at the evening gala at the rooftop restaurant in Prudential Tower, the highest building in Boston. This time, it wasn’t us! Although we didn’t win this year, the experience was truly invaluable. We had a chance to solve a very complex business case, network with high-calibre international participants and mingle with the Harvard students. Many of these connections we would like to nourish during the years to come.