For the third time, the Business Game association invited students from all over the world to our campus to participate in the HEC Business Game. On April 7th and 8th 150 participants of 38 nationalities from 57 universities competed in five competitions to test their business skills, their ability to find innovative solutions and their capability to solve real-life cases under pressure. The theme of this year’s business game was digital disruption and the participants had to come up with breakthrough solutions to current business problems.
After months of preparation, we were pleased to finally welcome the participants on Thursday night. Most students were accommodated on campus and could use the evening to get to know HEC students. But they didn’t stay out too long because Friday started full speed with the strategy challenge by Bain & Company. In less than 4 hours, the participants had to develop and run several feasible recommendations for a digitalized insurance industry. In the afternoon, it was time for the CSR challenge by Schneider Electric which asked participants to develop smart indicators that measure the social, economic and ecological impact of the company. During the challenges, the teams had the opportunity to consult with the IBM technology team about big data models technological innovations. After the case work, the groups pitched their ideas to representatives of the companies. This is when everybody gets nervous because this time, they don’t present in a classroom but in front of a top-notch board with company executives. Bain even took the time to listen to all of the groups and brought many partners and senior associates who were just as excited about the game as we were. After having spent the day racking their brains to have the best presentation, most participants were going outside to have a drink and enjoy the evening sun.
On the second day, the VC Earlybird brought a real-life investment case to the Venture Capital Challenge. The participants were provided with an actual application for VC funding (including Pitch, Prognoses, Accounting Statements, CVs of founders) and had to decide if and how much they would invest in this start-up – just like a real analyst in a VC. In the afternoon, the teams had to reinvent the mall experience and design the mall of 2030. The marketing challenge was organized in partnership with Klépierre, who also brought plenty of employees to listen to the pitches. Much was at stake, because Klépierre will invite the winning team to their office to present in front of the executive suite. At this point, tensions were running high, because the teams had to pitch for up to three challenges within a couple of hours. Besides the presentation for the VC and Marketing Challenge, 12 groups had the chance to pitch a disrupting idea for a video game that they prepared before the event to Gameloft. Finally, it was time to announce the winners: a winning team for each challenge and the winning duo with the most scores from all the challenges. For the first time, the winners of the HEC Business Game are actually from HEC: Robert Quick and Sriyash Kishorepuria. Congrats!
57 universities, 38 nationalities, 5 challenges, 80 pitches, 200+ connections and over a 100 pizzas – the HEC Business Game 2017 was an exciting weekend. Not only did we have great, real-life challenges, but also committed partner companies that really wanted to get to know us, students. During the challenges, the companies helped with the cases and in the breaks, you could see many students talking to company representatives about business issues (or probably securing their interview.) Throughout the event, many connections were made and friendships were built. The winning teams won great prizes like places in HEC Summer School, iPads, meetings with top executives or even an open door to pitch own business ideas at one of Europe’s biggest VCs, Earlybird. After the winning ceremony, we moved to party in Paris and danced until late.
If you want to see more behind-the-scene pictures from the game, follow the participants’ journey on https://walls.io/Hbg2017. We can’t wait to welcome you to our fourth edition next year. Be the first to know when applications start and follow us on Facebook.