Northwestern University Big MBA Case Victory


Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation announced that a team from Northwestern University(Kellogg) won the fifth annual National Case Competition held at Deloitte University, the organization’s landmark campus for learning and leadership development near Dallas, Texas. The school’s winning team of Matt Heintz, Andry Lesmana, and Bora Sekerel earned the top scholarship award of $20,000.

Fifteen finalist student teams from top MBA programs analyzed a set of complex strategic choices for Quirky Inc., a consumer products company headquartered in New York. Each team was provided with a series of strategic issues facing Quirky, a detailed fact base on the case, and a 10-hour time limit to formulate recommendations related to segment selection, “winning” positioning, and scale – all to support profitable growth. Teams presented their strategies and recommendations to a panel of judges that included Deloitte leaders and industry  experts.

“I was incredibly impressed with this year’s lineup of competitors,” said Kim Frazier, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and a competition judge. “The students displayed high levels of creativity, confidence, and insight during this high-pressure competition. I have no doubt that in the future they will play major roles in developing impactful solutions to the world’s crucial business issues. Congratulations to Northwestern and all of the participating  teams.”

Student teams from the following schools were also recognized for their  efforts:

  • New York University (Stern)  – $10,000
  • University of Chicago (Booth) – $6,000
  • University of Virginia (Darden) – $3,000

During the case study competition, the work of the teams was evaluated by judges  including:

  • Bijal Shah, director of retail and CPG analytics, iBotta  Inc.
  • Dan Hawkins, senior product manager,  TripAdvisor
  • Danny Maloney, chief executive officer and co-founder,  Tailwind
  • David Strand, E14 Fund Management  Inc.
  • Doug Hwang, product manager,  Etsy
  • Janna Garza, vice president of platform engagement and community, Quirky  Inc.
  • Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, journalist,  JP2E
  • Jonathan Leland, director of community engagement,  Kickstarter
  • Kevin Flatt, brand director,  MNML
  • Lindsay Casler, vice president of sales and product operations, Quirky  Inc.
  • Marc Maleh, managing director,  R/GA
  • Nancy Chen, vice president of merchandise planning, Quirky  Inc.
  • Rich Eagles, regional director, DuPont Sustainable  Solutions

“For more than 86 years the Deloitte Foundation has been developing future business talent. This case competition is one of many programs that we sponsor to help achieve this goal,” said Carol Lindstrom, president, Deloitte Foundation. “Real life experiences like this are an important supplement to in-classroom learning and can sharpen students’ ability to perform as critical thinkers, innovators, and  leaders.”

In addition to the winners, this year’s finalists included teams of students from the following MBA  programs:

  • Carnegie Mellon University  (Tepper)
  • Columbia Business School  University
  • Cornell University  (Johnson)
  • Dartmouth College  (Tuck)
  • Duke University  (Fuqua)
  • Emory University  (Goizueta)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology  (Sloan)
  • The University of Texas at Austin  (McCombs)
  • University of California, Los Angeles  (Anderson)
  • University of Michigan  (Ross)
  • University of North Carolina  (Kenan-Flagler)

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