A group of Waikato University students has won the chance to represent New Zealand at a prestigious 24hr IT business case competition in Canada to compete against 15 teams from top international universities.
The CaseIT Competition, run by Vancouver's Simon Fraser University, sees more than 35 universities and technical institutes invited to submit an IT strategy based on a real-life company's business case, with the top 13 teams making it through to face the three finalists from the previous year.
Waikato University's Team Forte, comprising Waikato Management School students Chris Williams, Karleen Puriri, Bevan Dawson and Timoti Daymond, is the only New Zealand team to win entry to the competition this February.
They will be joined in Vancouver by Queensland University of Technology, the only other successful entrant from Australasia.
Team member Chris Williams, who is studying towards a Bachelor of Management Studies majoring in Strategic Management and Management Systems, says it is a massive opportunity for the students as wells as the university. "This competition is a pretty big deal. We will be up against the best business schools in the world, so we want to do Waikato, and New Zealand proud."
The 16 teams will be given a business case and 24-hours to come up with a strategic proposal for the company's IT strategy. "For the qualifying round we had one month to submit our proposal; over there we will have one day. It will be a pretty intense 24hrs, but we are up to the challenge."
Students must hand over all electronic devices before starting the 24hr vigil. "We're basically locked in our hotel room and cut off from the rest of the world. It's about what we can come up with on our own, based on our learnings and experience."
The team is currently preparing for the competition and trying to find sponsorship to help get them to Vancouver. "We've been very fortunate to have the support of Air NZ and Waikato University," says Chris, "but we still need a bit more assistance to get us there."
Team Forte is being coached and mentored by Professor of Electronic Commerce Technologies, Bob McQueen, from the School's Department of Management Systems. Professor McQueen had encouraged the group to get involved in the competition, and will be heading to Vancouver to support the team and attend the conference.
To make a donation, or to become a sponsor, check out the team's sponsorship summary http://issuu.com/teamfortenz/docs/team_forte_nz_event_and_sponsorship_summary
For more information about the CaseIT competition, visit www.caseit.org