The Business Masters 2009 took place from Wednesday Nov. 11th to Saturday Nov. 14th welcoming 9 teams from 6 different nations. This year´s event was supported by our sponsors BASF, Booz & Co. and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). This year's general theme was Eco City, asking the participants to create solutions for growing mega cities around the world dealing with their sustainability issues in a smart and business oriented way. The number of clever and intriguing business ideas created by about 100 teams from around the globe in the pre-case competition and in the final in Karlsruhe was mind-blowing and a great success.
After the reception in the Karlsruhe City Hall and a short guided tour through Karlsruhe, BASF invited the participants to an exquisite dinner event in their unique "Gesellschaftshaus" at Ludwigshafen. Between the delicious courses that were accompanied by wines from the biggest wine cellar in Germany, the sponsors took the opportunity to welcome the teams and to encourage them to enjoy this night before two days of hard work!
The next day started in a similarly exclusive setting, the Karlsruhe Castle. The main case was introduced to the finalists before taking them to their new homes for the next 24hs of intensive case work. The event was hosted in the library of the KIT faculty of business engineering and economics. Friday at noon was the deadline for handing in the case solutions, but before getting to the final on Friday evening the teams had to convince the jury in the semifinals. The flights in the semifinals were holding three teams each. Those teams given the chance to present their ideas in the final were from Denmark, India and the US. Each team did deserve to win, after presenting exceptionally creative and convincing cases, however there can only be one winner - Team AROS from Aarhus University (Denmarkt)!
The Award Ceremony was held during the Gala Dinner the same night by the sponsors Booz & Co., BASF and the CIE thanking the excellent participants for their great work. The winner team from Århus University, Denmark, was awarded a check of 1800Eur by the Sponsors (2nd India, 1200Eur; 3rd USA, 600Eur). After 24 hs of hard work, the teams got to know each other on a personal level at local club nearby. The CIE hosted the final party providing an exclusive atmosphere to meet and network and celebrate the outcomes of these intense 3 days.
Business Masters 2008 could again reach out for the best 12 teams in the world, chosen among over one hundred team applications. Getting to the final in Karlsruhe was hard enough, but the biggest challenge was to be tackled: a 24 hour case study competition with the best of the best from around the world.
The 12 top teams were flown to Germany from three different continents and warmly welcomed in Karlsruhe. After the introduction at the university, the mayor of Karlsruhe invited the international guests to the city hall for a get-together. When addressing the guests, she emphasized that an event like Business Masters is a great opportunity for students to experience the high quality of life paired with a business-friendly environment in the Karlsruhe region.
In the evening, one of Business Masters' corporate partners and a leading chemical company, BASF, invited for a splendid dinner at the casino of its Ludwigshafen facility. Delicious food, great wines and a first hint of the unique networking opportunities at Business Masters made the evening unforgettable for all participants.
The second day started with the presentation of the case and an introduction to the 2008 topic `Green Transportation'. The teams were asked to optimize the supply chain of an electronics manufacturer and develop concepts for a greener product in terms of production, transportation and procurement. After 24 hours of challenging casework, the teams presented their excellent business ideas to a critical and experienced jury. For the first time in the six Business Masters editions, the home team from the University of Karlsruhe could persuade the jury and win the Business Masters 2008.
After the gala dinner and the award ceremony, Booz & Company, the second corporate partner of Business Masters 2008, invited to an amazing party, where everyone could feel that within three days, a group of strangers from around the world grew into a network of friends.
On the last day, the participants could see one of Germany's oldest and most famous cities, Speyer. After a romantic boat tour on the Rhine, the Business Masters community spent a fabulous day at the Christmas market, visited the medieval cathedral and traditional restaurants.
Also in the fifth year of Business Masters the exclusive and unique character of the competition could be strengthened. In 2007, a new partner, more working time on the case, an academic day and a gala opening complemented the established concept.
With the overall topic "Social Entrepreneurship" Business Masters 2007 emphasized on the social and ecological responsibility of business and encouraged its participants to develop ideas for a fairer and better world. Again, the 12 best teams from around the world were chosen among shoals of applications to present their solutions on the 2007 Final Case "Solar Energy for Inlanga", designed by Business Masters, Booz Allen Hamilton and BASF (Available in the Download section ).
After the teams received an introduction on social entrepreneurship and solar technology at the University of Karlsruhe, BASF, the new partner of Business Masters, invited all participants to an official Gala Opening in Ludwigshafen on Wednesday. The next morning, the 24 hours working time on the Case started. The teams were confronted with a fictitious African country named Inlanga and the challenge to develop a business concept to distribute solar panels in this country. The major target of the start-up company was to improve the living conditions of the people of Inlanga by using the power of the sun and modern business ideas.
The teams from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, the RSM Erasmus University Rotterdam and the University of Colorado made it into the final presentation round. The most convincing concept was finally presented by the winning team from the USA with an agricultural utilization of the solar panels and a credit system for farmers.
After the award ceremony and a long night of clubbing all participants travelled to Frankfurt on Saturday where they were invited to a lunch in the Booz Allen Hamilton office with a fantastic view over Germany's most impressive skyline. The Business Masters 2007 ended with some free time to explore the city and a final dinner in Frankfurt before everyone set out to their homes.
For pictures of the event check out the Business Masters 2007 Gallery.
In 2006, out of hundreds of applications, the 12 best teams from all over the world were again invited to the 4th finals in Karlsruhe. The case topic was on "very light jets", a new sort of small private jets that may change the whole airline industry on short haul distances, especially with very efficient flight operations and inexpensive maintenance. Being introduced to the case by our sponsors and the head of marketing of Eclipse Aviation himself, the teams had one day to develop a business model riding on the wave of this new technology/airplane.
Two teams from Copenhagen Business School and a team from Leipzig Graduate School of Management HHL made it to the final round and presented their solution to a high profile panel of professors, sponsor representatives as well students on a Friday afternoon session. Eventually, the team "Ambition" from CBS won the competition with their creative and feasible idea of customizing these 1.5 Million Dollar jets.
The Business Masters 2006 agenda contained a major change: After the award ceremony and clubbing in Karlsruhe, all participants were invited to a sight-seeing trip to Heidelberg on Saturday, thus everybody headed home early Sunday with new friends and some impressions from Germany, its lifestyle and its people.
Again in another dimension, the Business Masters 2005 had participants from 8 countries spread over 3 continents. Of the 180 team applications, the 12 best teams were selected to compete in the finals at the University of Karlsruhe. To qualify the teams had to develop an investment strategy for a mutual fund investing in flight carriers.
After the welcoming and presentation of the case in Frankfurt at the headquarters of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, the teams soon had time to think about possible solutions on their transfer to Karlsruhe. In the role of an internal project group of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, the teams were informed about a new EU resolution on emission trading for the airline industry that would come into effect by January 2008. With a 10 hour time-limit the teams had to develop a concept to make Lufthansa ready for 2008 as well as to develop a long term vision until 2040 in regard to fulfilling the requirements of the Kyoto protocol.
After what seemed for some teams a long night, the results were presented to the juries on Friday afternoon. In the final round, the team from Warsaw convinced the jury - again composed of professors, sponsor representatives and students - with an outstanding concept as an answer to the changes due to the emission trading resolution. In a neck-and-neck race the teams from Beijing and from Helsinki finished second and third respectively.
For pictures of the event check out the Business Masters 2005 Gallery.