Strategy and Operations Case Competition

Strategy and Operations Case Competition

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Description and Eligibility


The Strategy & Operations Management Association (SOMA) at UCLA Anderson School of Management is launching its first Strategy and Operations Case Competition as part of the Think in the Next Innovation Challenge. This competition will emphasize operations strategy, supply chain and sustainability through the lens of four frontiers of next-generation technologies: artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR), internet of things (IoT) and blockchain. Featuring teams from top MBA programs across the country, the competition will provide an innovative learning platform for students to solve a current operational business challenge and connect with others interested in similar fields. 

Both the preliminary and final rounds of the competition will take place at UCLA Anderson. The preliminary round will take place on Friday, February 28, 2020, and the winning team will advance to compete in the final round on Saturday, February 29, 2020. For more information on the overall challenge.

All graduate students from all programs of all universities are invited to apply in teams of three to five members. At least two team members must be enrolled in an accredited MBA program, and all team members must be from the same school. Part-time students are eligible. The prize for the winning team in the preliminary round, as well as the prize for the overall winning team, will be announced soon. The prize money for the top three teams in the preliminary round of this vertical totals $3,000 (first place: $1,500; second place: $1,000; third place: $500). The prize for the overall winning team will be announced soon.

Competition Rules and Logistics

  • Expenses: All travel and lodging expenses are the sole responsibility of the participating teams.
  • There will be a networking reception following both the vertical competition and overall competition.
  • We anticipate that the event will last from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 28, 2020, depending on the number of teams participating. Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m., and the networking reception will begin at 5:00 p.m. A detailed agenda will be sent to participating teams soon. We recommend you book your travel only after you are notified of your selection.
  • The case prompt will be sent to the primary team email by 12:00 p.m. PST on Thursday, February 13, 2020.
  • Case material submission: Presentation slides must be sent via email by 11:59 p.m. PST on Thursday, February 20, 2020, to Teams will receive a submission confirmation email.
  • Each team will be assigned a team number, which will be used for team identification and to generate the presentation order. Please make sure to include your team number on the title slide of the case. The team order will be randomly generated and distributed to the teams before the competition.
  • Dress code is business professional.
  • Presentation: Presentations may be controlled via keyboard or a remote control (which will be provided) and will be loaded onto the presentation computer by a case competition committee member.
  • Presenters: Each team must select at least two presenters. All members of the presenting team are required to be present during the presentation, but all are not required to present.
  • Teams must not reference their school affiliation during their presentation.
  • Teams may not view other teams’ presentations during the case competition.
  • We recommend that teams not discuss their case presentation or case content with other teams until all teams have presented.
  • Presentation of case analysis: 15 minutes maximum
  • Q&A with judges: 5 minutes maximum
  • The time limit for each presentation will be strictly adhered to (a warning will be given when five minutes remain). Any leftover time will be utilized as the judging panel sees fit.
  • There will be a 10-minute break between each presentation.
  • The judging panel will be focusing on how each team identified the problem it is trying to solve, how it arrived at its recommendations, the feasibility of implementing such recommendations and each team’s ability to present and support its findings.
  • Please contact Ankit Gupta at or Charlotte Fagan at if you have any questions.

Application Instructions


To apply for this competition, please provide the following information using the link below by 11:59 p.m. PST on January 25, 2020:

  • Name of university/school
  • Each team member’s name, email address, program and graduation year
  • Each team member’s resume
  • A statement (maximum 250 words) of your team’s solution to the prompt below

The emergence of next-generation technologies (AI, IoT, etc.) has created a potential for the disruption of service-, information- and content-based sectors. Which industry/area/sector will encounter the most disruption in the next five years? How would the end-to-end supply chains be affected? 

Start an application. We will inform you by February 1, 2020, if your team has been selected to participate. Please contact Ankit Gupta at or Charlotte Fagan at if you have any questions.