Danish and Portuguese students triumph in BI International Case Competition 2024

21 February 2024

Students from across the world travelled to BI this month for the ninth edition of the BI International Case Competition (BIICC). In the end, the teams from Aarhus University and University of Porto emerged as the winners.

In the span of an intense and engaging week, BIICC brought together 12 international teams, from 10 different countries and 4 different continents. The students were tasked with presenting solutions to two authentic business cases provided by BIICC’s strategic partners Circle K and Statkraft. 

The first case, provided by convenience store chain Circle K, challenged the teams to use six hours to come up with solutions for how to scale up Circle K’s car sharing service. Those who impressed the jury the most were The Uncalled Four from Aarhus University, with their solution to expand the car sharing market in Norway to medium-sized cities and rural areas with at least 40.000 residents. 

“The Uncalled Four understood Circle K’s strengths and used them to their benefit. They were one of the few teams that didn’t just focus on big cities but also saw potential in small cities and rural areas. Their approach was realistic and doable, which is crucial for us in Circle K because the case revolved around a theme that we want to invest in and succeed in,” says Rudi Andresen, Senior Manager Mobility Services at Circle K and member of the jury.  

Solving End-of-life waste issues

The second case was delivered by Statkraft, a Norwegian state-owned hydropower company. The case focused on addressing the End-of-life waste issue for Statkraft’s installations related to solar panels. The teams were tasked with proposing a plan or project to solve this problem. 

“We were impressed by the level of all teams. We are especially impressed by how much they have achieved in terms of creative thinking and analysis in such a short time,” says Maja de Vibe, Senior Vice President Sustainability, Governance and Compliance at Statkraft and member of the jury. 

After the preliminary round, three teams remained in the final of the second case: The Uncalled Four from Aarhus University, FICT Consulting from FEP University of Porto, and Phoenix Consulting from the American University of Beirut. After a close final, the jury picked FICT Consulting as the winner, with their strategy focusing on the three R’s: reducing, reusing and recycling. Their solution involved reducing overall waste in solar power production, reusing less efficient panels in student housing accommodations and recycling materials at the end of their operational cycle.

“There were narrow margins. All three teams in the final delivered very strong cases. They had some similarities, but what made the winner stand out was that the jury thought it was the most doable solution,” says de Vibe. 

Competitive, but also social

The BIICC is about competing to find a worthy winner, but it also connects students from around the world with each other, BI Norwegian Business School, and the competition’s partner companies. 

“The highlight of the week has been the social gatherings and networking with talented students from around the world. We truly enjoyed the cases. Despite being bit tired now, it’s rewarding that all the sleepless hours paid off.”, says Ines Moura from University of Porto, and adds: 

“And, of course, the snow was a highlight too!

The Uncalled Four from Aarhus University, also highlights the social aspect as the best part of the week. 

“The whole event was well-organized, and it’s been a fun week with a lot of social activities. It has been a competitive week, but in a positive way. Despite competing against each other, we become good friends and enjoyed our time together,” says Alberte Klinkby. 

Hilde Spæren, project manager for the BIICC, is impressed by the talented and hardworking young people who are a part of the competition. 

“I am so impressed by the competing teams! Through the BIICC week, they solve two tough cases and deliver high-quality presentations. Watching them on stage take my breath away! It is a privilege to meet these talented, enthusiastic and hard-working young people. The future is in good hands,” she says. 

BIICC 2024

  • This is the ninth annual edition o the BI International Case Competition.
  • This year’s participating schools included BI Norwegian Business School (Norway), Aarhus University (Denmark), American University of Beirut (Lebanon), FEP-UPORTO (Portugal), HEC Montréal (Canada), IE University (Spain), Maastricht University (Netherlands), Smith School of Business, Queen's University (Canada), Team Universities of New Zealand (New Zealand), Texas A&M University (USA), Thammasat University (Thailand) and University of Navarra (Spain). 

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