McGill University team takes top honors in premier MBA case competition at Vanderbilt’s Owen School

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Six teams of MBA students from top business schools competed on Feb. 28 in the fifth annual Vanderbilt MBA eStrategy Contest at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Students from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, took home the $15,000 prize from the contest, one of the largest case competitions of its kind.

The 2004 competition had the students devise business growth strategies. This year marks the contest’s first to have a team from an international business school in the final round and for it to win the competition.

In addition to the McGill University team, the Feb. 28 competition included representatives from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business, Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management and the Owen School.

Fifteen teams from domestic and international business schools entered the first round of competition in late January. For the final-round presentations in Nashville, the finalists expanded on their first round submissions, going into considerably more depth and making final presentations before a panel of judges comprising executives of WebMD Envoy, the sponsor of the contest.

"Participating in the Vanderbilt strategy competition allowed us to center our strategic and functional knowledge on a real organizational issue. Through our experience, we have seen that MBA students can play an important role in generating insights that lead to innovations not only in organizations, but in the greater societal domain as well," said Russell Seidle, a member of the winning McGill University team.

In addition to Seidle, the other members of the winning team, named Caduceus Consultants, are Dave Purewal and Christian Reece. The runner-up prize of $3,000 went to the VirtuCom team from Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. VirtuCom’s team members are Scott Chapman, Scott Jackson, Kevin Luttenegger and Arjun Venkatesh.

"This year’s winners were exceptional," said Lara Kauchak, director of the competition. "Both schools had good ideas with strong financial potential. Overall, the presentations were very professional and well done."

The Owen School’s eBusiness and Technology Club and the Owen Strategy Club facilitated the competition.

"For all of us at Vanderbilt who worked to put this competition together, I want to thank all the schools and our sponsor, WebMD Envoy, for their support in making this contest a success," said Kauchak.

For more news about Vanderbilt, visit the Vanderbilt News Service homepage at For details about the Vanderbilt MBA eStrategy Contest, go to the competition’s website at

Founded in 1969, the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University is ranked as a top institution by Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes. For more news about Owen, visit

Media contact: Susanne Loftis, (615) 322-NEWS

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