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Home > News > Algoma University Faculty of Business and Economics Hosts 17th Annual Northern Ontario Business Case Competition

Algoma University Faculty of Business and Economics Hosts 17th Annual Northern Ontario Business Case Competition

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON- April 6, 2023): Yesterday, business students from Algoma University’s campuses in Brampton and Sault Ste. Marie had their skills put to the test during the 17th annual Algoma University Faculty of Business and Economics’ Northern Ontario Business Case Competition (NOBCC). The event, held at the Water Tower Inn, represents the culmination of four years’ worth of studies in an undergraduate business or commerce degree program, and this year’s theme focussed on decolonization and Indigenization in business.

Ten teams went “head-to-head” in this year’s competition, the first in-person event since 2019. Using no technology, except an overhead projector, students are put into a high-pressure environment, with three hours to solve and present a business case to celebrity and guest judges. Students were put to the ultimate test as for the first few hours of the competition, there was no power on site. Using candles, flashlights and overhead projectors, students were truly pushed to their limits. 

Each team presented their case solutions to the judges during two sessions, one case in the morning and one case in the afternoon. Judges were able to visit each team for 15 minutes prior to presenting their final solutions to the panel, offering feedback, advice and encouragement. 

Celebrity judges participating this year included award-winning Anishinaabe journalist and author Tanya Talaga, and former Mayor of the city of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi. Talaga is an acclaimed storyteller and the author of the national bestselling book, Seven Fallen Feathers. Nenshi was ranked #2 on Maclean’s 2013 Power List and he was awarded the 2014 World Mayor Prize. Biographies for both celebrity judges can be viewed here

“The NOBCC is extremely important for students,” shared Dr. William Wei, Dean, Faculty of Business and Economics. “This rigorous competition puts students to the ultimate test, forcing them to come up with unique solutions to real-life business situations using the knowledge they have gained over their years of education. We are looking forward to making this a nation wide event in the future, expanding on this year’s theme of decolonization and indigenization in business.”

For the first time in the history of the event, a team comprised entirely of Brampton campus students took home the first-place prize! Congratulations to team #9, Vidya Singh, Patrique Roy, Kanishika Nijhawan, and Shashank Kasinadhuni. “We don’t know what we’re capable of until we challenge ourselves,” shared Team 9 member Kanishika Nijhawan. “It’s uncomfortable, it’s difficult but when we focus on learning and have the right team to support us, it all becomes worth it in the end.”

Following the presentations, guests enjoyed dinner and a fireside chat with the celebrity judges, facilitated by Donna Hilsinger from the Water Tower Inn. “It’s always a privilege to sponsor and host the NOBCC, and this year was no exception,” shared Hilsinger, who played a lead role in organizing the competition and served as Master of Ceremonies. “Being back in person was exhilarating, especially seeing the students navigate the power outage, never skipping a beat. These students have worked so hard to get to this point, and I believe the lessons they learned today are invaluable. Congratulations to each of you, I can’t wait to see what you do next.”

This event was generously sponsored by Algoma Steel, the University of Windsor, the Algoma University Alumni Council, The Water Tower Inn, Northstar Consulting, Evolugen, KPMG, the Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, BDO Canada LLP and Algoma Power Inc.

Congratulations to all award recipients and participants! 

Additional Quotes/Winners: 

“Synergy builds energy, if you have the right people in the right group. Things will happen.”

  • Vidya Singh, Member Team #9

“The hectic nature of the competition was probably the highlight for me. And I wanted to thank the volunteers for making it such a great experience.”

  • Patrique Roy, Member Team #9

“Starting my studies online was very challenging but with the incredible support of my teammates and faculty, we were able to overcome this challenge and have an incredible experience at NOBCC.”

  • Shashank Kasinadhuni, Member Team #9

First Place: Team #9

  • Vidya Singh
  • Patrique Roy
  • Kanishika Nijhawan
  • Shashank Kasinadhun
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jingyuan Zhao

Second Place: Team #8:

  • Noah Crozier
  • Mark Bonner
  • Tony Trozzo
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jody Rebek

Third Place: Team # 3

  • Emma Belanger
  • Joel  George
  • Kristy Thompson
  • Brandon Clark
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jody Rebek

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