2020 Russell Investments International Case Competition (RIICC): Global Expansion for Shopify, Inc.

The Global Business Center was excited to pilot the first ever Virtual Russell Investments International Case Competition this Fall as a virtual opportunity for Foster Students to build their global business expertise. During this week-long competition, student teams not only developed strategies to address global challenges with real world constraints – they also had to collaborate entirely online and come up with a solution in a short period of time. These skills are increasingly integral to global business careers today, where more teams are collaborating virtually across borders and under tight timelines. We’d like to give a special thanks to Russell Investments for their sponsorship and to our 60 corporate judges – these individuals gave their time and shared their expertise to create a real-world virtual learning opportunity for students.

After 7-days of intense analysis, students dazzled judges with their impressive recommendations based on a case written by Dr. Debra Glassman, Faculty Directory for the Global Business Center, titled “Shopify, Inc.: Global Ambitions” with the following charge: Canada-based Shopify provides tools for merchants to create e-commerce stores and to integrate e-commerce with other selling channels, including brick-and-mortar, mobile commerce and social commerce.  Shopify’s mission is “making commerce better for everyone.”  Its merchant-focused philosophy is that Shopify will do well if its merchant customers do well. Students were tasked with global strategy development for Shopify including: 1) picking one target country outside North America for growing Shopify’s business, 2) proposing a three-year plan for increasing sales by Shopify’s North American merchants in said target country, and 3) proposing a three-year plan for increasing the number of the target country’s merchants that use Shopify.

44 teams comprised of 170 UW and regional Community College students took one week to tackle the case. Of those teams, the top three Undergraduate Teams moved on to the live final round. We would like to congratulate all finalist teams:

  • Team 1 (C4): Adrian Fleuchaus, Dora Zhang, Crystal Le, and KT Nguyen
  • Team 2 (B5): Mikaela Cagampan, Sam Kuo, and Natalia Villamil
  • Team 3 (E2): Daniil Kaizer, Nicholas Haynie, Connor Weed, and Allison Harvey

After watching the final round teams present in the Live Final Round on November 6th, the panel of finalist judges selected a winner. Of the three stellar finalist presentations, Team 3 took home the title of 2020 Russell Investments International Case Competition champions and $1,000. Team 2 took 2nd place and won a $400 prize.

Congratulations to all of the teams, especially to the first-place team members, Daniil Kaizer, Nicholas Haynie, Connor Weed, and Allison Harvey (pictured above). The judges were impressed with their innovative solution, their realistic and comprehensive analysis, and how they handled the Q&A session.

2020 Undergraduate 2nd Place Winning Team
The runner ups in the Undergraduate Track is Team B5 consisting of Mikaela Cagampan, Sam Kuo, and Natalia Villamil.

2020 Freshman Direct Winning Team
Of the 44 teams that participated, 10 of those were teams of Foster School Freshman Direct students who competed in their own track of the competition to win the title of Freshman Direct Champion and $400. We are excited to see these students getting involved so early in their Foster careers. The Freshman Direct Track winning team was team F5, Vincent Ung, Hallie Chen, Emily Chow, and Ashtyn Sakamoto.

2020 Masters Track Champions
For the second time, RIICC now includes a Masters Track. Five teams participated including students from four Foster Masters Programs. Each team gave an impressive presentation and Team H4: Alexis Johnston, Che Shyong, Melissa Young, and Sateesh Nagulapally, took home the title of Masters Track Champions.

2020 Northwest Regional Track Champions
Additionally, For the fifth year, RIICC has included a Northwest Regional Track. Three teams participated virtually from North Seattle College, Highline Community College and Bellevue College.  Each team gave an impressive presentation and Bellevue College took home the title of Northwest Regional Track Champions. Congratulations to Dmitrii Fisenko, Katelyn Shelby, Jayesh Lakhani, and Cole Gerber.

Please congratulate these students if you get a chance!

Finally, this competition would not be possible without the support of our sponsor and partner, Russell Investments. The more than 170 student participants and the Foster School’s Global Business Center are so grateful for Russell Investments’ generous sponsorship of this flagship event.

FINAL ROUND PRESENTATIONS: https://youtu.be/adUxhTOdxkA

CHAMPIONS ANNOUNCEMENT: https://youtu.be/5llAskTvC7w