Competitions - SDS Business Case Competition | UC Centre for Entrepreneurship

SDS Business Case Competition

First launched in 2010, the SDS Competition is an annual international business case competition developed by the Student Development Society (SDS).

Supported by the Council of Deans, SDS is a unique collaboration between six New Zealand universities and is run by representatives from Victoria, Auckland, AUT, Waikato, Canterbury and Otago. With financial and human resources from these universities, SDS provides invaluable opportunities for students.

What is the SDS Competition?

The SDS Business Case Competition brings together teams of four students from the six participating New Zealand universities. Over the course of three national competitions throughout the year, the teams compete against each other before being joined by an additional six teams from around the globe for a finals week in Queenstown.

At each of the three national competitions, teams have five hours to analyse a business case and prepare their solution for the panel of five judges. The judging panel, alongside an academic from the host university, includes four individuals from the local business community. The competition is designed to emulate a real world scenario in which a team of consultants prepare and present a solution to a board of directors.

What are the benefits of participating in the competition?

Participating in the competition in itself is a highly rewarding experience. You will build your confience, develop team and leadership skills, hone your analytical thinking and become a polished presenter. As well as the national competitions, the finals week in Queenstown is an opportunity for you to go up against teams from around the globe to further expand your networks on a global scale and benchmark against wrold class standards.

Key benefits include:

  • Point of difference to employers
  • Expand your professional network
  • Receive fully funded travel around New Zealand


Want to get involved in 2017?

As a current UC student, you can now submit an expression of interest to be a part of the 2017 SDS Businesses Case Competition. Register your interest by completing this form.

Note: this competition is open to undergraduate students who are under 25 years-old on 1 September 2017. 

Any questions or inquiries, contact Michelle Panzer at

Important Dates

  • March 1st (12pm): Expressions of Interest Due ✔
  • March 3rd & 6th: Trials ✔
  • April 8th: Round 1 (Auckland)
  • May 13th; Round 2 (TBC)
  • July 22nd: Round 3 (AUT)
  • August 27th - September 1st: International Finals Week (Queenstown)


Round One (16 April) - Auckland

The team with judges (Brodie Kingstone; Deloitte, Cameron Fyfe; Case Company Freedom Farms, Brett Sceats; Goldman Sachs)

On the 16th of April, the UC team headed to Auckland for the first round of the 2016 SDS Business Case Competition hosted by the Auckland Business School.

Representing UC was Michael McRae, Tobias Newton, Ashley Overbeek and Mohammed Shahzad.

Round One's case was on the high-welfare products company, Freedom Farms. Judges included co-founder Cameron Fyfe, and representatives from Deloitte and Goldman Sachs.

Our team diagnosed opportunities for growth in both brand awareness and supply, and set out some imaginative strategies for addressing these.

The team performed incredibly well and won first place.

The teams coach was Dr Paul Knott, Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management.

International Competition (28 August to 2 September) - Queenstown

In late August the UC Team headed down to Queenstown for the International Finals Week of the 2016 SDS Business Case Competition. With a total of 12 teams, all six New Zealand teams were present alongside two from Canada, two from Australia, one from Spain and one from the United States.

Representing UC on the international front was Charlotte Mee, Alex Ingrosso, Daniel Chan and Michael McRae. Though many of the students on the team were new to the competition, the team were successful in winning the first round in our stream against QUT, Ivey, Navarra, AUT and Auckland.

In the Elevator Pitch, the team did very well keeping their solution sensible and well thought out, making for an excellent pitch. Though the passion and originality of the AUT team put them ahead of us, and Navarra won with a passionate and well-described app. Despite this, UC still came out at third place, leading us ahead going into the final day.

Come Case Two (Mojo Coffee), the team came fifth and just narrowly missed out going forward in the final four. The team from Otago won in the final.

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