The Japan MBA Case Competition (the “competition”) is a business case competition held in Tokyo Japan. The competition is organized by a team of MBA students from Aoyama Business School, Globis, Hitotsubashi ICS, McGill, and Waseda Business School (the “organizers”), with the support of student volunteers. Competing teams will be asked to evaluate a live business case (the “Case”), developed by the organizers in collaboration with one of our sponsor companies.
An individual is eligible as a participant in a team if they meet one of the following requirements:
a) he or she is a current student of an MBA program
b) he or she has graduated from an MBA program in the same calendar year as the competition.
Each team must comprise of FOUR members. All team members must come from the same University, though they may come from different MBA programs within the university. Only one team from each university will be invited to proceed from Round 1 to Round 2 of the competition (described in more detail in II.3.e), so the organizers strongly encourage universities to conduct their own pre-selection rounds internally. Finally, if multiple teams do apply to the JMBACC from one university, the members of each team must be unique.
Competition will be held entirely in English. All materials and oration must be in English, though you are free to use sources in any language in your preparation for the competition and pre-selection assignments.
Participants are to present themselves in formal business attire. Audience members may dress as they like.
1. COMPETITION FEE
Participation in Round 1 of the competition is free of charge. The fee for participating from Round 2 on is 16,000 yen per team, and is due to be wired to the JMBACC by October 31st (11 days after Semi-finalist teams are announced.) The organizers ask that all participating teams express their willingness to pay the Round 2 fee before finalizing their registration for Round 1 in the event they are selected as semi-finalists.
The registration period for the competition opens on August 1st and closes on September 30th at 23:59 JST. To register, please have one member of your team email your university name, your team members names, and your team members email addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org. The member who submits your registration is to be your teams primary point of contact throughout the competition.
3. ROUND 1
General information about Round 1 is described below. For more detailed information, please visit the Round 1 Rules & Regulations page.
Round 1 of the competition is used to
1. Familiarize teams with the Case Company’s Industry to increase the fairness to teams participating that come from universities outside of Japan.
2. To select up to 12 teams that will continue Round 2.
b. Round 1 – Important dates
October 1st: Round 1 Assignment will be sent to all registered teams, at 00:15 JST.
October 13th: All teams must submit their assignment to email@example.com by 23:59 JST.
October 20th: Teams selected to continue to Round 2 will be announced by 23:00 JST.
c. Format Overview
Teams will be asked to submit a four page (A3, 12pt font, double spaced) response to the Round 1 Assignment Question. Up to 5 pages of appendices may be attached to the primary document.
d. Completion of the Round 1 Assignment
Participants are free to use dictionaries, textbooks and the Internet to collect information in order to respond to the Round 1 assignment. However, participants may not seek any outside help (whether in person, by phone, email, etc.) from anyone (all responses must be developed and revised within the four person team alone).
Once all submissions have been evaluated, another organizer who was not involved in the evaluation process will confirm if any teams belong to the same school, and select the highest rated submission from that school as the school’s delegate team. Delegate submissions will then be ranked in order of averaged score from the evaluations, and up to 12 teams will be selected to progress unto round 2 using this ranking.
Do not include your university’s name, or your team members’ names, anywhere on your documents. Instead, use the 4 digit registration number given to you by the organizer managing the firstname.lastname@example.org email account to “sign” your Round 1 Documents as described in the Round 1 Rules & Regulations page.
4. ROUNDS 2 & 3
Rounds 2 & 3, or the semi-final and final rounds, of the competition will both be held on November 15th, 2015.
a. Rounds 2 & 3 – Important dates
October 20st: Semi-finalists are announced and the Case is distributed by 23:00
October 31st: Registration Fees are due, Team Names will be allocated.
November 8th: Round 2 Divisions will be announced
November 15th: Presentation Files must be submitted to email@example.com by 07:00. Teams to report for registration by (tentative) 11:30.
b. Team Names
To ensure the fairness of the competition, teams are to refrain from revealing their school name until the competition closes. Each team will be assigned a letter designation (“Team A”, “Team B”, etc) on October 31st.
c. Round 2 & 3 Competition Format
In rounds 2 and 3, teams are asked to make presentations (in English) in front of a panel of judges (3 for round 2, 9 for round 3). Each team will have 20 minutes to present. The 20 minute limit will be strictly enforced, and time signals will be shown at the 10, 5, 2, and 1 minute mark.
Q&A from the judges will be 10 minutes. In the event that judges do not use the full 10 minute period to ask questions, questions from the audience will be accepted. Teams will be given 10 minutes each during the reception to get feedback from the judges who sat in their Round 2 Division who attend the reception if the team so desires.
d. Case Preparation
Participants are free to use dictionaries, textbooks and the Internet to collect information in order to respond to the Round 2/3 assignment. However, participants may not seek any outside help (in person, by phone, email, etc.) from anyone outside of the 4 member team.
Teams are expected to use Microsoft Office (or Apple equivalents such as KeyNote) for preparing slides and presentations.
e. On Competition (Rounds 2 & 3) Day
Only Windows PCs are provided for use at the competition location. If a team chooses to build their presentation on a Mac, they may bring their own computer and VGA adapter to use on the competition day. The presentation file, however, must be loaded off of a USB drive provided by the organizers. Teams will be given 5 minutes each during orientation to confirm the formatting of their presentations is correct.
There are no limits to the number of slides used in the presentation. Aside from the primary content teams intend to present, additional exhibits may be prepared and included in the same file at the team’s discretion in anticipation of questions from the judges’ panel.
All members must participate in roughly equal parts during the main presentation. Cue cards and personal notes are allowed for use by the teams during their presentations. Q&A responses may be made by whichever member(s) the team deems most fit to respond.
Teams must submit their presentation slides by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 07:00 JST, November 15th. Teams must also provide copies of their slides to the judges on the day of the case competition. In order to minimize paper waste, please print 12 copies on A4 paper with 4 – 6 slides per page, double sided, black and white.
5. Round 2 Division Assignment
In round 2, teams will be assigned at random to one of three divisions for round 2. Division assignments will be made using https://www.random.org/lists/ on November 8th, and will be announced on the website, Facebook, and through email by 13:00 JST. A video screen capture will be shared with teams to guarantee randomness of the assignment.
6. Progression to Round 3
After all presentations in round 2 have been made, the judges of each division will select one team from their division to progress to Round 3, using standardized evaluation criteria provided by the organizers. Round 3 Presentation order will be generated using https://www.random.org/lists/ once finalists are announced. Presentation materials for Round 2 and Round 3 are the same, though finalist teams may adjust how they orally present the material based on the Q&A they received during Round 2.
1. Teams – Rounds 2 & 3
Teams are asked to report to their presentation room 10 minutes prior to their presentation time. Teams are not allowed to watch any of the other teams’ presentations in Round 2. Finalists are not allowed to watch any of the other Finalists’ presentations preceding their own during Round 3.
Spectators may attend presentations in any division; however, spectators will not be allowed to exit/enter a room partway through a presentation.
Faculty advisors are also allowed to attend presentations as they wish. However, in respecting the spirit of the competition, advisors are not allowed to provide feedback to the team(s) they are supervising based upon what they saw/heard. Similar to general spectators, no one is allowed to enter/exit a presentation partway through.
The competition is intended to provide a learning experience for the students that will encourage healthy competition, professionalism and interaction by our future business leaders, both amongst themselves and with the larger business community. The Rules and Guidelines described above are not all encompassing and situations may arise that have not been covered. It is the expectation of the organizers that any issues or disputes will be resolved in the spirit of the competition.