The University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business is hosting an invitational case competition that will showcase the skills and talents of participating MBA students on February 7–8, 2020. The case for the Katz Invitational Case Competition will be multi-dimensional, designed to test the teams' ability to collaborate on different business disciplines. The case will give students the opportunity to evaluate a tough business situation in multiple perspectives in a very short period of time and to present their recommendations to senior executives. The ultimate goal is to allow students to apply their business education to deliver unique and creative recommendations.
1st place: $10,000
2nd place: $5,000
3rd place: $3,000
Note: U.S. citizens, Resident Aliens, and Non-Resident Alien Foreign Nationals who win the competition will receive a monetary award that is subject to tax withholding.
To be eligible to participate in the 2020 Katz Invitational Case Competition, teams must complete the online registration forms located on the official competition website.
Registration will open on October 1, 2019.
Each university will be represented by one team of 4 (four) graduate students pursuing a Master-level degree*. Students pursuing a dual degree (JD/MBA, MBA/MIS, etc.) qualify as MBA students. Teams must include at least 2 students pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The team may be a combination of U.S. and foreign students. All team members must be enrolled at the same university and be active students during the time of the competition. Executive MBA students and PhD students are not eligible to participate.
*Only one team per school can participate.
To apply, submit an essay on the topic provided in the application in the following format:
- Heading should provide school name and team members
- 1 page (excluding appendix and references)
- Single spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12, 1” margins
- Charts, tables, and other visuals are permitted in the appendix. Proper citations must be provided in a standard format (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)
All applications should include preferred names of individual team members. Once applications are submitted, the planning committee will use the names provided for name tags and future correspondence. The planning committee will not be responsible for making changes if the participant name is different from the original application.
All team members must be enrolled in classes to participate, as this competition is for active students only.
A selection committee composed of Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business Faculty and Senior Administrative Staff will review applications.
A maximum of 16 teams will receive an official invitation to participate in the 2020 Katz Invitational Case Competition by December 1, 2019.
All teams must accept the invitation to participate by no later than January 13, 2020 (5 p.m. EST).
If selected to participate, the following fee structure will apply:
- If registered between October 1–November 1: $250 team non-refundable registration fee
- If registered November 2nd or later: $350 team non-refundable registration fee
On Saturday, February 8, 2020 all teams will compete in four different bracket groups. Each team will have 20 minutes to present their case analysis and recommendations. There will be a 10-minute question & answer period during which the judges will address questions to the presenting team. Only the presenting team, judges, timekeeper, and Case Competition staff will be permitted in the room.
Teams will be allotted exactly 20 minutes to present. There will be penalties for going over the allotted time and teams may be asked to stop presenting. The time limit will be strictly observed: a 5-minute and a 1-minute warning will be given. Any leftover time will be utilized as the judging panel sees fit.
Following the presentation, judges will conduct a question and answer (Q&A) session for 10 minutes. Once Q&A has concluded, team members will be provided the opportunity to receive feedback from the judges. Teams will indicate their preference during registration.
All four team members are required to have a speaking role during the presentation. Each team member must actively participate in the team’s presentation.
Each team should be prepared to present their analysis using a LCD Projector and a computer, operating it via keyboard or a remote mouse, which will be provided by the organizers. Teams may not use personal laptops. In case of technical difficulties, teams should also be prepared to present using hard copies of their presentation.
After presentations have concluded for all the four groups, there will be a luncheon. During the luncheon the finalist teams will be announced. One finalist from each bracket will compete in the final rounds later that afternoon. There will be 1st - 3rd place winning teams; winning teams will be recognized on Saturday evening during the awards reception.
The presentation order of the finalist teams will be chosen randomly. Once the finalists are announced, the first presentation will commence immediately.
Finalist teams will not be permitted to alter their PowerPoint presentations. Similar to the first round, teams will presentation strictly within the 20-minutes guideline and be provided 15 minutes for Q&A with the judges. There will not be an opportunity for feedback during this round.
The final presentations are open to public viewing and non-finalist teams are encouraged to watch the final round of competition.
The finalist teams will not be allowed in the room prior to their presentation; they will be provided a room for preparation.
The panel of judges will be composed of industry executives from a wide range of departments including but not limited to the following areas: Marketing, Strategy, Business Development, Information Technology, Accounting, Finance and Human Resources.
Presentations will be judged based on the team’s ability to analyze the information presented in the case, as well as to communicate a recommended course of action clearly and effectively.
Judges will complete a feedback form for each team; general feedback will be given at the end of the presentation.
Student Code of Conduct
We wish to promote a fair and even playing field for the competition participants. To do so, we insist that all students who are participating in the competition refrain from wearing or displaying any paraphernalia associated with their college/university.
Please do not wear sweaters, jackets, pins, caps, etc. that display your college/university’s logo, crest(s), seal(s), or color(s). Failure to comply can result in reduction in points or disqualification from the competition.
No team members or faculty advisors should gain access to information on the content of the presentations being made by competing teams prior to presentations.
The Katz Invitational Case Competition would not be possible without the hard work of a select group of dedicated individuals from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. The organizing team is supervised by Arjang A. Assad and works in close collaboration with the MBA Programs Office to ensure the highest success of this event.
2020 Organizing Team
The 2020 Organizing Team is dedicated to delivering a truly memorable experience for all participants. The team is working hard to have the best cases, participants, judges and sponsors. The organizing team for the 2020 edition:
Jordan McBride, Project Manager
Simone Rodriguez, Case Writer
Luke Lamb, Case Writer
Rahul Paty, Marketing Coordinator
Malena Hirsch, Logistics Coordinator
Kia Kai, Schools Coordinator
Hillary Marcott, Judges and Sponsors Coordinator
Max Simone, Judges and Sponsors Coordinator
2020 Headline and Awards Banquet Sponsor