SBE students triumph in international case competition at Rotterdam

Maastricht University School of Business and Economics took first place in the Rotterdam School of Management Star Case Competition (RSMCC), held from 16-24 April. The competition welcomed 16 top-level international business teams of four students, who were tasked with tackling two real-life business cases. Team SBE, comprising of Lucas Collon-Windelinckx, Ugo Chang Castagnino, Jan Piotrowski, and Wiktor Łażewski, took the overall win and the top spot in the 24-hour case.

By winning the Rotterdam case competition, Team SBE qualified for the prestigious Champions' Trophy Case Competition in New Zealand in January 2025. This annual case competition welcomes the strongest case competition teams from across the globe.  

A challenging first case

In the first 12-hour case, Microsoft and Tata Steel challenged the students to develop a solution using Microsoft's technology and expertise to make Tata's steel-making processes more sustainable. Team SBE was drawn into the so-called "group of death" for this case, with the American University of Beirut, the University of British Columbia, and the National University of Singapore. Team SBE eventually finished in second place behind Singapore.

To take these guys to Rotterdam - one of the toughest competitions that we attend - and win the whole competition, was a truly remarkable achievement and says it all about the way they performed.
Nick Sutton, the team's advisor and lecturer at SBE

Victory in the second case 

The following 24-hour case was set in the Dutch horticultural industry. Teams proposed a solution for Broekpolder, a collaboration of growers, residents, and the local government, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. 

In the division for the 24-hour case, team SBE was up against the home team, Rotterdam School of Management, the University of Manitoba and Ateneo de Manila University. Our team delivered a superb performance to win the division and secure a place in the finals, where the four division winners and the best-placed runner-up would present their solutions again, this time to a different panel of judges.

Strong opponents in the finals

Along with team SBE, the finalists were the American University of Beirut, HEC Montréal, the National University of Singapore and the Rotterdam School of Management. Once again, up against incredibly tough opponents, our team delivered a people-centric strategy which showed a proper understanding of the problem and the context, impressing the judges with their depth of analysis, outstanding delivery and ability to defend their solution in a demanding Q&A round.

The quality of the opponents made it difficult for the judges to decide, but in the end, Team SBE was announced as the 24-hour case winners and overall winners of the RSMCC, closely followed by HEC Montréal in second place and American University of Beirut in third. As a School, we are incredibly proud of our students' achievements. Congratulations on your win!

Representing Maastricht University at the RSM Star Case Competition has been an unforgettable experience. Through travel, interactions with students worldwide and tough challenges, we enhanced our public speaking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. We won this competition through dedication and constant learning, which is a testament to SBE's investment in us. We proudly share this trophy with our university community!
Lucas and Ugo, Team SBE

Also read

  • A group of Maastricht University's Business Engineering Bachelor's students won three awards at this year's edition of the renowned ENGCOMM, the Engineering and Commerce Case Competition, held by the University of Concordia in Montreal (Canada).