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Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business & Economics
August 20, 2014
 
 
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School of Business & Economics

Business students shine in Laurier's ICE week

Jul 30/12

Contact:

Megan Harris | mharris@wlu.ca | ext 2948

Laurier’s spring-term Integrated Case Exercise (ICE) competition, held last week in the School of Business & Economics, successfully developed strategic growth plans to assist this year’s organization (EcoSynthetix Inc.) with achieving its 2020 goal – reaching $2 billion in revenue. The winning team (Team 11) included Srinidhi Sridharan, Michael Stuparyk, Sarah Trieu, Jeyda Tuncel, and Taha Zafar.

ICE, a week-long case study competition in the winter and spring terms, started more than 30 years ago. Laurier’s ICE is unique in Canada and gives all third-year students in Laurier’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program the opportunity to analyze comprehensive problems faced by real companies.

“ICE week is the highlight of our BBA career,” says Michael Stuparyk of team #11, in an interview with his team following the winning announcement. “We were able to apply what we learned in the real business world. The case itself was highly technological and the amount of work and research to prepare was extensive, but highly rewarding.” The full interview can be seen online now.

This year’s case featured EcoSynthetix Inc., a renewable chemicals company specializing in biomaterials used as inputs in a wide range of end products. In 2011, the company had sales of $20.8 million and the launch of its initial public offering (IPO) in August 2011 raised $100 million, the largest clean technology IPO to date on the TSX.

Co-authored by Laurier faculty members D’Arcy Delamere and David Rose, the case asked students to answer an age-old issue for public companies: How to generate short-term growth in revenue and profits while developing longer-term products and capabilities?

The ICE competition began with groups of five to six students presenting their recommendations in writing and orally to a board of School of Business & Economics faculty. The groups with the best overall performance, before each internal board, were then selected to present before an external board of business executives, including representatives from EcoSynthetix: John van Leeuwen, CEO; Peter van Ballegooie `89, VP, marketing & business development; Robert Haire, CFO; Ted van Egdom, VP, production; Chad Artem `08, senior financial analyst.

Through ICE competitions, BBA students have the opportunity to integrate management disciplines into a real-time problem-solving context while experiencing work-world pressures, developing presentation skills, and interacting with business executives.

The winning team receives one-on-one time with the executives following the announcement, a cash prize, swag gifts, as well as their names listed in perpetuity on the ICE trophy, and listed on SBE’s Leaders of Tomorrow wall in the KPMG Atrium.

The full interview with the Champions - Team #11.

EcoSynthetix Inc.

EcoSynthetix is a renewable chemicals company specializing in biomaterials that are used as inputs in a wide range of end products. Their commercial bio-based products exhibit superior performance compared to petroleum-based products and other bio-based materials at a reduced cost. Their strategy is to leverage renewable technology to commercialize a broad spectrum of bio-based products across a number of industries. While their technology platforms offer a significantly reduced carbon footprint, they market their products to customers on the basis of better value: competitive cost, stable pricing and enhanced performance.

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