Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

2010 Cecil Boatright Case Competitions Winners Announced: Top Teams Move on to National SBI Case of the Year Competition

Submitted: 12/13/2010 9:34:28
  • University of Cincinnati team named top three finalist in the national SBI Case of the Year Competition for fourth year in a row.

University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Business Entrepreneurship undergraduate students, under the direction of faculty advisor Tom Dalziel, PhD, were named one of the top three finalists in the national Small Business Institute(R) (SBI) Case of the Year Competition.

Each year, the UC Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research, in conjunction with the Cincinnati Chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), holds the Cecil Boatright Business Case Competition. The Competition now in its 26th year began in 1984, and this is the 22nd year it is named for the late Cecil G. Boatright, former branch manager of the U.S. Small Business Administration Cincinnati office. UC faculty advisors for the program are Charles H. Matthews, PhD and Tom Dalziel, PhD.

Congratulations to undergraduate students Neil Black, Charles Rinehart, Jason Pittinger and Jordan Brewer. Their field case consulting project for local manufacturer Midwest Fasteners won the 2010 Cecil Boatright Case of the Year Competition this past October, 2010, to earn a berth in the National Small Business Institute(R) Case of the Year Competition. As we went to press, the UC team was named one of the top three finalists in the National SBI Case of the Year Competition. The top team will be announced February 19, 2011 at the Annual SBI Conference in Bonita Springs, Florida. Stay tuned.

"Of the dozens of projects tackled by our undergraduate and graduate students in recent years, this one stands out as a highly challenging project. The students are to be commended for their excellent work and the value they brought to their client. It was a pleasure to mentor this outstanding team," said Dalziel.

Congratulations also to UC graduate students Arun Arumugam, Stan Myers, Sachin Sahni, Trevor Spiro, and Tova Suddarth who took first place in the 2010 Cecil Boatright Case Competition at the graduate level for their field case project with another local venture, Export Packaging Services LLC. As the graduate winner of the Boatright Competition, the EPS team's case advanced to the National SBI Case Competition, but at press time, it was learned that they finished just out of the top three finalists.

"It was an excellent case analysis. The team and resulting report went the extra mile addressing head-on a number of strategic management issues facing the nascent venture," said Matthews.

The Small Business Institute(R) is one of the flagship programs in the UC Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research. It involves UC graduate-level and senior undergraduate-level student teams under faculty supervision working closely with an area business or non-profit organization over a 10-week period to develop a comprehensive implementable business plan for the client. During the consulting process, the students record a history of the firm, identify goals and objectives, problems and issues, and discuss strategies to achieve these goals. Past projects have included assistance with industry and competitive analysis, preparing business plans, developing marketing strategies and training employees.

Of the approximately 25 cases completed each year in the UC SBI program, the top six to eight cases advance to the Cecil Boatright Business Case Competition. Each case report is then reviewed and judged by members of the SCORE Foundation's team of volunteers. The top undergraduate and graduate projects then advance to the National SBI Case of the Year competition.

"Thanks to the long-term partnership with the award-winning Cincinnati SCORE Chapter 34, UC students and faculty have won five 1st place, two 2nd place, two 3rd place and one Honorable Mention in just the past ten years," commented Matthews. "It is a very positive reflection on the students, the businesses and organizations, and the community."

In order to qualify for the national level, advancing teams have to first win the Cecil Boatright Business Case Competition which isn't easy given the high quality of the 23 other UC teams," added Dalziel.

In the 2010 Boatright Case Competition, congratulations also to undergraduate students Courtney Gentile, Collin McCafferty, Mike Sage, and Tony Zheng on their 2nd place finish for their case project for CoupSmart. Also, congratulations to Bridget Lee-Tatman and Chad Muhlenkamp on taking 3rd place for their project for Sustain Brand.

About the UC Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research: The Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research is part of the University of Cincinnati College of Business. Founded in 1997, the E-Center's vision and mission is to provide a state-of-the-art entrepreneurship curriculum and research base not only for potential student entrepreneurs and scholars, but also for people in the many organizations that interact with small, entrepreneurial and family owned businesses on a daily basis. The E-Center seeks collaborative efforts between students and faculty from across the University to remove barriers and create gateways for those who seek the entrepreneurial path. Under the leadership of the Center's Founder/Director, Charles H. Matthews, PhD, the University of Cincinnati was ranked as one of the top 50 programs for Entrepreneurship in the U.S. in 2001 (Success Magazine) and one of top regional programs in the U.S. (Entrepreneur Magazine) in 2003, 2004, and 2005, and was ranked 21st in the nation in undergraduate entrepreneurship by Princeton Review in 2008. For more information, go to www.ecenter.uc.edu.

About the Small Business Institute(R): The Small Business Institute(R) is to strengthen the small business/entrepreneurship sector of the free enterprise system, provide entrepreneurship education, and support economic development and diversification through teaching, consulting, training, and field research with small businesses and local communities. Teaching, consulting, training, and field research are provided to small, entrepreneurial, and family-owned businesses, students, and local business communities. For more information, go to www.uc.sbi.edu or www.smallbusinessinstitute.org.