The following rules and guidelines for the Rotterdam Case Competition (RCC) 2023 are intended to ensure guidance and fairness to all participating teams and will be strictly enforced by the organizers and judges. The organizers are solely responsible for any interpretation of these rules and guidelines. Their decision will be final.
Maurice Augusson & Anouk Roeters
Heads of Organization RCC 2023
The RCC is proudly organized annually by students of the HP Minor: All Stars Rotterdam (ASR). The goal of this two-day event is to share the knowledge and skills the ASR students develop during their minor. During the competition, participants will get a glimpse of what management consulting entails and how case competitions work.
The mission of the RCC is to challenge participants by introducing them to complex problems that can be solved through the structured and reasoned application of theoretical concepts. The problems the participants are presented with are actual problems faced by real-life, local companies. While solving these problems, participants will gain experience in working in interdisciplinary teams under the pressure of time.
Besides the insights participants will gain from working with individuals from different fields of study, they will also be exposed to different cultures, ideas, and perspectives. The RCC gives participants ample opportunity to expand their professional networks with professionals from different fields of expertise and to connect with other driven, ambitious, and motivated students.
The main goal of the RCC is to share knowledge. Participants will go through a boot camp where they will get all the necessary information on the techniques to use and they will be matched with a coach who will guide them through all the cases. All teams will get the chance to work on one qualifying case and two competition cases. After presenting their solutions, the participants will receive detailed feedback from the judges.
The RCC is open to all registered students of the Rotterdam University of Applied Science who are enrolled in a bachelor-level program during the duration of the RCC. English will be the language used and spoken during the RCC. Potential candidates must therefore be proficient in English. This will not be tested or checked.
To participate, students must apply via the application form. This is available on the website www.rotterdamcasecompetition.nl. Registration can be done individually, in pairs, trios, quartets, or quintets. Applicants who register individually or in pairs will be matched with other applicants to form teams of three, four, or five members. The forming of the teams will be done by the organizing committee.
Applicants will be put through a boot camp on the 9th of January. During this boot camp, students will get workshops on the different aspects of solving cases. Attendance is not mandatory but highly recommended. Recordings of the boot camp can be shared afterward with participants who were unable to join the boot camp. Such a participant should request the recordings from the organizing committee.
Applicants will receive a practice case on 16 January. The teams get seven days to work on the case in their own time. This serves as a practice run for the teams. The teams will record themselves presenting and will share a video of them presenting with the organizing committee. The organizing committee will use this to judge whether or not a team qualifies for the RCC. Teams who did and did not qualify will receive notification of this on 25 January.
The organizing committee expects all participants to reserve ample time for the RCC so that scheduling mishaps will not arise. Before and during the competition, however, a situation may arise that forces an individual team member or a whole team to withdraw from the competition. Such grave circumstances must be communicated with the organizing committee at the earliest possible time.
Teams will be placed in four divisions (labeled A, B, C, and D) of four teams each. The divisions will be determined through a raffle during the opening ceremony. During the competition, a team will battle against the other teams in the division.
During the competition, teams will solve two cases. The first case will be solved on Thursday 26 January (Round 1). The second case will be solved on Friday 27 January (Round 2). The first case must be solved in six hours. The second case must be solved in four hours. Teams will start at different times so that all teams get the same amount of time to solve the cases.
During the preparation time, teams will be provided with digital copies of the case. Other necessities (e.g. laptops, pens, paper, highlighters, etc.) must be brought in by the participating teams.
Teams are expected to be present fifteen minutes before the solving process begins. These fifteen minutes serve as set-up time to check the room and to get installed. The set-up time is not optional.
After the set-up time, the preparation time (six hours on Thursday and four hours on Friday) starts. During the preparation time, it is strictly forbidden to:
In all instances, a Code of Honor applies. This means that the organizing committee will do as much as feasible to prevent unethical conduct, but it also trusts the participants to make ethical decisions.
Each team is assigned a coach. This is an ASR student who will assist and guide teams in the process of solving the cases. Coaches may not provide information or help in any way that will give a team an unfair advantage. Failing to do so will result in a penalty for the participating team (see chapter 7 for further information on the procedure in the event of a violation of rules and guidelines)
Teams are permitted to prepare a presentation template in advance. This must be in the form of a PowerPoint file containing one or more ready-made slides. Videos and dynamic/animated images are not permitted in the template. Teams will receive a workshop on how to prepare such a template during the boot camp.
Using templates made by other parties is strictly forbidden.
Presentations must be saved and brought to the presentation room on a memory stick. Using email, Teams, or any other way of sending the presentation is not permitted. Teams must save their presentations with a recognizable name in an easy-to-find location on the memory stick.
During each round of the RCC, there will be presentation rooms per division. Each room will host three or four judges who will judge the presentations of the teams in that one division. Each presentation room is equipped with a computer (with Microsoft Office installed), a projector, and possibly a clicker.
All teams are expected to be at their assigned presentation rooms at the assigned times. Being late, for whatever reason, will result in a reduction in presentation time. The reduction in presentation time will be equal to the amount of time the team was late by.
Each room is overseen by a timekeeper. The timekeeper has several tasks. These include:
The timekeepers have a thorough understanding of the rules and will enforce these strictly. Should any disagreement arise, then it is their say that goes. The timekeepers will contact the organizing committee immediately should a conflict occur.
Before a team starts to present, there is a 5-minute set-up time. When a team arrives at the presentation room, the team must stay outside until the timekeepers come to collect the memory stick. The timekeeper lets in all attending guests. The timekeeper checks and sets up the presentation in presenting mode. The timekeeper then announces that the team will be let in, after which the timekeeper does so. The team is handed the clicker at the door and may stand in front of the screen. The timekeeper introduces the team and asks the judges to present themselves. After this, the timekeeper repeats the relevant procedures and rules and gives the signal to the presenting team to start their presentation.
Each team gets 10 minutes to present its solution to the judges. Each member must participate in the presentation. The timekeeper will signal when there are five, three, and one minute(s) left. After this, the timekeeper will stop the presentation, even if the presentation is not finished.
Following the presentation, the judges get 8 minutes to ask questions to the presenting team. Teams may show slides not shown during the presentation in this session to support their answers.
During the two divisional rounds, it is not allowed for participating students to watch the presentations of their competitors in the same division. Watching the presentations of teams in other divisions is allowed and encouraged.
Recording of presentations in any way, shape, or form by anyone other than RCC organizers and/or the presenting team’s coach is strictly prohibited. The organizers reserve the right to record presentations and other RCC activities for use in educational and/or promotional activities following the RCC.
Each division is assigned a judges panel. This panel consists of a minimum of three and a maximum of five members. The selected judges can be professionals in the field, lecturers/teachers from the Rotterdam University of Applied Science, former ASR students, or current ASR students.
All judges will be properly trained and will be familiar with the requirements and the rules.
For each divisional round, the judges will rank the four teams in a division from first place to fourth place. In the divisional rounds, teams who get first place receive 12 points, teams who get second place receive 10 points, teams who get third place receive 8 points and teams who get fourth place get 6 points.
After each presentation and questions and answers session, the judges get 10 minutes to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the team that has presented. After all, the teams have presented and the judges have settled on strengths and weaknesses per team, the judges will get an additional 10 minutes to deliberate on the ranking. The final ranking must be recorded by the timekeeper.
Once a ranking has been reached, the teams are called in at pre-specified times for their feedback. Teams must understand what to do differently and have an idea of how to do so. At the end of the feedback, the judges will announce to each team how many points they received.
During the feedback session, only the team and their coach may be present. Other teams and guests are not permitted to be in the room.
After the two divisional rounds, the points from both rounds are added to each other. Each divisional winner (the team with the highest amount of total points) advances to the finals.
Should a tie occur then the winner will be decided by looking at the scores of the tied teams in the second divisional round. The tied team who performed best during the second round will then advance to the finals.
After the feedback sessions of the second divisional round, it will become apparent who the finalists are. The finalists will present their second presentation one more time in front of a new judges’ panel and an audience. All rules and guidelines mentioned before apply to the finals.
Teams are only allowed to use the exact presentation used in the second divisional round. No changes can be made between the second round and the finals.
After all four presentations, the judges will leave the room and deliberate on a winner. After their deliberation, they will come back and announce the Rotterdam Case Competition 2023 Champion.
The organizing committee reserves the right to penalize and/or disqualify a team if a team, an individual member of a team, or a team’s coach violates any of the rules and guidelines or does not behave in a way deemed proper by the organizing committee.
Any concerns, disputes, or conflicts regarding the implementation of these rules and/or any improper or disloyal behavior must immediately be brought to the attention of the organizing committee.
In any case, the decision of the organizing committee is final and is not subject to review.