2012 Biotech and Healthcare Case Competition
Teams from around the world tackle the challenges of testing for HIV in AfricaBy Cheryl SooHoo
1/30/2012 - On matters of public health, money isn’t the only factor informing business decisions.
That was the lesson learned by MBA students from the United States, the United Kingdom and Mexico at the 2012 Kellogg Biotech and Healthcare Case Competition.
The 11 student teams were tasked with implementing a point-of-care HIV diagnostic test for infants in Africa. They presented their recommendations Jan. 21 to five judges from contest sponsor Abbott Laboratories.
The competition received applications from more than 35 groups, with two Kellogg teams making the cut. At the end of the day, first-place honors and $5,000 went to a team from the University of Michigan. The Columbia Business School team received second place and $1,500, and the London Business School team took third place and $750. Students from Rutgers Business School earned an honorable mention and $500, as did the Kellogg “Transformers” for their handling of the Q&A portion and their presentation style.
“The geography and economic nuances of this case made it incredibly complicated, but our team had great chemistry that allowed our different skills to shine,” said Kellogg student Sean Mathewson ’13, whose team included Ken Cheung ’13, Kristen Kerns ’13 and Benjamin Sacchetti ’13. “Knowing the case well helped us answer the questions confidently and capably.”
The second Kellogg team, the “Karyotypers,” featured the first JD-MBAs in the history of the competition: Amyn Andharia ’13 and Matthew Havey ’13. The team also included Lydia Barrett ’13, Jenny Kim ’13 and Rebecca Mildrew ’13.
The judging panel included executives with a range of expertise in HIV diagnostics in resource-limited countries. John Larson ’92, general manager of Global Alliance Management at Abbott, applauded the quality of this year’s competitors. “Everyone sort of nailed it,” he said. “Picking winners came down to a numbers game. It literally was that close.”