Students Representing Whitman Compete in the Global Family Enterprise Case Competition

A team of three undergraduate students representing Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management won fourth place in the fifth annual Global Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC), hosted by the University of Vermont.

The team, comprised of Jennie May ’17, Nitinand (Sone) Angubolkul ’17 and Ben Taylor ’18, took on 15 teams of undergraduates from schools around the world in a three-day competition that tested participants’ expertise and understanding of family enterprise. During the competition, participants were asked to read, analyze and solve family business cases and present their solutions to panels of judges. The students had tight deadlines and no access to outside materials or coaching as they prepared their solutions. This forced the students to rely on their own knowledge and skills from classes and experience, rather than on bringing in new resources. Each team was given a case and tasked with preparing a 20-minute presentation.

The team won the pre-arrival case and eventually its division, which included the 2016 FECC champion, Universidad Panamericana of Mexico, and a 2016 FECC finalist, Brock University of Canada. In the FECC finals, the team faced off against two teams from Canada, Dalhousie University and Laurier University, and Universidad de Los Andes of Colombia. In total, there were 250 attendees from six continents.

“We are very proud of our Whitman team and all they have accomplished,” said Alexander McKelvie, chair of Whitman’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises and team supervisor. “This was our best performance to date and the first time the Whitman team made the finals. Some of the competing teams are groomed over a few months or even years.”

“The international aspect of FECC 2017 allowed me to interact with amazing students from Canada, The Netherlands and so many other countries,” said May. “I learned that case competitions are rigorous. However, the individuals I met make the long hours entirely worth it. Thank you to Whitman and the individuals whose donations allowed us to experience a once in a lifetime event and represent Whitman on a world stage.”

This year’s trip was supported by the generosity of the Hoffman Family of Buffalo, New York.

A recap of their final presentations can be found here:


Arielle Spears