The Institute organizes in close cooperation with the Wirtschaftsverlag (B2B Communications) contests for solving real-world business problems in heterogeneous student group settings. The student competitions typically involve an industry partner (usually an Austrian-based world market leading company) and at least two universities (in the past these where WU Vienna, TU Vienna, and the University of Natural Ressources and Life Sciences).
The task for the competing student teams is to develop a blueprint for a business solution to a managerial problem, which is provided by the industry partner. The basic idea behind the competition is similar to a hackathon (a combination of the words "hack" and "marathon", originally used in the software industry for a software development competition but meanwhile also used in other contexts).
To stimuate creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, controversial discussions, and innovative solutions to management problems in a B2B industry, we try to bring together a diversity in educational background and specializations. Thus, we aim to have students from multiple WU MSc programs (such as, CEMS, Marketing, SCM, SIMC, ...) in the hackathon groups. Last but not least, the student team settings also aim at mimicking real-world scenarios in business practice.
The groups present (and defend) their findings in a competitive setting at the annual congress “World Market Leaders in Austria", with representatives of the sponsoring partners and many board level business leaders being in the audience. The team performance is assessed by a mix of audience votings and expert jury judgments. The winning team is awarded with a monetary prize at the conference.