2023 SCC FirstUG NSCNASBITE International is pleased to announce the team from North Seattle College is the undergraduate winner of its 2023 Student Case Competition. Steve Baker, President and CEO of this year’s case company, Procedural Technologies, thought the team of Alex Soares, Blaine Marc Relatado, Christian dela Torre, and Theresa LaRue presented the most complete analysis.

“Detailed market and partner analysis allowed the team to demonstrate the financial value proposition in an easily understandable message for us to use in our sales outreach,” said Baker.

Each year the competition challenges teams of undergraduates from international business programs to identify the best international market and market entry strategy to meet a challenge presented by a U.S. exporter.  The case is developed with the sponsoring company and allows students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential.

“This year’s competition was unique in that the product was a cloud-based, health care service.  Many of the traditional tools students might use to research potential markets wouldn’t work,” said Laurie Wolff, Distinguished Fellow and case competition lead for NASBITE International. “Exporting doesn’t have to mean goods physically cross borders, especially as our economy shifts toward even more knowledge- based services.”

“We approached this case as though we were consultants,” said LaRue.  “We wanted to provide the best data possible to a software-as-a-service entrepreneur with a fantastic idea.” 

Despite its small market size, the team made a compelling argument that Morocco was great fit for entering Africa and also offered a foothold to enter the Middle East and Europe. According to Wolff, “People may be surprised that the winner isn’t so much about the specific market they select, but more about the supporting package of analysis they deliver, which in this case was superb. Procedural Technologies is the real winner because now Steve has leads in multiple markets to pursue.”

“The team showed a strong understanding of Procedural Technologies, how we connect with ancillary markets, and the desire to continually expand our footprint,” said Baker.  “They made a clear justification for Morocco as a global gateway.”

“North Seattle College has been a top contender each of the three times it has been in the competition and has consistently stood out in a field that included teams from major research universities and top international business programs,” Wolff reported. “In NASBITE’s history, both two- and four-year schools have been critical in preparing students for the CGBP professional credential exam, and I’m delighted that this team is getting this recognition for their outstanding work and for the strong international business program they represent.”

The undergraduates receive a team prize of $1,000 from the case company in addition to their first place recognition. But the process of creating recommendations and advising the company has more lasting benefits.  According to Soares, “The learning experience from this is something you just can't get in a controlled school environment.” 

NASBITE International hosts the competition to improve the practice of international business education and team advisor, Honorio Todino, said it is working.  “I have no hesitation in saying that this event is the number one learning experience for our student team.” He continued, “Not just our team, but I had a whole class of students do some preliminary work on the case to select the best group to represent the college. An entire course of 31 students was able to benefit from learning from the case.” 

Relatado credits Todino and the classes North Seattle offers.  “I believe that because of the International Business program, we already knew on which aspects to focus our efforts.”  He also credits his team.  “I saw how dedicated and determined my teammates were, which I think was a key factor in our success.”

This year’s competition was partially sponsored by an International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) U.S. Department of Education grant. The contents and results of the competition do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and no one should assume endorsement by the federal government.