Business Strategy Students Compete in CapSim World Finals
This spring, Professor of Business Dawn Fotopulos and her business strategy class, led by Edvin Löfgren (Business ’21) and Christina Lewis (Business ’20), made finals at the Capsim Foundation Challenge competition.
This spring, Professor of Business Dawn Fotopulos and her business strategy class once again made finals at the Capsim Foundation Challenge competition. Led by Edvin Löfgren (Business ’21) and Christina Lewis (Business ’20), the King’s team received fifth place among their competitors, including both undergraduates and graduate students from around the world.
The Capsim Foundation Challenge is a business strategy competition in which participants simulate running a multi-million dollar publicly-traded company for eight rounds, representing an eight-year time span in the life of the business. During each round, teams make development, scaling, organizational, marketing, pricing, human resource, and production decisions based on more than 300 variables. They are also beset by financial trials, including recessions and increasing competitive pressures. They must decide how to invest in their human capital to gain competitive advantage as they analyze the market and make tough trade-offs investing in their business to scale profitably. After competitors make their decisions, the simulation runs for one “year.” Points are awarded based on 14 key performance metrics from Harvard Business School Professor Robert Kaplan’s Balanced Scorecard methodology.
Teams first compete against a computer, but those who advance compete against other human teams. The finalists included The King’s team as well as students from universities in Ohio, Malaysia, and Poland.
Löfgren and Lewis acted as the CEOs of their business, with fellow classmates fulfilling supporting analytical roles. Aidan Gauthier (Business ’20), Michael Huber (Business ’20), Jake Staples (Business ’20) comprised the executive team, which provided the analysis and recommendations in key areas like cash management, productivity improvements, capacity planning, and finance requirements for capital improvements.
According to Löfgren, “I learned the value of having a strategy, but at the same time, not be afraid of changing the strategy if it is not working. The last thing that the CapSim Finals taught me was that the feeling of going bankrupt, even though it is just a simulation, still hurts.” Lewis expressed similar feelings: “The CapSim challenge was a great experience that tested everything I have learned in my prior business courses at King’s. It gave me a better insight into the decisions that companies must make, especially in high pressure situations. It also taught me how to collaborate and work on a team.”
Both Löfgren and Lewis expressed gratitude for the instruction of Fotopulos and advisement of Benjamin Cook (Finance ’20), who won the CapSim finals with Jackson Fordyce (Business ’20) in the Spring 2019 competition.
Prof. Fotopulos said, “What a great challenge this was. Our team learned how to manage their cash positions in a recession, how to pivot when competition acted unexpectedly and how to persevere no matter the odds. The King’s College is very proud of this team led by Edvin Löfgren and Christina Lewis for their hard work and 5th place ranking in this most difficult competition.”