Roadmap for organizing the Ulysses Contest

What similar competitions exist?

Ulysses is the first European Student Case Competition on Family Firms. But how did we assemble it from scratch? Ulysses partners conducted a systematic benchmarking to find out what student case competitions exist already and how they are organized. The analysis was conducted via utilizing search engines using the following keywords: Student Case Competition, Family Business* Case Competition, European Student Case Competition, International Student Case Competition, European Student Case Competition Family Business*, International Case Competition Family Business * (*Variations of Family Business/firm/competition)

The analysis was conducted as follows:

  • Step 1: Online analysis and creation of categories based on content/information provided on various webpages, including the analysis of YouTube, brochures etc.
  • Step 2: Creation of an Excel sheet based on the categories.
  • Step 3: Systemizing findings according to categories. Interested in the findings? You can find them here.
  • Step 4: Concluding the relevance of the first European Case Competition of Family Firms. Are you interested in why they are relevant? You can find our PowerPoint presentation on it here.

How were the competition rules formed?

Interested in how the competition rules were formed? Read on and we’ll show you! Based on the benchmarking analysis (see previous the previous point), Ulysses partners derived core features for Ulysses Contest. You can check how the first draft looked like here. In a subgroup meeting, ideas were discussed, and a preliminary competition set-up was formulated, which you can check out here.
Let’s quickly summarize the preliminary competition set-up:
a. Organization: digital platform, timeframe, rounds of competition, judging, awarding ceremony
b. Contest Structure:
  • i. Teams: the online registration will be open from January 1st to March 20 th 2023. Students can either register alone or in pairs. Students need a picture and personal data for registration.
    Teams of 4 students will be created. There will be an online group for each team that students can communicate with their team mates directly.
  • ii. Case competition will consist of two rounds
    First round: 11-25 April 2023
    Teams will randomly receive a case study on a family business’ real life problem to create a possible solution based on case specific questions.
    Second round: 2-23 May 2023
    The winning teams of the first round will move further to the second round. In this round all teams work on the same case.

Result should be a written solution with 5-6 pages and a short video presentation.
c. Judges
  • i. A Jury consisting of the Ulysses committee and family firm entrepreneurs will judge the handed in solutions of teams.
  • ii. The cases will be judged concerning the level of creativity, innovativeness and feasibility/implementability.

d. Prizes
Awarding ceremony will be online 23 May 2023. This event will be featured by external sponsors as family firms that participated. There will be prizes for each round. For the first round, the best team per case will receive a prize. For the second round the best overall team will be honored.

Where will the competition take place online?

All participating students, as well as the involved lecturers will get access to the learning management system Sakai (hosted by MCI).

Sakai will serve as a learning platform to get access to all resources needed for the competition, to share resources, assignments, and to-dos, collaborate with team members, interact with lecturers and family firm entrepreneurs, and get feedback.

Sakai is an e-learning management system and virtual learning environment, which facilitates flexible, collaborative, and multimedia-based teaching and learning. A variety of different toolsets enable users to make materials (e.g.: Ulysses Contest case studies) available in different formats (images, texts, films) and use these materials systematically and efficiently for students. Discussion forums and chat functions provide opportunities for students to discuss contents with each other and learn from one another. Lecturers can monitor the learning process of their students, while having a tool for the central online management of exams, papers, and project assignments (just like the case studies in Ulysses Contest). Sakai provides a central and flexible interface for communicating with students, and for documenting teaching and learning.

How was the final competition set up?

Partners prepared an exemplary case study presentation to showcase how collected data can be formed to a storyline of a case study.

On basis of the insights from the first case study and relevant literature on how to write a case study, Ulysses partners prepared a template for formulating and structuring the case studies. In this way, the preparation of the case studies is standardized for all partners. Interested in our template? Check it out here!

Ulysses partners then updated the preliminary case competition and Ulysses Contest rules, and regulations were finalized. Interested in the final documents? Let’s check out the Ulysses Contest final competition description here. In addition, partners created a proposition for the call for students based on the preliminary case competition (here).


The information and views set out in this web-site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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