Case Competition 2020

The RSM STAR Case Competition is a unique opportunity for twelve teams from top business schools worldwide to compete with each other by presenting their solutions to real-life business cases. Each university is represented by a team of four talented undergraduate students. 

Important Note The 2020 edition of the RSM STAR Case Competition will take place online. Due to the current situation regarding the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, we were unfortunately forced to cancel the RSM STAR Case Competition 2020 in Rotterdam. However, the good news is that we do not simply want to let this year’s edition pass by! We are excited to inform you that we are working on an online version of the RSM STAR Case Competition 2020! This will take place in the same week as the original competition: April 18-25, 2020. We are grateful for the continuous support of the various stakeholders, including RSM and the (to be announced) casepartners. Stay tuned, because we will soon continue the team announcements!

Participants 2020

Every year we invite universities from the RSM’s top-ranked network of partner business schools to compete in our Case Competition. Achievements in past case competitions, an outstanding case-solving reputation, as well as equal geographical dispersion are criteria taken into account when selecting applicants. 

The RSM STAR Case Competition 2020 is approaching! The participating teams have been selected, and will be presented on our Facebook page in the upcoming months. 

Last year’s list of competitors consisted of 12 different universities from 4 different continents. We were happy to welcome teams from countries such as China, Australia and the USA.


Theme 2020

We are very proud to announce this year’s theme: A force for positive change!

This year’s theme choice was inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Theme Announcement Video: Theme Announcement


Format and Rules

During the event we follow clear rules. Please, take good notice of this, so you will not make any mistakes.

General rules of the RSM STAR Case Competition
  • We expect all the participants to have a fair spirit during the competition.
  • Any violation of the rules will lead to penalties for the team. These penalties will be made known within 24 hours after the violation has been registered. The penalty will be determined by the organizing committee. No appeal can be made to the decision. The most severe penalty is disqualification of the RSM STAR Case Competition 2020.
  • During the RSM STAR Case Competition it is not allowed to use any drugs.
  • All materials produced during the RSM STAR Case Competition are the property of the RSM STAR Case Competition, these include presentations, photos and videos.

  • Each team prepares and presents three case solutions during the competition, according to the cases given. The team consists of four undergraduate students, this does not include the faculty advisor or the assigned buddy. There is a maximum of one freshman (first year undergraduate) student in the team.
  • The teams have 6 or 24 hours respectively (Depending on the case that is being solved) to submit an executive summary and a PowerPoint presentation about the cases, which will be used in their presentations.
  • The teams are not allowed to discuss the case, their own presentation or other teams’ presentations with anyone outside the team during the competition. Any form of communication with the faculty advisor during case solving and presentations is also forbidden. All contact needs to go via the team’s buddies or members of the RSM STAR organising committee.
  • The RSM STAR Case Competition 2020 works with a random pool system. This results in the random distribution of the starting and deadline schedule for each pool, ensuring a fairness in the team distribution.
  • During the 6-Hour Cases, four preliminary rounds are initiated, each consisting of three participating teams. During the 24-Hour Case three preliminary rounds are initiated, each consisting of four teams. Teams will be assigned to a certain pool by randomisation. Each pool generates one winner. These winning teams will have to present again in the finals, and one team per case will be chosen as the overall winner. Please note that this is subject to change.
  • Mandatory attendance for all teams and Faculty Advisors is enforced for the finals of the 6 and 24-Hour Cases. Please note that this is also valid for the teams that did not make it to the finals.
  • During the preliminary round each 24-Hour Case Presentation will consist of a 18-minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of Q&A, with use of a maximum of 55 slides. The team may decide how to allocate these slides between the main presentation and appendix slides. During the final round the presentation will last 20 minutes, and the Q&A 10 minutes.
  • During the preliminary round each 6-Hour Case Presentation will consist of a 10-minute presentation followed by 8 minutes of Q&A, with use of a maximum of 55 slides. The team may decide how to allocate these slides between the main presentation and appendix slides. During the final round the presentation and Q&A time will be the same.
  • Teams are allowed to change their presentations between the preliminary and final round. The executive summaries cannot be changed.
  • Teams must use their school name during the presentation, and thus are not allowed to use other team or club names.

Evaluation and Decision making
  • The winners of the RSM STAR Case Competition will be declared during the Award Ceremony.
  • Teams may make use of notes/cue cards during the presentation.
  • Teams are not allowed to see the presentations of competing teams. To ensure fairness and a learning experience, we will allow the faculty member of each respective team to attend all presentations in the pool. A feedback session will be scheduled after all preliminary round presentations.
  • Faculty advisors are allowed to see the presentations of competing teams. However, there will be no contact between faculty advisors and the teams during the cases.

  • Unlimited number of textbooks, reference materials and computers may be brought to RSM STAR Case Competition. Participants need to bring their own computer. An HDMI cable to connect the computer to a screen is provided. The use of printing devices will be provided, as well as assistance.
  • The presentation and executive summary must be stored on a USB stick provided, as well as electronically submitted.
  • The teams are allowed to use all internet resources in order to prepare and research the case solution. Internet access will be provided during the case solving.
  • The RSM STAR Case Competition committee will provide assistance with any technical issues at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and will solve these to the best of its abilities. However, teams will not be given extra time in case solving should such an unfortunate event occur. The RSM STAR Case Competition is also not able to provide teams with back-up equipment.
  • Presentations must be held in English using Microsoft PowerPoint .pptx files. The teams’ presentations must be compatible with standard Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Executive summaries must be written in English, and handed in as a .docx file. Both executive summaries cannot exceed one page, and must be written in Times New Roman, pt 12, text spacing 1, and with use of normal margins (2.54 cm).
  • Both the presentation and the executive summary must be handed in before the given deadline. We cannot accept any delay in handing in these materials. Late hand-ins will result in disqualification of the respective round of the Case Competition.
  • All additional activities related to case solving, i.e. a Q&A with key staff from the case company, will be scheduled within the hours assigned to case solving.
  • The lunch during the 6-Hour Cases and lunch & dinner during the 24-Hour Case are scheduled within the hours assigned to case solving.
  • Each team will be assigned to a preparation room in which all case solving activities should take place. During the time allocated to case solving, all case materials must remain in the preparation room. This includes the case, reference materials and the computers used.

Why Rotterdam?

Rotterdam is one of the most international hubs you may find on earth. Hosting Europe’s largest port, the city has always being involved in trade and dealt with people from any corner of the world. Today, Rotterdam shapes the future to a large international community of students that mingles with the open Dutch culture.

Rotterdam School of Management takes a leading perspective in this mission, being the country’s top business School. During the competition, participants will have the opportunity to experience the RSM passion on business and being immersed in Rotterdam’s cosmopolitan landscape. The one-week event will also include a in-house day and sightseeing tours.  

Case Competition Committee 2020

Former case partners

Over the past year, a lot of interesting cases have been solved already. Former case partners include:

  • Boskalis
  • Vebego
  • Lyreco
  • Coca-Cola European Partners
  • NederlandSchoon
  • Hago Airport Services
  • Nike
  • Brownies&Downies
  • Schiphol Group
  • Eastman Chemical Company
  • BP – Target Neutral
  • Aon
  • Fairphone
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Ecosystem Restoration

Case partners 2019


Lyreco is a worldwide distributor of office supplies and workplace products. They are leading in their branche when it comes to CSR. The next challenge: closing the loop by creating a circular economy in which cradle-to-cradle becomes the new standard.



Vebego consists of more than 100 companies, each with it’s own knowledge and expertise. The companies are specialized in cleaning, care and facility services. Together they ensure that more than a million workplaces, including Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, are and remain clean and safe.



Boskalis is a leading global dredging and offshore contractor and maritime services provider. They offer a unique combination of experts, vessels and activities. With origins in the Netherlands, they have been operating for over 100 years. Today they create new horizons for stakeholders in the ports, offshore energy, maritime and inland infrastructure markets.


Case partners 2018

Hago Airport Services

Amsterdam Airport Schipol employs several cleaning companies of which Hago is responsible for keeping the terminal clean behind the security gates.

Hago Airport Services


The Dutch NGO, NederlandSchoon aims at keeping the environment litter-free in their home country by trying to reach the public and get their message through about their goals.


Coca-Cola European Partners

Coca-Cola is the most well-known product in the world as well as the most-selling soft drink in history. Coca-Cola European Partners offers consumers the world’s leading brands of quality drinks while being a leader in one of the largest FMCG sectors in Europe’s most significant markets.

Coca-Cola European Partners

Our partners