Four undergraduates won the 14th annual Haas Investment Banking Case Competition sponsored by Goldman Sachs on Thursday with a presentation on potential acquisitions for eBay that judges called creative and well-prepared.
The winners of the competition were Kevin Lee, BS 12; Anna Li and Linda Xu, both BS/BA 12 (Bus. & Econ.); and Alkey Pandya, BS 12 (Industrial Engineering). The competition drew 24 teams, which were whittled down to three finalists, who made 15-minute presentations and answered judges' questions before about 120 people in the Wells Fargo Room.
The case focused on eBay and its potential acquisition of GSI Commerce, which provides full-service e-commerce platforms to more than 2,000 companies, including Toys "R" Us, Dell, and Estee Lauder. Students were asked to create a 10-page presentation analyzing GSI Commerce's strategic fit with eBay and recommending whether or not eBay should buy the company.
The case also asked the teams to propose other potential acquisition targets. The winning team suggested eBay buy a firm named Shopkick, which has developed a mobile App that gives rewards and deals to people as they walk into stores.
Judges called the Shopkick recommendation creative and well thought out, Xu says. The judges included Henry Tam, of eBay; Haas Lecturer Steve Etter, BS 83, MBA 89, of Greyrock Capital; and Lev Finkelstein, of Goldman Sachs.
Xu also attributed her team's success to its cohesiveness and hard work. The team members were all good friends and spent roughly 30 hours together–in addition to time individually–on the competition. "I enjoyed working with a close-knit group of friends and getting more outside-the-classroom experience," she says.