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IE Business School Hosts Global Innovation Challenge

IE Business School Hosts Global Innovation Challenge

IE Business School hosted its first Global Innovation Challenge with teams from across the world gathered to tackle issues faced by Sephora Spain in the digital landscape of the retail industry.

The home team won the top prize this weekend when IE Business School hosted its first Global Innovation Challenge with eight teams from business schools around the world trying to solve different challenges faced by Sephora Spain.

Martin Boehm, Dean of the Business School and Juliana Pereira, Director of Campus Life announced the winning teams, with Cambridge University’s team taking the Runner Up Award with a cash prize of €2,000, and IE University winning the grand prize, worth €4,000, awarded by Campus Life and the Business School.

First Global Innovation | IE Business School

“This is really about thinking how we can innovate constantly inside and outside of the classroom, to create a forward thinking, entrepreneurial mindset and this competition is a fantastic testament of that. Congratulations to all the competing teams and I hope this is not the last time we see you here in Madrid.” Boehm said.

The winning teams proposed a more customer centric approach to better target the needs and preferences of clients. New technologies like beacons, smart windows and mirrors and the use of 5G for remote skin scanning were some of the innovative ideas contemplated in the IE team’s strategy, advising Sephora to have an entrepreneurial implementation of a step by step plan to the digitalization of the stores.

Organized by the IE Consulting Group in collaboration with IE Campus Life, IE Talent and Careers, Sephora, Deliveroo, Simon Kucher & Partners and BDJ, the challenge attracted fresh talent from business schools to improve Sephora’s customer experience through innovation and creativity, analyzing the current landscape and trends of digitalization in the retail industry.

Santiago Iñiguez welcomed the teams to IE Business School and thanked the organizers for leading the first edition of a real case competition at the university. He referred to the importance of participating in the irreversible trend of globalization and the rapid transformation led by new technologies.

“This is the start of a very important initiative that will have an impact, not only for our school, but for the business sector all around the world,” Iñiguez said. “We live in times of turbulence and uncertainty in which we all wonder how we can contribute to the best for our global community. The best possible antidote to bad international politics, is good business and you are all called to become the architects of the future global society.”

First Global Innovation | IE Business School

The Sephora Case was released on June 7th, allowing the teams to prepare in advance before presenting their ideas to the panel of judges during the competition weekend. The panel consisted of top executives from Sephora, EY, LVMH and Simon Kucher & Partners, who advised the participants and provided valuable feedback during the presentations.

The teams were privy to behind-the-scenes tours and insights at Sephora headquarters and invited to attend workshops during the weekend to improve their disruptive skills to successfully tackle the challenge.

“How can Sephora in Spain innovate the customer experience to drive sales growth in Q4 2019 and beyond” was the main challenge teams addressed during the weekend, with an emergency case released Saturday afternoon, in which teams had to design a completely digital store with no customer service staff.

“The Global Innovation Challenge is an amazing opportunity to put in practice all that we have learnt during our time in the MBA at IE.”

“The Global Innovation Challenge is an amazing opportunity to put in practice all that we have learnt during our time in the MBA at IE, and it is also a fun way to network with other MBAs from different business schools from all over the world,” said Verónica Moreno San Martin from the winning IE team. “It was very challenging and we worked hard, but had a great time throughout the weekend competition.”