Innovation continues at RSM Star online competition

Teams from 12 highly ranked universities from all over the world put their energies into effectively collaborating online to produce the best solutions in the week-long RSM STAR Online Case Competition in late April.


The annual event is usually hosted live at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). At this time it was organized online thanks to the work of an organising committee of bachelor students from the STAR study association at RSM, plus RSM’s Case Development Centre, and the continuous support of the case partners.

Positive change

The theme of the whole competition was ‘a force for positive change’; aligning with RSM’s mission to be a force for positive change in the world, and the organising committee focused on incorporating the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in every step of each cases development; they considered how each case could enable the subject companies to be a force for positive change.

Six-hour 'Royal Philips' case

Students were allowed to work on a six-hour case written out by Royal Philips.The case examined co-creation, a form of innovation that welcomes customer input. The world as our lab: How to innovate with customers and markets explored how this leading health technology company could undergo a transformative shift from selling products with a traditional in-house linear model of innovation to selling solutions arising from partnerships with customers; at Royal Philips, innovation increasingly comes from the outside in. This case addressed the innovations needed to improve the quality of people’s lives through meaningful innovation. Winner of the six-hour case was the team of students from the Corvinus University of Budapest

Jeroen Gruben from Royal Philips: "Participation as a case partner was a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience. It is great to see the newest generation of brightest academic minds take on the challenges in healthcare today and match them with innovative ideas and suggestions in just a matter of a few hours. When it comes to market-driven innovation, it is so important that we foster ‘outside in’ perspectives, seek fresh ideas, and collect unbiased opinions to continuously calibrate and gauge all the internal knowledge and beliefs we have as a company."

24-hour case: inequality in Rotterdam

The most intense effort came with the 24-hour case on the subject of inequalities.Teams were challenged to extend their established thinking and to explore unfamiliar solutions – the case was based in Rotterdam, a city most of them had never visited. They were asked to develop a multi-stakeholder approach to tackle the root cause of inequality in Rotterdam while remaining aligned with the mission and capabilities of the three main partner organisations involved; JINC Rotterdam, VoorGoed and Coca-Cola European Partners. The St. Gallen team opted for a two-pillar approach that combined skills training and social entrepreneurship projects with the overarching aim of improving the education and employment prospects of low-income communities. The trophy was sent to the team from the University of St. Gallen.

Read the full report on RSM STAR