BU MBAs Win MIT Sloan Case
Health Sector MBAs Solve Digital Marketing Case
By Lauren Dezenski
The team representing Boston University’s Health Care Management MBA program won it all on February 24 at the MIT Sloan 2012 Healthcare Case Competition. The theme was Digital Marketing for Healthcare.
Michael Barrett, Timothy Chanoux, Anshuman Mirani, and Matthew Scott (all MBA’13) shared the $4,000 first-place check.
The BU MBA Health Sector students faced teams from Harvard, MIT, Babson, and Cornell. “It was really an honor to represent BU in this competition against so many good schools. It was an honor and exciting to come out on top,” said Chanoux.
“Plus, we had a great time. It was great to meet a number of teams that all had great ideas,” Mirani added.
First, the teams had to submit a qualifying application. Of the eighteen submissions, ten teams, including BU, were chosen for the competition. “We were given the case one week in advance of the presentation day,” Mirani said. “We used the first days for brainstorming to be sure to cover all of our bases. That process really helped, and it’s something that is a product of our education here at BU. At the competition, the Q&A’s went really well, specifically because we debated all of these things among ourselves beforehand.”
After making it through one round of presenting followed by a Q&A session, BU and one of three MIT teams were named the two finalists. Following the two presentations, “it took the judges 30 to 45 minutes to deliberate. We were expecting it to be ten minutes, but it shows how tough the competition was,” said Chanoux.
The case was about developing a strategy for the launch of a kidney cancer drug by AVEO Pharmaceuticals (the sponsoring firm), which has just passed Phase III trials. Given the relatively small size and constrained marketing budget for AVEO, the teams had to design a digital media strategy. “We especially liked that all of the information in the case was actual market research done by AVEO, and it was a real business problem that they are currently facing,” Mirani continued. “The judging panel included senior members of the management team of the company and other senior leaders from consulting as well as other health care organizations such as Veritas Health Systems.”
“General feedback from the judges, and the reason we probably won,” said Scott, “was that we had three very different concepts. We were the only group to talk about accountable care; we were the only team to come up with a name for the drug; and we were the only team to brand the research effort. Our BU preparation absolutely helped, especially with the accountable care. The education helped us have a good sense of these things. When we got to finals, we really won with our Q&A.”