April 03, 2012 10:45 ET

Technology and Business Join Forces for Education at Boston University Competition Sponsored by Ericsson

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN--(Marketwire - Apr 3, 2012) -

* 64 students from 16 schools in 24-hour, Boston University School of Management's 2012 International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition

* Students tackle how to bring business thinking to improve access to education in a Networked Society

* Top prize won for leading strategy aimed at creating value in a Networked Society through education and expertise

Boston University School of Management and Ericsson have announced that a team of MBA students from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has won first place in the seventh annual International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition. The invitation-only, 24-hour competition, worth $47,500 in prizes, challenges business students to help solve real issues that face global technology leaders. The event took place at Boston University School of Management on March 29-31, 2012. This is the fifth consecutive year that Ericsson has sponsored the competition.

This year's competition focused on the role a Networked Society could play in innovating education. Each team was asked how Ericsson could develop successful business models that will create value for the world in a Networked Society through education and the sharing and combining of expertise.

The team from the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill was awarded the top prize of $25,000. Team members included Jae Lee, Rohan Vaidyanathan, Christophe Renaud, and Maciej Dudek. The winning team took a holistic, two-pronged approach to closing the gaps in communication and access to information with their "Education Technology Platform" (ETP). The remaining top four schools include University of Southern California, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Duke University.

The team from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology came in second place, and third place went to Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

"Ericsson believes that the Networked Society is not just about connecting devices, it's about the power that is unleashed when everything is connected," said Helena Norrman, Senior Vice President and Head of Communications, Ericsson, who was on hand to deliver the award. "At the core of this transformation is education, which can now be offered to people everywhere, regardless of social or geographical boundaries. The development of human potential within society as well as inside enterprises will change the world for the better. It was fantastic to take part in the thoughts, insights and ideas on the topic that the students brought into the final round," she added.

John Chalykoff, Associate Dean at Boston University School of Management, said: "The competition brings together the world's most respected IT-oriented MBA programs and creates an enthusiastic experience while advancing innovative ideas about real-world business issues, and nothing is more ripe for transformation than education."

According to this year's case author and Boston University School of Management Professor N Venkatraman, one of the most important challenges of the case was the need to devise a business strategy that would remove the physical limitations that often accompany education, and develop ideas to digitally spread educational opportunities to all members of society. "I believe that this year's competition raised issues that are relevant and timely, not only for Ericsson as it delivers products and services for the networked society, but also for Boston University School of Management as we embrace and examine how technology influences the way we deliver management education."

Schools competing in this year's event included:

* Boston University School of Management

* Eller College of Management - University of Arizona

* Fuqua School of Business - Duke University

* Haas School of Business - UC Berkeley

* Harvard Business School - Harvard University

* Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

* IESE Business School - University of Navarra, Spain

* IPADE Business School - Universidad Panamericana, Mexico

* Kenan-Flagler Business School - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill * Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

* McCombs School of Business - University of Texas, Austin

* Queen's School of Business, Canada

* Richard Ivey School of Business - University of Western Ontario, Canada

* Saïd Business School - University of Oxford, UK

* Seoul National University, Korea

* Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

Photos are posted at in the group "casecomp2012."

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Ericsson is the world's leading provider of communications technology and services. We are enabling the Networked Society with efficient real-time solutions that allow us all to study, work and live our lives more freely, in sustainable societies around the world.

Our offering comprises services, software and infrastructure within Information and Communications Technology for telecom operators and other industries. Today more than 40 percent of the world's mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks and we support customers' networks servicing more than 2 billion subscribers.

We operate in 180 countries and employ more than 100,000 people. Founded in 1876, Ericsson is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2011 the company had revenues of SEK 226,9 billion (USD 35,0 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ, New York stock exchanges. 

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Source: Ericsson via Thomson Reuters ONE [HUG#1599841]

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