Daniel Adkins Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: More than 700 students from leading schools across the UAE are competing in the grand finale of the Business Cup Challenge (BCC), which will be held this Saturday in Dubai.

The inter-school competition, run by Curtin University Dubai for the fifth time, is a unique platform that brings together the brightest students and finest business ideas from schools across the UAE.

Held over four weeks, it aims to launch high school students into the business world at a young age, by equipping them with skills necessary in real-life businesses.

Final round

A total of 117 teams and some 750 high school students have participated in this edition, which focuses on blockchain technology and the use of cryptocurrency in businesses.

During the final round of the competition on November 24 at the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies Auditorium, teams will compete to win grand prizes, including scholarships given away by the university to the top three teams, in addition to cash prizes, and internships.


teams comprising around 750 high school students participated

“Curtin Dubai started the business cup challenge competition to inspire students to learn about business research and how to address a business case, with the intention of giving them valuable skills that would be useful whether they go to university, into the workforce or become entrepreneurs,” said Daniel Adkins CEO, Curtin University Dubai’s Academic Infrastructure Provider, Transnational Academic Group.

The challenge, sponsored by Gulf News, requires students to review real-world business cases business plans, analyse crucial business situations and present a case to an academic and professional panel. Students work as part of a team, in a competitive environment, and use their critical-thinking and problem solving skills and business acumen.

Blockchain expertise

“For this year’s challenge, we decided to focus on the use of blockchain, because is an emerging technology that students will be using move forward into their professional careers,” Adkins added. “I see in the future a lot of the transactions that are currently kept in databases by companies will be stored on blockchain.”

Adkins said that giving high school students the ability to think about creative uses of blockchain to either increase revenue or decrease expense is going to be an important skill for them.

The preliminary rounds of the challenge were composed of three case studies, issued online over the course of three weeks. Each week, a new case study was released and teams were asked to solve the case within one week and submit their answers to earn a cumulative score which was reflected on the leader board. The solutions to the fourth case study will be presented at the finale.

In addition to the top 11 teams that have already been shortlisted for the final presentation round, 106 other teams have been given a second chance to get into the finals, by presenting a 40-second elevator pitch on a case given to them, Adkins said.

The team with the best elevator pitch will join the other 11 teams, and the judges will pick one more team based on their creativity on that day. “In total, there will be 13 teams competing in the final where they will present their answer to their fourth case live on stage.”

The judging panel involves a mix of faculty and industry members and the solutions presented can be used by sponsors and industry members for their businesses.