VirBELA Global Business Simulation Competition Winners Named

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A team of four MBA students from the UK, India, Singapore, and Japan navigated cash flow challenges, carbon emissions caps, and time zone and cross-cultural communication issues to run a mock car company in a virtual world to claim US$28,000 in real cash. The team of Ankita Solanki (Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad), Carine Toutet (INSEAD-Singapore), Laimona Staskus (London Business School) and Wang Lu (Waseda University, Japan) prevailed over seven other international teams in the Global Business Competition, held this October to launch VirBELA, a Second Life-like 3D virtual world designed specifically for business education collaboration.

“VirBELA offered the opportunity to view the interaction of the core competencies taught in business school in a global interactive business environment,” said Brady Chung, Rady MBA student and VirBELA participant. “This experience reinforced the importance of synergistic teamwork, especially and in light of having teammates spread across the world, in order to be successful in business. VirBELA also provided the invaluable teaching lesson of learning from one’s own failures. Our team made some missteps in the beginning, but with analysis, insight, and input from one another, we were able to overcome our early shortcomings and achieve success.”

The competition attracted applicants from some of the world's most prestigious business schools including the London Business School, INSEAD, the Indian Institute of Management, Nanyang Business School in Singapore, Waseda and the Rady School of Management.

“VirBELA is about creating opportunities for MBA students to network with colleagues around the world and to practice working on remote multi-national teams,” said Alex Howland, program director and founder of VirBELA. “While we were excited to see our new technology work well with a global audience, the real accomplishment was watching teams form and grow. The inaugural competition certainly showed potential of how VirBELA can build a global MBA community and help prepare tomorrow’s global leaders.”

The Business Simulation was made up of eight internationally-dispersed teams that competed in a simulated automobile manufacturing industry. Each team managed an automobile company with the objective to build sales, improve profitability and maximize shareholder value. The students competed via custom-created avatars, a sophisticated VoIP and text chat system while interacting in an immersive and engaging 3-D environment. To learn more about VirBELA, please visit www.virbela.com.

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