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From left to right: Flavio Rivera, UABC winning student; Jorge Alfonso Galvan Leon, UABC director of international relations; Eva Bravo and Weihong Liang, CSML winning students; Dr. Louise Kelly, professor and program coordinator; Miguel Vasquez, program judge

California School of Management & Leadership (CSML) and Universidad Autonoma De Baja California (UABC) have joined together once again for the Annual Cross-Border Coopetition held in April 2013.

In this “coopetition,” teams from both universities put together case studies on a local business of their choice. Students connect with key personnel, work to identify a strategic issue and then determine the underlying cause of that issue. “Coopetition” is a term coined by Program Founder and CSML Core Faculty Dr. Louise Kelly, combining the definitions of competition and cooperation.

"What I really like about this model is that it gives students so much exposure to multiple aspects important to a successful strategist. There is exposure to local businesses, enhanced critical thinking, cross-border cooperation and an increased awareness of the issues affecting companies,” said Kelly.  “This is also a continuation of Alliant’s North American Competitiveness program, where students travel to Canada and Mexico to learn more about cross-cultural differences in doing business."

The goal of students’ work is not necessarily to come up with a solution, but to apply the theory learned in the classroom and the research done in the field to understand the root of a company’s issue. Although a winning team was selected from each university, the ultimate purpose of the program is to foster cooperation across the border.

Four teams from CSML and two teams from UABC participated in the coopetition. Participants on CSML’s winning team are: Raul Alcantara, Eva Bravo, Weihong Liang, Evan Smith and Yiran Zhang. The group’s case study reviewed the San Diego Union Tribune, a local, daily newspaper.

UABC’s winning participants are: Mayra Guzman, Fernando Herrera, Santiago Reyes, Flavio Rivera and Fernando Urrea. This group created a case study on BIONAG, a Mexican biotechnology company. Prizes for the two winning teams included scholarships and gift cards.

Judges for this year’s project were:  Dr. Ramon Corona, associate professor at National University, Duane Trombly, principal at PointeBreak Solutions, Inc., Miguel Vasquez, CEO and chairman of the California Foundation Fund and Dr. Roberto Weiss, faculty and clinical training coordinator at Alliant International University.

Winning students receive much more than just prizes. The experience gained from participating in the coopetition is invaluable, and will contribute to the success of their future business careers.

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