Evolving over the years, the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.) has grown in tremendous scale since its inception. Founded in 1978 by Geoff Arnoldi (BCOMM ’79),the competition began as a one-day, three event competition modelled after a similar competition at Cornell University. This inaugural 1978 competition featured competitors from 10 schools competing in three streams: Business Policy, Debate, and a computer- simulated Business Game. Over the years, more competition streams have been added to reflect a more modern business climate and to keep up with the growing demand for participation in I.C.B.C.’s exciting and rigorous competition.
As for the competition itself, the unique qualification process for Final Weekend has also been modified over the years. Until 1988, qualification for Final Weekend was based on an overall score for participation in the then-called, University Preliminary Round, with the top 5 schools receiving an invite to Final Weekend. Since then, however, the Preliminary Round has been modified to allow for a greater diversity of schools and to provide a more accurate reflection of performance. Teams of 2 (or 3 for Business Policy) now combat real world simulation problems and digitally submit a written case analysis, with the top 6 teams from each stream advancing to Final Weekend (with the exception of the stream with the International Invitational, where the top 5 advance).
As I.C.B.C. entered the new millennium, the new era brought even more changes to the competition as we know it. In terms of participation, the early 2000s saw the first international and American universities compete, making the competition truly an international event. The addition of laptop technology in 2001 saw the competition take new forms, as competitors were no longer required to prepare their presentations by hand. Today, I.C.B.C. has grown beyond a small one-day competition to an event recognized on the global scale, filling the halls of Smith School of Business every January with talent, excitement, and an undeniable passion.
So, it goes without saying we owe a big Canadian thank you to you, our competitors and faculty advisors, to our sponsors, judges, and case writers – without you, I.C.B.C. would not have become what it is today. As the largest, oldest and most prestigious competition of its kind, we look forward to seeing what the future holds as we continue to showcase the world’s best business talent, humbly bringing the world to Canada.