Yale School of Management

Student Team Wins INNOVATEChina Case Competition

A Yale School of Management student team won first place in the INNOVATEChina 2017 case competition held at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai on March 25.

The global business plan competition convened student teams from around the world. INNOVATEChina focuses on innovation in the rapidly growing financial technology space. This year’s competition theme was “Where Finance Goes High-Tech.”

The winning Yale SOM student project, named Pavement, is an app that would allow users to sync their credit cards so that they would be able to pay, save, and share as part of an integrated, automated financial experience. Team members Ada Gu ’17, Zhichun Li ’19, Jill Ni ’18, and Zi Xu ’18 shared the $10,000 prize.

“We asked ourselves, ‘Why can’t all these financial functions be coordinated?’” Li said, “‘and why isn’t there a card that does that automatically for you?’”

Competition at INNOVATEChina was stiff. “We were a little nervous, but people were very supportive and excited about the ideas,” said Ni. “After our presentation, people from the audience came over to us, wanting to know more about our business.”

The Yale SOM team members’ diverse skillsets helped in the product’s design. “We all have different experiences and different professional backgrounds,” Ni said. “Each one of us brought something different to the task, and all that expertise came together.”

Finalists included teams from ESADE Business School, Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and Saїd Business School at Oxford University.