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From October to November students from North American universities had the opportunity to participate in the SAP University Challenge. The challenge was a fantastic chance for students to put their analytical minds to the test and learn about business, based on cloud-native technologies. Working as a team, students acted as SAP Product Managers and researched, analyzed, and evaluated a problem statement predetermined by Mars. 

We would like to congratulate all finalists of the SAP University Challenge. Throughout the final round, all teams who participated pitched amazing ideas and realizable product blueprints. A special congratulations goes to the winning team from the University of California, Merage Oasis. 

Working as a team of 3-5 students, the groups brainstormed viable solutions, and presented a realizable product blueprint during their first idea pitches. This gave the participants a chance to experience the transformation of a concept into an industry-wide standard B2B solution, while also having the opportunity to network with SAP and Mars executives. 

Trade and consumer promotion management is one of the driving forces for the CPG industry growth, and over the past year we have seen shifts in shopper behaviors, regarding physical presence in stores, consumption of offline and digital promotional content, as well as purchase decision factors. 

The given problem the student teams were supposed to focus on was:
How can CPG companies better understand their shoppers across its segment, focusing on the Millennials + GenZ cohort’s needs? What resonates with the different types of shoppers so Mars can better address their customers’ demands, both through online and digital retail experience?
Leveraging industry insights through data and research methodologies, the student teams were expected to present a proposal on how and where they captured details on shopper behaviors and how they would segment them. 

Throughout the challenge, the students learned what it takes to collaborate with customers to launch an enterprise-standard product. During the final round, a selected SAP and Mars Product Management team assisted the respective finalists, supporting them with experiences in product management methodology, cloud-native technology, and industry best practices.
The winning student team pitched a solution on how to interpret customer data through an SAP cloud solutionThe students particularly stood out with their innovative product blueprint, detailed research, as well as seamless storytelling skills, which made them the winner of 50 teams who submitted their initial idea pitch.
We hope all participants are able to use the experiences they gained within the challenge, when overcoming obstacles throughout their respective careers. 

You participated in the SAP University Challenge? If so, we would love to hear your impressions. Feel free to share them with us in the comments! 

 

katharinaschaefer victor.taratoukhine colleen.raftery dr_karina waltraud.grimm miriam.laudenbach
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