Competition Details

GBC Objectives

The 2019 GBC is intended to fulfil two objectives:

  • identify real potential implementable solutions to a global business challenge; and,
  • provide a learning experience for the students that will encourage healthy competition, professionalism, and interaction by our future business leaders, both amongst themselves and with the business community.

The rules and guidelines are not all encompassing and situations may arise that have not been covered. It is the expectation of the organisers and of the advisory board that any issues or disputes will be resolved in the spirit of the competition.


Teams will face off over two rounds to progress to the finals to be held in Brisbane from 30 September – 3 October 2019.

Round 1

Round 1 is a virtual round – open to teams of postgraduate students from both business and technical disciplines. Teams will pitch their ‘conceptual business solution’ comprising a combination of new technologies and innovative business models. Round 1 submissions include a 5-page Executive Summary and a 3-minute solution pitch. Winners of Round 1 will be announced on 1 July 2019.
For Round 1 Submission guidelines, please click here.



Seven finalist teams will be selected to come to an intensive 2 day lock-in phase where they will be required to develop a business case for a specified hypothetical project opportunity. The hypothetical will address a set of constraints specific to each finalist team’s proposed solution and reflecting real-world issues in order to make their solution a reality. Finalists will present to a judging panel of CEOs from across industry, Government and finance sectors.

Diversity and Collaboration

The Global Business Challenge aims to encourage as much diversity in solution designs as possible. Just as there are no single right answers to complex problems, the nature of the issued challenge demands teams look for highly innovative technologies and design novel business models.

Solutions will comprise any combination of new technology (which may also include existing technologies implemented in new ways) as well as novel business models to deliver achievable, practical and high impact outcomes.

A unique element in the design of the competition is that of collaboration. Collaboration between business schools, universities, the research community as well as industry, irrespective of their location, will help teams formulate their best possible solution. This means that teams are not restricted in team make-up.  We encourage post-graduate students from any discipline, as well as the inclusion of multiple proposed technological solutions from any technology provider including start-ups (not just technologies from their own institutions).


The competition is to be run over two rounds. Round 1 is a virtual round comprising a virtual pitch and the submission of a 5 page Executive Summary of the proposed “Concept Solution”. Round 2 (Finals) comprises an intensive weeklong competition round held in Brisbane, Queensland.

The finals process involves:

  • A 48 hour lock-in phase where teams need to develop a business case for a hypothetical application for their proposed solution. This hypothetical may be determined by the awarding prize giver/s from our industry and government partners based on specific business objectives of the Partner.
  • Innovation Showcase where finalist teams and researchers present solutions around the challenge theme.
  • A CEO pitch (20 Minutes Plus 20 minutes Q&A defence)

The winners are announced at the Gala Dinner at the conclusion of which the following year’s challenge is officially launched.

Forming a team

Team participation will comprise a mix of a maximum four postgraduate students from any combination of business and/or technical disciplines. However, in order for teams to be as competitive as possible we strongly encourage a multidisciplinary approach with teams of students with multidisciplinary expertise wherever possible.

Students must have been enrolled in any academic period between July of the previous year through to June of the year of competition. Students can be either a full-time or part-time and schools and universities may field multiple teams.


Judges are members of the Australian and global business community as well as financial and technical experts selected by the organisers and the advisory board. The judging panel will be comprised of different judges for each round of the competition.

Judging for Round 1 is a blind judging process. Teams are to ensure they remove all reference to their University and names of any of the team members in their presentation. Teams who do not remove all such references or follow the submission requirements will be penalised 10% of the assessment score.

Round 2 (Finals) requires assessment of the technical, business and finance models underpinning a team’s proposed solution. This will be judged from the two deliverables by teams: the Business Case and Commercialisation Plan and the Presentation.

The Chair of the judging panel will chair the question period, lead the deliberations, cast the decisive vote in the event of a split panel and prepare an evaluation sheet for each team’s confidential use once the result has been determined. The chairman shall not score teams except in the event of a tie.

A copy of Judging Criteria will be provided to each team as part of the briefing material subsequent to registration.

Tie Breaking

In the event that two teams have the same scores at the conclusion of Round 2 then a combined score to include Round 1 scores may be taken into account.


Team prizes comprise two types of Prize; GBC Competition Prizes (totalling $125,000); and, Industry Prizes.

Industry partners could also become a first partner to a commercialisation. Industry prizes are specifically targeted to support finalist teams, or their collaborator, in their commercialisation effort.

GBC Competition Prizes for 2019 are:

Winner: $AUD100,000

2nd Place: $AUD15,000

3rd Place: $AUD10,000

Industry Prizes: To be announced

Teams with ‘Concept Solutions’ that comprise technologies not yet able to be demonstrated are still encouraged to compete for the GBC Competition Prizes but may be ineligible for Industry Prizes.

In addition to the cash prizes all non-Australian university finalists will be eligible for a travel subsidy of up to $AUD 12,500 plus having accommodation provided at no cost.

Selected finalists need to provide the required information for payment of prizes prior to attending the finals. This will help expedite payment before the end of the year.


The GBC is being conducted as a partnership between QUT, The University of Queensland and Griffith University along with the support of government and industry. The 2019 GBC is hosted by the University of Queensland and managed by QUT Graduate School of Business (the “Organisers”).

The organisation of the GBC is aided by the support of an Advisory Board which includes representatives of the partner institutions and government, in addition to an extensive pool of judges from industry and government as well as student volunteers. The organisers reserve the right to amend these rules in any manner deemed appropriate until the commencement of judging in each round.

The Organisers retain the right, at is absolute discretion, to:

i)  refuse registration from any proposed team up to and including the Round 1 registration closing date; and,
ii) close the competition to any further registration applications prior to the Round 1 registration closing date due to reaching competition capacity. Submission from all teams will be reviewed and the best 42 will win a place in the round 1 judging of the competition. Selected Round 1 teams will be limited to 42, to be placed into seven pools. The seventh pool is dedicated to the China Chapter, exclusively for Chinese participating teams.


Participating students within a team must meet the enrolment criteria being either:

  • currently enrolled in an eligible program of study OR
  • have been enrolled in an eligible program of study during 2018

An eligible program is any business or technical discipline based postgraduate program of study (such as MBA, Masters Degrees or other relevant post-graduate degree programs in business or technical disciplines).

Proposed team members not meeting these criteria may only participate with special permission of the organisers. Teams competing in previous GBC competitions may compete again (subject to meeting eligibility criteria), however, solutions must NOT have been the basis of any previous submission in which any team member has competed. Teams who have made the finals in a previous competition may not compete again, however past participants may coach a current team.

Intellectual Property

Entrants are NOT required to be the original creators, inventors, or owners of the intellectual property underlying their proposed solutions. However, teams that rely on intellectual property that has been created or invented or is owned by a third party (“Third-Party IP”) must obtain written permission from any such third party to use the Third-Party IP as part of their proposed solution. It is NOT a requirement that commercialisation arrangements be entered into at the time of the competition.

Such permission should include not only the general right to rely on the Third-Party IP as a basis for the team’s proposed solution, but should also include the right to reference or reproduce any figures, images, etc., that are included in the submitted documentation and presentation. Full attribution should be given whenever an entrant relies on any Third-Party IP.

Such reliance of information provided by Third-Party IP Providers to Teams does NOT confer on the Team members, their host organisation(s) and any other person or organisation, or the organisers any other rights to that IP whatsoever.

Original work developed by teams (excluding any Third Party IP Rights) in preparing their proposed solution is to be made freely available to team collaborators.


Any concerns or disputes regarding the implementation of these rules must be brought to the immediate attention of the organiser. In exceptional circumstances, a body made up of at least one of the organisers and the chairperson of the advisory board or his assignee and at least two other members of that board will be available to settle disputes.



Teams are encouraged to collaborate to the extent necessary to ensure they have designed a proposed solution of maximum impact related to the stated challenge.

This collaboration may be achieved in a number of ways:

  • Teams may include eligible students from multiple universities or graduate business schools
  • Teams must have a coach who is a staff member of a represented university. The role played by the coach is entirely up to the team.
  • Teams may collaborate with one or more mentors/advisors such as technical or business experts
  • Teams may include one or more technology solutions from one or more organisations including universities, research organisation or industry organisations.

As a core objective of the GBC is to support commercialisation, progression of the proposed solution may be undertaken by a proposed start up. The teams host institution or any industry or research collaborator, as deemed appropriate. As a result, it is at the discretion of the teams themselves as to whether competing students are actively involved in downstream commercialisation or not.

In order to maintain the integrity of the competition, collaborators are limited to providing expert business or technical guidance or advice and other similar indirect assistance and are NOT permitted to assist in authoring or directly preparing any material submitted by Teams for judging in the competition.

Any team not adhering to these limitations on collaboration may be deemed by the organisers as having breached the competition Code of Conduct resulting in disqualification in not adhering to the spirit of the competition.