Diegem, 14 March 2015 – Last weekend, Team “Intemporelle” from Ghent triumphed in the final of the 5th Deloitte Accountancy Entrepreneurship Challenge, thereby winning a city trip to Chicago.
Over 200 students from all over Belgium participated in this annual competition, divided into 48 teams. The set-up? Students manage a virtual company online and present their final results and vision of the future via an oral investment pitch before a jury of potential investors.
This 5th edition coincides with Deloitte’s ´Tomorrow is Today´ campaign, which seeks to furnish tangible insights and examples about how companies can prepare themselves for the new entrepreneurial reality. Against this background, the Entrepreneurship Challenge wants to prepare students for the start of their professional careers.
This year saw the 5th edition of the Entrepreneurship Challenge. This competition is addressed to students in accountancy, economics or similar financial majors doing a master’s or in their final year of a professional bachelor’s or transitional programme. They vie with one another in a segmented, competitive market and attempt to create the best virtual company. A total of 209 students in 48 teams took part this year.
The final round of the competition took place last weekend in the Deloitte headquarters in Diegem, after the previous rounds had been held in Deloitte’s regional offices in Antwerp, Charleroi, Ghent, Brussels (Diegem and Jette), Leuven, Hasselt, Kortrijk and Liège. In Diegem, the finalists made their pitches in front of a panel of investors, composed of shareholders and directors of Deloitte Accountancy. Team Intemporelle scored very high in the business game as well as in the investment pitch. Gilles Stevens, Stéphanie De Wispelaere, Paulien De Visscher, Barbara Coussée, Charlotte De Knudt (University of Ghent) and their coach Sven Tremmerie are already looking forward to their trip to Chicago!
Intemporelle: “For us, the Deloitte Entrepreneurship Challenge was an unforgettable learning experience! The competitive feeling and the tension after each round were intense. Along with the professional involvement of our coach Sven Tremmerie and the outstanding organisation of Deloitte, we were really able to experience everything that goes into running a company and we keenly felt the need for relevant reporting of results and financial KPI´s, like what Deloitte Accountancy does day after day for its clients. We’re delighted that our efforts were rewarded with first place!”
“BRIKS”, a team composed of commercial engineering students from the KU Leuven, ended up in 2nd place. Despite their fantastic presentation and with only a few points of difference, ultimately they had to acknowledge the superiority of the winners. The impressive pitch of Team “Bel´Watch” secured them a well-deserved third place. With this the Brussels students from Ephec rose no fewer than eight places in the ranking after the fifth round was completed.
The Deloitte Accountancy Entrepreneurship Challenge gives students an opportunity to take their theoretical knowledge one step further as part of a highly interesting practical exercise. The competitors form the management team of their own virtual company and are required to take decisions in all relevant areas of the business (purchasing policy, pricing policy, marketing, HR and finance policy) in order to manage the company to the best of their ability, while at the same time strengthening their competitiveness and financial position and attracting investors to fund their growth. Over a series of five rounds, the students compete against one another on the same market in an online environment. This year the chosen market was watches, and the teams had to address four different market segments: sports watches, modern watches, smart watches and luxury watches.
Throughout the Challenge, the students are also supported by a coach from Deloitte Accountancy.
Nikolaas Tahon, Managing Partner of Deloitte Accountancy, was delighted with the results:“With this business game we want to bridge the gap between the university education and the professional career. The competition offers a unique chance for enterprising young students to strengthen their entrepreneurial abilities and assess their potential as future accountants or financial consultants. It’s inspiring to see how much energy and creativity there is in the current generation of students, something we at Deloitte Accountancy can only applaud.”