Daphne Calderon-Sitiriche, W’10, Amber Jin, W’11, Sally Zhao, W’12 and Ashley Yuki, W’11, ENG’11, were faced with the challenge of creating a marketing plan for IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative. Their goal was to evaluate the market conditions, dynamics and environmental factors that IBM should consider to make cities smarter and more efficient. They faced competition from teams from Wake Forest, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Emory University, the University of Maryland and the University of Toronto.

Teams were given 36 hours to come up with creative global solutions to IBM’s project, then had to present their ideas before a panel of executives from top global corporations. IBM says it intends to further explore several ideas generated at the competition.

The Wharton team was sent to Wake Forest by the Marketing Undergraduate Students Establishment (MUSE), which has shown consistently well at the competition. The MUSE team won the event three years ago, and took second place last year. The team was coached by Keith Niedermeier, a lecturer in the Wharton Marketing Department.