University of Waterloo’s Fusion Conference 2021

On November 13, Abigail Leu, Jake Goodman, Jared Richstone, and Shaylon Godse placed first overall at the 17th annual Fusion Conference, hosted by University of Waterloo. The Fusion Conference, operating since 2004, merges knowledge from science, business, and technology fields through a unique theme each year. Graduate and undergraduate students from around the world were encouraged to compete for a prize pool of $6,000.  

The competition required teams to prepare a solution to the given financial technology themed, strategic acquisition case, submitted in the form of a video presentation weeks prior. Subsequently, the judging panel, consisting of 36 corporate executives, university professors and directors (University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting & Finance and Cheriton School of Computer Science, Western University’s Ivey School of Business, Queen's University’s Smith School of Business, University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business), as well as multiple founders and CEOs, came together to narrow down a group of finalist teams. At the conference, those selected were announced and presented live to all event attendees, where the top 3 podium positions were determined soon after. 

Words of Encouragement and Reflections Shared by Fusion’s Winning Team 

Our first-place team had the following advice for readers who may be hesitant to dabble in the world of case competitions: 

  1. Form a team and meet together regularly. It is a significant advantage to enter these competitions with a team that you’re comfortable working with, and that you trust. This will allow you to skip introductions and get straight to work with a cohesive team!
  2. If finding or forming a team seems overwhelming, consider joining a club. University clubs tend to attract strong students who may be interested in getting involved in events like this! Also, keep your eyes open, as you may stumble across a great team member in your classes, labs, or social circles like we did!
  3. Specialize in something. Your team will be stronger if each member has a specialty in a particular area (Ex: finance, marketing, human resources, technology, etc.).
  4. Don’t hesitate, take that uncomfortable first step and sign up! Whether you win or lose, participating is an exceptional way to enhance valuable skills that you can take with you for the rest of your professional career and life. From growing as a team member, to boosting your interpersonal skills or technical ability, the possibilities are endless!

“We are extremely grateful to have had this incredible opportunity. There was an immense buildup to November 13th, and we were not disappointed by a day filled with learning, relationship-building, and meaningful memories!”