CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition


Hosted by the CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise, Baruch College Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship, and Baruch’s School of Public Affairs.

Prepare for tomorrow’s career by competing in the CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition.  This is a unique opportunity to learn and develop concepts for applying IBM Watson‘s cognitive technology to improve the operation of organizations and the delivery of services to its customers. The 20th Century was called the Industrial Age giving birth to the industrial revolution, the assembly line, the automobile and the growth of mass transportation. The 21st Century is being called the Information Age were access to large volumes of data explored by sophisticated computer based analytics and interconnecting business and customers through the cloud are driving the global economy. The IBM Watson Technology embodies the future and this competition is an opportunity for CUNY students like you to be part of the new generation involved in the jobs and businesses that will be created.

In this competition Baruch College, the City University of New York and IBM are interested in exploring ways that IBM Watson can be applied to Higher Education and the delivery of Public Services by New York City. The competition gives student teams the opportunity to explore ideas and concepts on how this cognitive technology can be applied in these two areas but will not include access to Watson.

Examples of possible applications:

  • Improving the quality and effectiveness of public undergraduate education
  • Helping to better deliver public services such as Public Safety, Health, and Transportation

Teams of CUNY students will work through various milestones while being mentored by IBM, CUNY faculty and other experts in the field.

Competition Format:

  • Teams of 3-5 students will present their preliminary concepts during an October 2014 Watson “boot camp”
  • Teams must complete 3 milestones
  • The finalists will participate in a final round of presentations in January 2015, when cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams.

Benefits of participating in the Watson Challenge include:

  • Cash Prizes: 1st place $5,000; 2nd place $3,000; 3rd place $2,000
  • Opportunity for summer 2015 internships
  • Participate in Baruch College’s Entrepreneurship Boot Camp
  • Eligible to work in Baruch’s Incubator
  • Access to the entrepreneurship network in virtual and real space

Requirements to Participate in the Competition

  • The competition will be open to all matriculated CUNY students.
  • Attendance at the boot camp is required to participate in the competition.
  • All deliverables as noted must be received by the submission deadlines.

Competition Schedule

  • Registration Period: September 4 – October 20 – Students will register for the competition and create team profile and concept page.
  • Information Session: September 18 – IBM volunteers and campus representatives will be available to visit CUNY campuses to answer questions from students participating in the competition.
  • Milestone #1 (Due by October 20):  ​ 2 page executive summary describing the use of IBM Watson for practical and creative applications that address issues within Higher Education or the NYC Government Sector.
  • Boot Camp: October 24 & 25 – Attendance is mandatory.
  • Milestone #2: December 5 – Teams submit their business case analysis (3 pages maximum) and an accompanying 1-minute video.
  • Finalists Announced: December 15
  • Milestone #3: January 14, 2014 – Finalist submit PowerPoint presentation (max. 6-8 slides) for preloading on computer prior to presentation on January 15, 2014.
  • January 15 – Final presentations, winners selected and award ceremony.

Click here for more information and FAQs for the CUNY IBM Watson Competition. If you have any questions please contact Igor Fridman at (646) 664-8742 or

The competition is sponsored, in part, by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation

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