Frequently asked questions

What about the confidentiality of my company’s data?


We care as much as you do about the confidentiality of your data.

The professors who design the Challenge will sign any confidentiality agreement you consider necessary to protect your information.

However, such a document is not of much for data that is sent to 50 to 100 students. For that reason, we make sure that all the data of the Challenge is totally anonymized without losing relevance to the problem. How much anonymization is necessary you might ask? We use the following rule of thumb: we go as far as necessary so that even your fiercest competitors would not be capable of exploiting the data should they get a hold on it.




What about the intellectual property of the developed solutions?


The intellectual property remains with the students who developed the software. However, there is an agreement that the winners of the Challenge would share all the details of their algorithms and code with your company. If owning the intellectual property is important to your company, you can discuss an agreement directly with the students.




If it's free, how does Javeriana University benefit from the Challenge?


At Javeriana University, our fundamental purpose is to serve our students. We don’t charge the companies that participate in the Challenge but we make sure that two crucial conditions are met. First, your problem must meet the technical requirements of our Operations Research curriculum. For example, we generally do not consider pure statistics problems as they do not qualify as Operations Research problems.

Second, you must provide your current solution as a reference of comparison (we make sure it is anonymized for confidentiality’s sake). At the end of the process, the students who improved your solution should be able to quantify the improvement and refer to it in their resume. You should also be willing to give a certificate to the winners.




How long does it take to see the results ?


The competition in itself is one month. You should add to that the time to design the Challenge. From our experience, it takes between two weeks to two months to get a Challenge ready. The preparation time depends on how available and structured your data is and how much clarity you have about your problem.




How much does it cost ?


It is free! We do not charge companies to be part of the Challenge. We are dedicated to giving our students the best real-life optimization experience possible. And we believe that working on real business cases is one of the best ways to do it.




How can my company benefit from the Challenge?


The most direct results are the optimization algorithms developed in the Challenge. They are adapted to your problem and ready for you to implement.

However, from our experience, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the time, companies realize some unexpected and even more valuable benefits:

  • Challenge your own processes and quantify the potential of improvement

  • Get insights about which constraints and practices hinder your performance. We had a rather extreme case of a company which decided to reengineer completely its transportation organization after seeing the results of the Challenge and realizing the potential of improvement at hand

  • Fresh and deep perspectives on your own solution. In particular, we ask our best students to do a thorough analysis of the company’s solution. And they often come up with new approaches and new performance indicators that are operational right away

  • Identify talent and potential recruits. Evaluating candidates based on how well they did in solving your problem is probably much reliable than any set of job interviews

  • Quantitative what-if analysis that are at the level of rigor of the top tier consulting firms

See our companies’ testimonials for more information




My company has an optimization problem, how can I apply for the Challenge?


Just send us an email from the contact section below.

We will be glad to talk to you and analyze your case.




What is the Challenge?


The Challenge is a one-month long competition between our industrial engineering students. The students either work on their own or in a group of two. They must design and develop a software based on Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence algorithms to automatically optimize business decision problems. The challenge is part of the Operations Research curriculum at Javeriana University and it is always based on real data provided by a real company.




How much time should my company dedicate to the preparation of the Challenge?


Regarding time commitment from the company’s side, it is pretty light. All the modeling and design of the Challenge is led by our professors who are very experienced in both academia and industry. A few meetings are enough to understand the problem and we also need you to provide us with the data related to your solution. We then take it from there and do all the work to get the Challenge ready. Of course, we make sure that you validate all the material before starting the Challenge





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