Case Competition: Amazon HQ2 to Philly

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(Above: 2 of our 3 team members with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney)

In September 2017, Amazon put out a Request for Proposal to determine the location of their second corporate headquarters. Cities scrambled to put together the best proposal, including Philadelphia.

To aid this effort, The Wharton School and the City of Philadelphia hosted a case competition in October to engage the student community. It was a mutually beneficial dynamic: the city got innovative ideas to include in the proposal, and the students got a chance to learn more about the city while practicing research and presentation skills.

I formed and led a team to compete in the competition. We chose to present on current and proposed legal incentives for Amazon to build their second headquarters in Philly, which would add 50,000 jobs. We became one of the 4 finalist teams and presented to Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council in October 2017. 

We were the youngest finalist team, comprised of 1 freshman and 2 sophomores. All other finalists were juniors and older (including MBAs). The city later confirmed they were able to incorporate our ideas into the final proposal to Amazon.

Amazon announced in January 2018 that out of 238 cities who submitted a proposal, Philadelphia made the top 20. Let's see what happens next!

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View our final presentation below:


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Carmen Lau