Local Drexel team wins Capsim Foundation Challenge

Roseville resident helps his team finish in first place in international competition
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For his day job, Roseville resident Justin Johnson works as a mental health technician for the United States Air Force. But one night a week, he does something a little different. Johnson attends Drexel University in Sacramento, where he’s enrolled in the school’s Master’s of Business Administration program. Johnson and the four other members of his team recently won first place in the 2010 Spring Capsim Foundation Challenge. They won with a record-setting score in the finals. Perhaps what’s more remarkable is the team members barely even knew each other’s names at the time of the competition, having only formed about a week prior to the event as first-year students in the university’s Center for Graduate Studies. “When we started the competition we were just beginning to get to know each other, but right away we had some good group dynamics,” Johnson said in a press release. “We took an informal approach and everyone had an equal say in our decisions. Winning such a prestigious business competition was a nice surprise.” The Capsim Challenge — which has taken place twice annually for the last 11 years — requires students to compete against both a computer and other teams by winning the most market share with a computer-simulated business. The business was a sensor manufacturer that created a product for use in satellites, digital cameras and other similar applications. The scenario involved a monopoly broken into six companies. Drexel’s team ran one of the companies, which competed against the other five companies. During the first round, teams compete against a computer. In the finals, the surviving teams compete against each other. The competition drew 226 college and university teams from throughout the United States and the world. Teams came from the University of California at Berkeley, University of San Francisco, St. Mary’s College and Brigham Young University and others. Students from Canada, the Czech Republic and Austria also took part. Johnson’s team included Samuel Bradshaw, Alexander Malana, Bill Reaugh, and Shaun Youngberg. His team scored 805 in the finals, beating out Brigham Young’s team, which had 730 points. Drexel opened its doors in Sacramento in January 2009 and more than 250 students have enrolled in its graduate programs since that time. ~ Sena Christian