As GridCure continues to grow, it’s important to stay connected across the company. It’s not always easy to chat around the water-cooler with colleagues in Brazil or Canada about non-work topics. It’s the little things that make picking up the phone easier, to bond so that we all feel like we’re in it together, both as employees and real, actual people. Nothing gets people talking like a good, friendly competition. But, typical American activities like fantasy football won’t be engaging to people around the world who aren’t familiar with the sport. We needed something broader, more universal, sillier.

With that, GridCure launched our First Annual Fat Bear Week tournament bracket challenge.

Katmai National Park, in northern Alaska, USA, hosts a tournament to see which bear has gained the most weight before they hibernate for the winter. Bears are documented by wildlife rangers working at the park. A bear will gain several hundred kilos from the beginning of summer to the beginning of winter.

The only knowledge contestants need is the ability to look at pictures of fat bears and guess who the fattest is.

With bracket names like “Rich’s Chunk of Victory” and “B-ear-ing 747 is the wide-body river winner”, competition was fierce. But in the end, there could be only one winner. For the bears, Holly 435 was the Fat Bear Week Champion.

For GridCure, that was Chris, one of GridCure’s data scientists.

There were whispers of a rigged tournament at GridCure, as Chris also happened to set up the tournament. There was bearly any evidence of foul play, and the consensus was that 435 Holly really was the fattest, just as Chris predicted.

With that, the GridCure Fat Bear week tournament hibernates until next year!