Haas Students Win Top Honors Nationwide
Berkeley MBA students racked up four victories in late 2006 at national case competitions. Subjects ran the gamut from brand management to energy efficiency.
Five students took first place at Elite Eight Brand Management Case Challenge, hosted by the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. It was the second consecutive year that the Haas School won the top prize.
The winning team consisted of Vanessa DellaPasqua, MBA 07; Emily Poague, MBA 08; Jesse Purewal, MBA 07; Joe Seavey, MBA 08; and Loretta Tong, MBA 06. The students defeated teams from the Kellogg School of Management, Wharton, Michigan's Ross School of Business, the Fuqua School of Business at Duke, and UC Los Angeles' Anderson School of Management. Associate Professor Florian Zettelmeyer was the team's faculty advisor.
At the University of Texas McCombs School of Business National Energy Finance Challenge, a team of MBA students from the class of 2007 bested 14 other business school teams to bring home the first prize. The team members were Nathan Cope, Irem Karacagil, Sheldon Kimber, Matthew Price, and Nicolas Spicer. Severin Borenstein, the E.T. Grether Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy, sponsored the team.
Four full-time MBA students from the class of 2007 -- Simona Chin, Todd Evans, Tom Fitzsimmons, and Melissa Olle -- defeated seven other teams, including Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, at the San Diego State University Sports Case Competition. Associate Professor Tom Davidoff advised the team.
And at the Darden Innovation Challenge, a team of MBA students from the Evening & Weekend MBA program won a People's Choice award. Bill Leung, Vandana Bharvani, and Wilson Chen, all MBA 08, were selected by their fellow competitors to receive the honor. The challenge was hosted at the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business.
Four MBA candidates also took first place at the JP Morgan Good Venture competition in New York. The team consisted of Shaolee Sen, Rob Kaplan, Julia Gilfillan, and Ellie Kelly, all MBA 07. Because the competition invited the students to create a case for investing in a nonprofit organization, their victory secured $25,000 in funding for Lenders for Community Development. Lenders for Community Development invests in individuals working to build financial, personal, and shared assets in low-income communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aurora Biofuels, a company co-founded by Berkeley MBA students that aims to make bio-diesel a mainstream energy source, won the second global Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge at the Haas School. The team consisted of CEO Matt Caspari and Vice President of Engineering Guido Radaelli, both MBA 06; Vice President of Research and Development Bert Vick, a UC Berkeley Ph.D. student in molecular and cell biology; and Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer David Hansmann, who joined Aurora after its founding. Aurora Biofuels won the grand prize for its alternative to petroleum-based fuels that can be distributed via existing infrastructure and used in unmodified diesel engines.
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