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One-Two Finish for Haas at UCLA Energy Case Competition

Posted by Chioma Isiadinso

Students from University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business have taken home the first-place prize in UCLA’s Challenges in Energy Case Competition – and the second-place prize, for that matter.

The two teams, comprised of eight MBA students from Haas’s MBA Class of 2020, grabbed the top two spots in a competition with the theme “Pedal to the medal: Southern California’s transportation roadmap timed with the 2028 Olympics.” 

That refers to the fact that Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics. At the same time, the LA Cleantech Incubator has partnered with the city and local business to create the Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap. 

The plan aims to more quickly electrify transportation and to reach a further 25 percent reduction in emissions beyond California’s goals.

In the UCLA case competition, teams were tasked with identifying profit opportunities anywhere in the process of electrifying the transportation sector.

Haas’s Team Vinculara, which included Nick Matcheck, Bree Soares, Kate Tomlinson, Deb Tan and Joyce Yao, answered the question by focusing on a blockchain-based solution to tracking energy credits.

The team members argued their solution would make the process of tracking credits more efficient for electric vehicle fleet owners. Doing so would in turn increase incentives for electrification and open the market to smaller players.

Tomlinson suggested that “the market-opening part is the most interesting part of our proposal.” In any case, the competition’s judges apparently found plenty to be interested in, awarding the idea first place.

Second place went to Haas’s Team Metromile, consisting of Sid Mullick, Cici Saekow, Mark Sheiness and Kylie Sale.

They proposed that by-the-mile insurance provider Metromile could implement a cash advance for electric vehicle owners, which they argued would both incentivize people to adopt electric vehicles and make Metromile the go-to insurer for such vehicles.

Saekow said that “all the teams worked really hard” and that, being one of two winning Haas teams, she “felt especially proud to share the stage with my classmates.” 

Haas’s success at the UCLA Energy Case Competition highlights one of the advantages of being at a top business school: the chance to collaborate with other standout MBA students who bring their own perspective. Clearly, participants on both Haas teams benefitted from this opportunity.

If you’re drawn to the kind of environment that an MBA program like Haas represents, we can help you assess how your application compares at the school and what you can do to emphasize your unique strengths. Contact us for a free application assessment!

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