Ross Hosts Renewable Energy Competition

A dozen MBA teams from the nation’s top business schools gathered in late January at the Stephen M Ross School of Business for the first ever Renewable Energy Case Competition, which featured case content provided by Spain’s Acciona Energy, a leading developer of renewable energy products.

In an announcement released by the school Thursday, competition co-founder Brian Katzman, MBA/MS ’10, says he was inspired to launch the Ross event after attending the 2008 National Energy Finance Challenge at the McCombs School of Business.

Katzman and co-founder David Cieminis, MBA/MS ’10, wanted to move quickly to stake the Ross School’s claim in renewable energy, and they foresee long-term benefits for students and recruiters.

“So many great things have already been done at Ross,” Cieminis says, “But this is one opportunity we had to create a legacy for people interested in renewable energy and the greater community.”

The competition attracted teams from Harvard Business School, Cornell University’s Johnson School, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Columbia Business School, University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business, and U-T’s McCombs School.

Peter Duprey, CEO of Acciona Energy North America and country manager of Acciona United States, worked with other staff at the company to help Cieminis and Katzman write the case, which dealt with issues that a utility executive or renewable power CEO would have to wrestle with.

The team from UCLA Anderson eventually took first place, while McCombs and Columbia placed second and third, respectively. Although Ross didn’t take a prize, the competition founders say the school stands to gain the most from the event.

“We wanted Ross to be known for this,” says Cieminis. “Ross already has a strong Net Impact chapter and the Erb Institute, but we also wanted recruiters to know that this is one of the top places to come recruit for MBAs interested in renewable energy.”

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