Shark Tank-Style Format Pits Top Business Schools Against Each Other in Competition Addressing State’s Energy Future
DENVER, April 21, 2014 – Last week, top-performing undergraduate students from business colleges at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and the University of Denver spent a full day sequestered in downtown Denver making recommendations on an energy-based problem statement, which they then presented during the 2014 Case for Colorado competition. After hearing three compelling recommendations from the business students, Colorado State University’s College of Business was named the winning team and presented a financial contribution of $25,000 from CRED for its general scholarship fund.
Hosted by consulting firm RAS & Associates and regional trade association Western Energy Alliance, in conjunction with the competition’s presenting sponsor Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED), this event connected the academic, private and public sectors to examine new, creative ideas on Colorado’s energy future. The three teams of students presented their cases in a Shark Tank-style format. The panel included former Colorado Senator Hank Brown, Scott Prestidge, energy industry manager at Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and Joyce Witte, senior community involvement advisor at Encana.
“This event was about investing in the lives of our community and encouraging the brightest minds in Colorado to tackle real issues we face in Colorado today,” said Debbie Brown, the outreach director for CRED. “Case for Colorado provided these future leaders with a public forum to address a critical public policy issue, and they rose to the challenge with innovative ideas.”
Each team consisted of five students picked to represent their schools by college deans and professors based on their academic performance. The students worked a full day developing solutions to the business problem set forth by CRED. The problem statement focused on challenges facing Colorado’s growing population through 2040 and the ability to support energy demand in an economic, sustainable and responsible way.
“The student teams did a great job answering tough questions from a U.S. Senator on the topic of energy development and public policy,” said Rob Swanson, the Case for Colorado Master of Ceremonies and RAS & Associates CEO. “Two themes prevailed: 1) that Colorado’s universities are building leaders that understand the quantitative and social aspects of energy development and 2) that all three teams supported fracking. Each team called for Colorado’s stakeholders to unite and serve as a leader and pioneer on energy policy and development”.
“The decisions made in 2014 about energy development and public policies will impact our industry, and ultimately consumers, for many years,” said Tim Wigley, president at Western Energy Alliance. “This competitive format allows students to step outside of academia and to grapple with solving real-world challenges our industry faces daily.”
Photo credits: Thayer Hirsh