Confer and Compete

 

Students make it happen at Haas: The organizing team for the Haas Technology Challenge

More than 1,000 acaemics, practitioners, and students gather at Berkeley-Haas each year to network and exchanges ideas at conferences and competitions–organized by Berkeley MBA students. This fall has already seen the inaugural Haas Technology Challenge and the BERC (Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative) Symposium.

A record crowd turned out for the BERC Symposium Oct. 20-21 to learn about “The Role of the University in Addressing Today’s Energy Challenges.”  BERC Co-President Asher Burns-Burg, MBA 12, observes that “Universities are one of the key players, if not the key player, in winning the clean energy race,” and points out that the number of energy clubs at US colleges has quadrupled in the past five years. Jigar Shah, founder of SunEdison and CEO of Carbon War Room, a nonprofit that seeks market-driven approaches to combat climate change, keynoted the event.

Seven teams from top US business schools turned their talents to cloud computing in the inaugural Haas Technology Challenge, held Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Judges included executives from sponsoring firm VMware, who also supplied the case challenge. Shekar Ayyar, VM’s VP of strategy and corporate development, delivered the keynote address and Wharton took home the $5,000 first prize.

“The resounding feedback from every team was that they learned more about the cloud business landscape in one weekend than they had learned about the subject in all of their prior experience,” says evening and weekend MBA student and Haas Technology Club VP Amit Adalti, MBA 13.  “One participant, who interned with VMware last summer, commented that the results and recommendations delivered by the teams in 24 hours were equal to what an intern would do over the course of his/her entire summer internship.”

Can’t wplayait until the next Berkeley-Haas conference? It’s Saturday–go >play. Best-selling writer, innovation guru, and venture capitalist Geoffrey Moore will give the keynote address at the >play Digital Media Conference. Panel discussions will explore the growing power of digital media users—who this year downloaded their 10 billionth app, ignited the Arab Spring, and snapped up millions of Groupons for everything from teeth whitening to donuts.

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