Penn State took second place and $5,000 in prize money at the UPitt Katz Invitational Case Competition, held in Pittsburgh from January 27-28. The team consisted of four ‘17 MBA students: Kirti Patel, Chris Blanchard, Sasha Alexandra Murr, and Greg Wommer. Fourteen schools from across the US and Europe participated, including Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, University of Maryland, and University of Augsburg (Germany).
Sponsored by Direct Energy, the case asked for recommendations on how a large energy company could begin targeting small business owners. It centered around business-to-business (B2B) marketing, with focus on sales channel, product offering, customer acquisition cost, and policy components of deregulated energy markets.
The competition consisted of two rounds on Saturday, January 28. The first round was an intra-room competition, with 3-4 teams competing against each other in four different rooms. Industry judges within each room then selected one winner to compete in a second and final round of presentations. The Penn State team beat out Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Augsburg in the initial round, advancing to the final round. The top 4 teams competed again with a different set of industry judges. The final results had Penn State winning 2nd and $5,000 in prize money; University of Florida taking 1st and a $10,000 prize; and University at Buffalo, taking 3rd and $3,000 in reward.
The Katz Case Competition was a great experience for students interested in marketing or the energy industry. It was extremely well organized and a great opportunity to network with industry employees, UPitt deans, and students other schools. The team would highly recommend future MBA teams to participate!