Fifth Annual Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition

Case Competition 2018

The Smeal College of Business is in its tenth year of integrating sustainability into its teaching, research and outreach missions. The MBA sustainability case competition is one of its recent teaching initiatives.

The following teams were invited to Penn State for the Fourth Annual MBA Sustainability Case Competition to compete for first ($10,000), second ($5,000) and third place ($2,500) prizes.

  • Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business
  • Cornell University - The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
  • University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management
  • The Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business
  • University of Arizona - Eller College of Management

The case this year—focused on CNote, the new award-winning social enterprise that creates financial products embedded with impact—invites students to explore the quickly growing impact investing and social finance space through the experience of one of its exciting new entrants. CNote, founded in 2016 by two female entrepreneurs with deep backgrounds in finance, is an award-winning social enterprise providing sound returns while investing in underserved communities across America. Within the larger impact investing space, CNote has chosen to focus on non-stock financial vehicles with strong returns and social impact.  Their first product is positioned as an alternative to traditional savings options. 

Smeal College of Business in partnership with CNote, IBM, SKF, PepsiCo, Opportunity Finance Network and Verizon are sponsors of the Fifth Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition.

Results Announcement of the 2018 MBA Sustainability Case Competition:

The Pennsylvania State University won the $10,000 prize for first place. Cornell University walked away with $5,000 for finishing second. University of Minnesota was awarded $2,500 for third place. The teams from University of Arizona and Carnegie Mellon University were the finalist.

The Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business earns first place at the 2018 Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition. Back row: Anoop Sharma, Ryan Roach, Sophia Schuster. Front row: Sarah "Harvey" Weidman and Amanda Flecha.

First-place team

A student team from The Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business earns first place at the 2018 Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition on Nov. 30, 2017. Back row: Anoop Sharma, Ryan Roach, Sophia Schuster. Front row: Sarah "Harvey" Weidman and Amanda Flecha. Read the winning presentation here.

Cornell University - The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, earns second place at the 2018 Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition. From left: Keith Devas, Sabina Bellizzi, Allison Latham and Marco DeLeon.

Second-place team

A student team from Cornell University - The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, earns second place at the 2018 Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition. Over thirty universities and 140 students competed for a chance to present their case at Penn State. From left: Keith Devas, Sabina Bellizzi, Allison Latham and Marco DeLeon. Click here to review their presentation. 

University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management earns third place at the 2018 Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition. Back row: Nikolas Larson, Robert MacNamara and Chris Thompson. Front row: Samantha Bailey and Daniella DeFrance

Third-place team

A student team from the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management earns third place at the 2018 Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition. The event was held in the Business Building at University Park, Pa. Back row: Nikolas Larson, Robert MacNamara and Chris Thompson. Front row: Samantha Bailey and Daniella DeFrance. To review their presentation click on this link.

Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business, placed as a finalist at the 2018 Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition. Front row:Emily Very, Devin Giles, Back row: Luke Plants, Anthony Miller, Dario Reyes.

Finalist

The student team from Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business, placed as a finalist at the 2018 Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition. Each team was allotted 30 minutes to present followed by 15 minutes of questions and answers from a panel of four judges. From left: Josh Eisen, Lucy Luo, Aaron Carriedo and Natalie Gerber.

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management, placed as a finalist. From left: Tulsi Mish, Amanda Baffert, Kyle Packer, Varun Lakshmanan and Philip LaMaster.

Finalist

The student team from University of Arizona - Eller College of Management, placed as a finalist. From left: Tulsi Mish, Amanda Baffert, Kyle Packer, Varun Lakshmanan and Philip LaMaster.

Smeal College of Business 2018 MBA Sustainability Case Competition Judges. From Left: Fran Lutz Chief Financial Officer, Opportunity Finance Network (Retired), Yuliya Tarasava, COO & Co Founder, CNote, Beth Lipson, Treasurer, Opportunity Finance Network, Carl Pfleger Vice President, Global Operations, PepsiCo International (Retired), Erik Foley Smeal Sustainability Director.

Smeal College of Business 2018 MBA Sustainability Case Competition Judges

Smeal College of Business 2018 MBA Sustainability Case Competition Judges. From Left: Fran Lutz Chief Financial Officer, Opportunity Finance Network (Retired), Yuliya Tarasava, COO & Co Founder, CNote, Beth Lipson, Treasurer, Opportunity Finance Network, Carl Pfleger Vice President, Global Operations, PepsiCo International (Retired), Erik Foley Smeal Sustainability Director.

For further information email: Kathleen Rickley at kur192@psu.edu.