News Release

UC Davis Graduate School of Management Team Wins Energy Track at Hult Global Case Challenge Regional in San Francisco
MBA Team Advances to Finals in $1 Million Global Poverty Challenge

(Davis, CA) — A team of five UC Davis Graduate School of Management MBA students won the energy track of the 3rd Annual Hult Global Case Challenge’s regional finals in San Francisco on Saturday with their solution to help SolarAid get off-grid solar power and light to 1 million rural African households by the end 2013.

The UC Davis MBA team of (pictured left to right) Keith Weissglass, Evan Howell, Emma VanGenderen, Adam Baillie and David Fisher now advances to an all-expense paid global final in New York City on April 26. There they will be given the opportunity to present their solution to a world-class panel of executive judges. The very best ideas will win $1 million in seed capital funding to help solutions to global poverty get underway.

The 2012 Hult Global Case Challenge (GCC) is focused on solutions to global poverty in three areas: housing, education and energy. The UC Davis MBA team is competing in the energy track. Regional competitions were held February 24-25 simultaneously on Hult International Business School’s five campuses in San Francisco, Boston, London, Dubai and Shanghai, and a sixth online. Each team competing in the regional competitions was chosen from more than 4,000 applications received.

In San Francisco, the UC Davis team came out on top over 15 registered teams, including UC Berkeley, UCLA, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and Northwestern University.

“Whether we win or lose at the global final, we hope our business model will help SolarAid deliver clean, affordable light to millions of families throughout the developing world,” said Weissglass of the Class of 2012. “Our presentation reflects the Graduate School of Management’s focus on social impact and entrepreneurship. We’re honored to be representing UC Davis in the final round.”

Teammate Adam Baillie said they are thrilled at the incredible support their solution for SolarAid received during the regional finals. “I’m very much looking forward to developing our idea further in the coming months, and the opportunity to impact the lives of millions through improved access to clean energy,” Baillie said.

Through what has become the world’s largest crowd-sourcing initiative dedicated to solving global social challenges, the Hult GCC seeks ideas and solutions from the world’s best and brightest future business leaders that will cause a step-change in the vicious global poverty cycle

Additional 2012 Hult GCC partners are the Clinton Global Initiative, Habitat for Humanity and One Laptop per Child. The winners will also be recognized by President Bill Clinton, among others.

Ahmad Ashkar, Founder and COO of the Hult GCC, attributes the success of the competition to the global youth revolution and said, “We continue to be moved by the large number of students from around the globe who are capitalizing on the opportunity to develop business models that target the bottom of the pyramid. We wish every team the best of luck and thank the competitors from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management for joining us in this youth movement.” 

To learn more about the Hult Global Case Challenge, visit:

About the UC Davis Graduate School of Management

Dedicated to preparing innovative leaders for global impact, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management is distinguished by world-renowned faculty members, entrepreneurial students, a powerful alumni network and locations in Northern California’s economic and innovation hubs. The school is consistently ranked among the premier business schools in the United States and internationally. UC Davis is the fastest-rising business school in the U.S., jumping to the top 6% of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International-accredited schools in U.S.News & World Report’s latest rankings. The school has 110 full-time MBA students at the UC Davis campus and more than 450 Working Professional MBA students in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. A Masters in Professional Accountancy program launches this fall.

About Hult International Business School and the Global Case Challenge

Hult is the world’s most international business school with campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai. The School offers a range of business-focused programs including MBA, Executive MBA, Master and Undergraduate degrees. Hult’s one-year MBA program is ranked in the top 30 in the world by The Economist and among the top 100 by the Financial Times. 

The Hult Global Case Challenge is the world’s largest and most internationally acclaimed case competition, featuring thousands of students competing from over 100 countries, making available $1 million in seed capital annually to pilot the very best ideas. Hult GCC’s mission is to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social challenges and encourage breakthrough ideas from college and university students around the world.

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