BU Questrom’s “Team Sunny” took home a $15,000 grand prize after placing first in the tenth annual Aspen Institute Business & Society International MBA Case Competition.
This year’s case study was about the Connecticut Green Bank a quasi-governmental organization formed in 2011 to lower the cost of clean energy in order to make it more accessible and affordable to consumers in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, all while creating jobs and supporting local economic development. Questrom MBA students Sara duPont Toulson, Jennifer Kennedy, Tanner McEntee, and Cristina Sciuto impressed a panel of esteemed judges with their vision for making a green economy a tangible part of everyday life in Connecticut. The team didn’t just detail the financial and environmental implications of a switch to electric school buses, they invented a mascot, Sunny the Solar Panel, to give this technical initiative an instantly recognizable brand identity.
“Connecticut Green Bank’s mission is inspiring, and it’s been an honor to work with them. Accelerating access to clean energy sources is critical, but challenging. In 8 short years, the Connecticut Green Bank has not only bridged the access gap, but they’ve taught others how to do the same; they’ve started a movement. We have so much respect for the Bank’s work. Inclusive Prosperity Capital helps to carry that torch forward, with a particular emphasis on prosperity for all. While we hope pieces of our recommendation might be helpful to them, we are confident they will be able to scale across state lines to spread the momentum. Working hard on this case study has given us a whole new perspective. We feel more confident than ever that our business skills can have a social impact,” says the team.
Questrom senior lecturer in strategy & innovation Greg Stoller, who mentors over 20 teams a year for various case competitions, recognizes Team Sunny’s impressive feat and says the extra effort they put in went a long way. “The Aspen Institute’s competition is so incredibly prestigious that it was a genuine honor to have made it to the finals, let alone come in first place,” he shares. “I’m incredibly proud of the effort this team invested throughout the entire process—I can truly count on one hand the number of teams that efficiently used their travel time to keep practicing and refining their recommendations.”
What’s more, the team says that winning the case competition is just the beginning. “As a result of the case, we not only got to know each other, but actually enjoy working together so much that we’re going to continue,” the teammates say. Regarding the team’s prospects, Stoller adds, “knowing that this team might have additional opportunities to collaborate with other private firms and public sector agencies moving forward just adds to the unique opportunities that case competitions provide to our students.”
2019 Aspen Institute Business & Society International Case Competition Results
1st Place: Boston University, Questrom School of Business
2nd Place: University of Massachusetts Amherst, Isenberg School of Management
3rd Place: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business
4th Place: Duquesne University, Palumbo-Donahue School of Business
5th Place: University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business
About the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program
Established in 1998 and building on over 60 years of Aspen Institute programming, The Aspen Institute Business & Society Program helps established and emerging business leaders put values at the heart of practice. Through dialogue, research, and outreach, Aspen BSP creates opportunities for executives and educators to explore new routes to business sustainability and values-based leadership. For more information about the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program, visit aspenbsp.org.