Three Times a Champion for Florida at the Katz Invitational Case Competition

2017 Katz Invitational Case Competition Winners
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Defending champions University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business recently won the 2017 Katz Invitational Case Competition and received the top prize of $10,000. Florida has won the competition three times over the past four years.

Penn State University Smeal College of Business took second place, receiving $5,000, and University at Buffalo (SUNY) finished third, receiving $3,000. 

Katz students Molly Humphreys, Kim Lachell, Kyle Watson, Yoshi Takeyama, and Anikta Mathur organized the competition, which drew teams from 13 universities: Augsburg University, Baylor University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Louisiana State University, Penn State University, Purdue University, Texas A&M, University of Alberta, University at Buffalo (SUNY), University of Maryland, West Virginia University, and the Katz School.

“We had a really strong student organizing team and amazing support from our sponsor Direct Energy,” says Kim Lachell, a joint-degree MBA and MS-Engineering student. “I learned so much through the planning process and at the invitational itself. This is one of those experiences that will stay with me for life.”

The 2017 Katz Invitational case examined B2B sales and product development in the energy industry. The case authors were Katz MBA students Kyle Watson and Yoshi Takeyama. Direct Energy, the headline sponsor for the invitational, provided the background to develop the case. The teams remain anonymous during the competition to remove bias from the judges. All teams compete during the preliminary rounds, and the top group from each round advances to the finals. The winner is announced at a reception following the competition.

Several participants were also recognized for their presentation skills and responses:

Murthy Award for Excellence in Presentation

  • Celine Keefe, University at Buffalo (SUNY)
  • Lilly Leas, University of Florida
  • Kate O’Hara, University of Florida

Berg Center Excellence in Presentation Award

  • Sarah Gardner, Louisiana State University
  • Colin Goddard, University of Maryland
  • Brad Griffin, Texas A&M
  • Tobias Mentzer, Augsburg University

Berg Center Excellence in Response Award

  • Nate Graham, Baylor University
  • Fiyaz Keshwani, University of Alberta
  • Kody Kleine, Purdue University
  • Aiden Renaghan, Cornell University

In addition to Direct Energy’s support for the competition, EverPower sponsored the welcome dinner and the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership sponsored the first round awards.

Save the date for the 2018 Katz Invitational Case Competition on February 2 and 3, 2018! Details will be released on the Katz website in early fall.