Haas Students Team with Facebook for Tech Challenge

Students from eight top MBA programs will be using data to solve a business problem in a socially responsible way for Facebook at the 5th annual Haas Tech Challenge Case Competition.

This year’s Berkeley Haas Tech Challenge, sponsored by Facebook and organized by the Haas Technology Club, will be held on November 6-7 at Berkeley-Haas.

Positioned as a “hackathon for MBAs,” the competition allows students to tackle real-world business challenges, gain hands-on experience in the technology industry, and network with leading technology companies.

Tim Campos, (pictured), Facebook’s CIO and BCEMBA 11, will be among this year’s judges, along with directors of the Fisher CIO Leadership Program and Berkeley-Haas faculty members.

“This competition is a great opportunity for students to gain a real-world understanding of some of the business challenges companies like Facebook encounter,” Campos says. “We’re excited to partner with Berkeley-Haas on this competition, and look forward to hearing all of the proposed business solutions from the students.”

Facebook, in close collaboration with case writer Laura Burkhauser, MBA 16, and Adj. Prof. Andrew Isaacs, director of New Management of Technology Programs at Haas, provided the case for this year’s competition.

“We’re so excited to bring Facebook to campus this year and shake things up with a business challenge that comes directly from the company,” said Ariana Alisjahbana, who with Claire Bianchi, both MBA 16, is co-chairing the event for the Haas Tech Club. “We were very impressed by the caliber of contestants this year,” Bianchi added.

Students will spend 14 hours working non-stop to solve the case and draft their solution.  All eight teams will be given a chance to tour Facebook’s headquarters the day before the competition.

The 1st-place team will receive $5,000; the runner-up wins $3,000; and the 3rd-place team wins $1,000. Dean Lyons will announce the winners with Campos on Nov. 7.

Previous competition sponsors include Intel, Dell Computer, Booz Allen Hamilton, Gap, IBM, GE, and VMWare.