New Case Challenge: Sustainable Power for Macedonia

About eight teams from universities around the country will be chosen to compete in a new case competition March 5 that challenges students to help the tiny Eastern European country of Macedonia avert a looming energy crisis.

The US semifinals of the inaugural International Renewable Energy Case Challenge will be hosted on campus by the student-run Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC). The winning team, to be selected by experts from Silicon Valley and the clean-tech community, will travel to Macedonia in the summer to face finalists from three other continents.

The international competition is organized by Investors Without Borders – a student group headquartered at the University of Toronto, that fosters investment in technologies to reduce dependence on non-renewable fuels.

Organizers chose Macedonia because it has a fast-growing economy, skilled workforce, and excellent infrastructure, yet gets 70 percent of its energy from a local thermal plant that will run dry by 2015. The challenge for students is to create a proposal that could be immediately applicable in an emerging market.

Haas students are actively participating in the competition. To qualify, all team members must be registered university students and include one undergraduate. Between eight and 10 teams will be selected to make presentations at the March 5 semifinals after submitting executive summaries this week. For more information, visit

BERC was created by Berkeley MBA students in 2005 to improve collaboration on energy and natural resource issues on the Berkeley campus and build connections with the private sector. The contest co-chairs are Ivor Castelino and Mehul Gandhi, both MBA11.