Section Image: All finalists in the NAPE competition with checks

TCU Energy MBA Students Win First Place in Energy Innovation Case Competition

MBA students Jake Davis, Joe Geiger, Skylar Sandoval and Jessica Zarate showcased their energy expertise at the 2022 NAPE/TCU Energy Innovation Case Competition, winning first place and $20,000.

February 23, 2022

By Nicholas Ferrandino

This February at NAPE, one of the largest energy exhibitions in the world, the TCU Energy MBA team from the Neeley School of Business won first place in the 2022 NAPE/TCU Innovation Case Competition. The team included four of TCU Neeley’s top MBA students: Jake Davis, Joe Geiger, Skylar Sandoval and Jessica Zarate.

Sponsored by the AAPL Education Foundation and Total Energies, the case competition tasks MBA teams from universities across the nation with producing and presenting solutions before a panel of judges on how to reduce global energy poverty through the leveraging of energy-based assets.

From the 18 MBA teams who competed in the virtual preliminary rounds, the TCU team made it to the finals along with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin. The four finalists converged at the NAPE summit in Houston, Texas, where they competed for a total of $40,000 in cash prizes.

Each team had five hours to analyze data, develop solutions and hone their pitch, answering the question: How can U.S. E&Ps leverage their energy transition strategy to reduce global energy poverty? Teams then presented to a panel of four judges comprised of energy industry leaders.

“The competitors were well versed with the energy transition and the pressures it has put on capital markets,” said Ann Bluntzer, acting director of the Ralph Lowe Energy Institute at the TCU Neeley School of Business. “Their presentations clearly showed they are our next generation of energy leaders.”

After presenting their energy solutions before a panel of judges, the TCU Energy MBA team won first place and a cash prize of $20,000.

TCU NAPE Competition team with check

Second place of $10,000 was awarded to Rice University; third place of $6,000 was awarded to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and fourth place of $4,000 was awarded to the University of Texas at Austin.

“Tackling the problem of energy poverty was no small feat,” MBA team member Sandoval said. “The case challenged us to use all of our experience and knowledge to come up with a competitive solution.”

All the finalists afterwards gave an encore performance at the NAPE Renewable Energy Pavilion to showcase their skills before an audience of prospective employers from some of the energy industry’s most influential institutes.

“It was great to see more crowd and media interest for the competition this year. When you look through the résumés of finalists, they’re accomplished young professionals with extensive knowledge to help us solve pressing energy challenges,” said Le’Ann Callihan, vice president of AAPL and NAPE.