Innovation & Entrepreneurship Case Competition

By Emma Garcia

On February 23rd, the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership and Berkeley’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) hosted the Spring 2024 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Case Competition. The competition centered around OIE’s mission, increasing the awareness of their resources, as well as prioritizing inclusivity and diversity within the student’s interacting with innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E). Students were asked to imagine themselves as strategic advisors to the Chief Innovation & Entrepreneurship Officer and create a presentation with suggestions on how to tackle the aforementioned challenges.

A member of Team 7 during their presentation.

In 2023, UC Berkeley was ranked #1 in the world for venture-funded startups founded by undergraduate alumni according to Pitchbook’s data. The presence of entrepreneurial activity and resources has grown rapidly and as a result, the OIE was created with the goal of helping students identify a single place to start their entrepreneurial journey. While the creation of OIE has initiated improvements, the office recognizes that a few issues have persisted in relation to student-program interaction.

Students presenting to the judges.

Tasked with devising practical, innovative strategies to boost undergraduate engagement with UC Berkeley’s I&E resources, student teams delivered insightful presentations. The panel of judges, comprising Phillip Denny (Senior Program Director, Big Ideas Contest & Blum Center), Alice Han (Student Assistant, OIE), Laura Hassner (Executive Director, OIE and Berkeley Changemaker), Megan Morrice (Program Director, Sustainable & Impact Finance at Haas), and Rich Lyons (Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief I&E Officer), engaged teams with probing questions.

Alice Han and Laura Hassner addressing students post presentation.

The ideas presented by the students were incredibly impressive and provided the judges with a new, progressive perspective on how to increase student involvement. The judges were asked to choose 3 winning teams based on the feasibility, creativity, and scalability of the student’s suggestions.

After a morning and afternoon full of wonderful presentations, first place was awarded to Team 13. The students were joined on stage by Teams 7 and 12 in second and third place, respectively. The competition was an extreme success and the students were invited to celebrate the day alongside their peers and professionals.

Teams 7, 13, and 12 pictured on stage after being awarded their prizes.

The Office for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and EGAL are extremely proud of the exceptional students who participated in the spring case competition and dedicated judges who contributed to the event’s success. The event served as an opportunity for brilliant young minds to collaborate and share their ideas on how UC Berkeley can continue to encourage students of all backgrounds to explore their interests in business. EGAL and OIE’s unwavering efforts to increasing diversity and inclusivity are what makes UC Berkeley such a remarkable environment.



Center for Equity, Gender & Leadership (EGAL)

At the heart of UC Berkeley's Business School, the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership educates equity-fluent leaders to ignite and accelerate change.