Internal Race and Case competition determines Daniels team for 17th annual national event


The Case:

Race and Case presentationOn Friday, Jan. 10, 36 graduate business students presented their solutions to a business challenge to 12 Daniels alumni judges from the Denver business community. The nine four-person teams had one week to read the case; dive into market trends, segments, positioning, business models, foreign economic analyses, and customer personas and behaviors; crunch numbers; brainstorm and vet solutions; create a PowerPoint and rehearse their presentations.

The case involved a luxury, yet sustainable, Danish fashion brand grappling with how and where to grow its products while staying true to the company’s environmental values in an industry that is notoriously destructive to the environment.

Each team presented their solutions twice—once in front of six judges and an audience of peers, faculty and staff inside Margery Reed’s Reiman Theater, and once to a second set of six judges in a more intimate boardroom setting.

Judges scored each team based on their knowledge of the facts of the case, prioritization of issues, consideration of alternative courses of action, decision-making rationale, commitment to ethics, presentation effectiveness and more. The 10-minute presentations were worth 90% of the teams’ scores.


The Race:

On Saturday, Jan. 11, participants and judges ventured 70 miles into the Rocky Mountains to Winter Park, Colorado, for the downhill ski race portion of the event. Each team member skied three runs, with their fastest time included in the team’s overall score. The alpine ski race took place from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at Winter Park Resort’s Competition Center.

Race results comprised the remaining 10% of teams’ scores. The winning team and two runners up were announced at the après ski awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Jan. 11.


The Results:

Race & Case gold medal team

Team G members Colin McDonald, Nick Ernst and Ryan Coulthard

First place, a gold medal and $500 went to Team G: Ryan Coulthard, Nick Ernst, Colin McDonald and Dale Katzenberg, who represented Daniels’ Master of Science in Business Information and Analytics, Master of Accountancy and Master of Science in Real Estate and the Built Environment programs. Judges applauded the team’s effective use of visual charts and images, thoughtful strategy to leverage social media influencers, financial analysis, and risk and reward assessment.

“The winning team put forth a solution that was thoughtful, innovative and data driven, which is exactly what I’d expect in the real world,” said Trishna Patel (BSBA 2013), product manager for HomeAdvisor.

Second place, a silver medal and $300 went to Team B, made up of second-year Denver MBA students Brent Troxell, Robert Kaniecki, Allie Lazerwitz and Blake Neal.

Team C—first-year DMBA students Jacob Thomson, Hasib Nasirullah, Joules Snopek and Brendan Yonke—brought home a bronze medal and $200.

“I was honored to have judged exceptional talent and unique perspectives on how to improve a business,” said Rachael Bowman (BSBA 2008), senior director, B2B marketing at HomeAdvisor. “The presentations were diverse and exemplified how team ideation is key to driving new revenue opportunities.”


The National Competition:

Coulthard, Ernst, McDonald and Katzenberg will represent the University of Denver at the 17th annual Race and Case national competition, hosted by the Daniels College of Business Feb. 27­–29.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to be presented with a consultant-like situation and apply what I’ve learned in the classroom to a real-world business scenario,” said Coulthard. “And, of course, the skiing was fantastic—I’ll never turn down a day on the slopes! As for the national competition, we’re both excited and privileged with the opportunity to represent the Daniels College of Business and compete against top business schools across the globe.”

Eight business schools will travel to Denver to compete in the national competition, including American University, University of Florida, Auburn University, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, University of Alabama, University of Nebraska and Georgia Institute of Technology.

HomeAdvisor, Alterra Mountain Company and Winter Park Resort are presenting sponsors of the 2020 Race and Case, which will kick off Thursday, Feb. 27 with a welcome event at HomeAdvisor’s headquarters in downtown Denver. Teams will present solutions to an ethical business case from HomeAdvisor at the University of Denver Feb. 28 and will compete in a ski race in Winter Park Feb. 29.

HomeAdvisor provides homeowners the tools and resources they need to complete their home improvement, maintenance and repair projects. With HomeAdvisor, homeowners can view average project costs, find local prescreened home professionals and instantly book appointments online. In 2017, HomeAdvisor merged with Angie’s List to help form ANGI Homeservices Inc.

“HomeAdvisor is excited to encourage innovative problem solving from students by being a sponsor for the national competition,” Patel said. “We’re looking forward to hearing everyone’s presentations.”

The case will be revealed to teams Feb. 1. For more information, visit the Race and Case website.