What will we be doing at the 2017 Haas Tech Challenge?

The full agenda will be released in last October, but here's the summary:

  • Thursday 11/9: Possible trek to Ford Smart Mobility
  • Friday 11/10: Spend the morning working at the Ford Research & Innovation Center in Palo Alto, CA then the rest of the day completing your presentation on the UC Berkeley Campus
  • Saturday 11/11: Presentation in front of judges, Top 3 presentation in front of Haas Community, Dinner reception, Optional social event in San Francisco

What is the Dress Code?

For all events, the dress code is "Tech Casual." This means jeans and t-shirts for both men and women. You will be given two T-shirts during the event, one for each day. Disregard the dress codes in this website's pictures, since each year the sponsor company wants something different!

What's the temperature going to be like?

For the competition dates, the weather is going to be between a high of 66-70ºF (19-21ºC) and a low of 50ºF (10ºC). The forecast says partially cloudy. Bring jackets and layers! It tends to be colder indoors, in the morning, and at night.

How many teams are competing in this year's event?

There are a total of eight teams competing from MBA programs all over the country!

Can you tell us which schools are participating this year? 

No! It'll be a surprise when you come on campus & meet the other contestants. Don't worry, they all seem chill & have a lot in common with you! 

When can we see the case for the first time?

We will distribute the case to all teams prior to the event. We will follow up with the selected teams soon.

How does the final presentation work?

You will have 15 minutes to present and 10 minutes for Q&A from the judges. The team that submits the presentation the latest will go first in front of judges!

Who will be the judges?

The judges will be a mix of Ford Smart Mobility executives, Haas professors and a representative from the Fisher CIO Center. The exact list will be announced in late October.

Are meals included?

Yes, meals include Thursday dinner; Friday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

For presentations, what is the AV setup like?  Will there be the option to reference a video with sound, for example?

Presentations will take place in a high-tech classroom at Haas.  Sound will be available as part of the presentation should you need it. (But do tell us beforehand so we can test it out!)

Will there be a set presentation deck that all teams work from or will we be building our own?  If we’re building our own, what ratio (4:3, 16:9) is best suited for the projectors?

A (very) basic competition template will be provided to teams with a standard ratio of 4:3.

How do you ensure fairness in the judging process? 

We will use an anonymous team names. Instead of having your school name, you will be identified as "Team 1" , "Team 2", "Team 3", etc. You cannot tell the judges which school you come from. This include verbal identification or non-verbal identification such as school gear / stickers / tshirts / hair accessories / etc.

The judges will not be able to see the participants' resume until after the event. And don't worry! The Berkeley Haas professors don't know the Berkeley students competing. 

Can friends/alumni in the area attend the presentations?

The presentations will be open to any MBA students who sign an NDA. 

We've landed in the SFO / OAK airport! How do we get to the hotel?

You are expected to get yourself to Berkeley. BART is the regional transit system that can get you from either SFO or OAK airports to Downtown Berkeley. From there, you would need to take a Taxi, Uber, or Lyft to the DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina. You can also simply request an Uber or Lyft directly from the airport to the hotel.

The Hotel address is below:

DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina
200 Marina Blvd, Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 548-7920

Is there any transportation provided from the hotels to the competition?

We will have more detailed transportation information available in late October.


What else do I need to know?

You will need to sign an NDA before we give you the case. This is due to the sensitive nature of the case. By signing the NDA, you are not allowed to keep a digital copy of the case (either pdf or a picture from your cell phone) or talk in depth about the topic of the case.

Of course, you can put in your resume that you participated in the tech challenge with Ford Smart Mobility, but you are not permitted to talk about the specifics of the case. General terms, such as the event tagline is fine.

Unfortunately, the final presentations belong to Ford Smart Mobility and cannot be circulated outside of the competition.

What sights should I check out around Berkeley?

Aside from using Yelp to find great restaurants or bars in the local area, here’s a helpful website of some local favorites.