Colorado State University (CSU) Wins Case for Colorado

April 23, 2014

Shark Tank-Style Format Pits Top Business Schools Against Each Other in Competition Addressing State’s Energy Future

DENVER, April 23, 2014 – Last week, top-performing undergraduate students from business colleges at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and the University of Denver spent a full day sequestered in downtown Denver making recommendations on an energy-based problem statement, which they then presented during the 2014 Case for Colorado competition. After hearing three compelling recommendations from the business students, Colorado State University’s College of Business was named the winning team and presented a financial contribution of $25,000 from CRED to its general scholarship fund.

Hosted by consulting firm RAS & Associates and regional trade association Western Energy Alliance, in conjunction with the competition’s presenting sponsor Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED), this event connected the academic, private and public sectors to examine new, creative ideas on Colorado’s energy future. The three teams of students presented their cases in a Shark Tank-style format. The panel included former Colorado Senator Hank Brown, Scott Prestidge, energy industry manager at Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and Joyce Witte, senior community involvement advisor at Encana.  

“This event was about investing in the lives of our community and encouraging the brightest minds in Colorado to tackle real issues we face in Colorado today,” said Debbie Brown, the outreach director for CRED.  “Case for Colorado provided these future leaders with a public forum to address a critical public policy issue, and they rose to the challenge with innovative ideas.”

Each team consisted of five students picked to represent their schools by college deans and professors based on their academic performance. The students worked a full day developing solutions to the business problem set forth by CRED. The problem statement focused on challenges facing Colorado’s growing population through 2040 and the ability to support energy demand in an economic, sustainable and responsible way.

“The student teams did a great job answering tough questions from a U.S. Senator on the topic of energy development and public policy,” said Rob Swanson, the Case for Colorado Master of Ceremonies and RAS & Associates CEO. “Two themes prevailed: 1) that Colorado’s universities are building leaders that understand the quantitative and social aspects of energy development and 2) that all three teams supported fracking. Each team called for Colorado's stakeholders to unite and serve as a leader and pioneer on energy policy and development”.

“The decisions made in 2014 about energy development and public policies will impact our industry, and ultimately consumers, for many years,” said Tim Wigley, president at Western Energy Alliance. “This competitive format allows students to step outside of academia and to grapple with solving real-world challenges our industry faces daily.”

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About Coloradoans for Responsible Energy Development:
Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED) was created to help educate the general public about the energy, economic and environmental benefits of safe and responsible oil and natural gas development.  Their message is simple and clear: get the facts on fracking first before you make a decision. 

About RAS & Associates: 
RAS & Associates is an operations and management consulting firm headquartered in Denver. Its talented team comprises seasoned professionals with diverse industry experience, yet all share the same commitment: a deep investment and creative engagement in their client's long-term success. This fundamental value enables the firm to deliver "Consulting Reimagined." Named one of seven small jewels by Consulting Magazine, RAS & Associates brings an entirely fresh approach to consulting, delivering unmatched results to Fortune 500 companies that expect originality and innovation.

About Western Energy Alliance: 
Western Energy Alliance, founded in 1974 as the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States, is a non-profit trade association representing more than 480 companies engaged in all aspects of environmentally responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West.  More information about Western Energy Alliance is available at

Media Contacts

Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED)
Jon Haubert, (303) 396-5996,

RAS & Associates
Amanda Lougee, (303) 931-9674,

Western Energy Alliance
Aaron Johnson, (303)