Students from across the University of Iowa campus worked to solve real-world sustainable business problems and competed for cash prizes during the Frontier Co-op Case Competition and sustainability conference at the Tippie College of Business on April 9.
Participants worked on one of two cases designed by Frontier Co-op—one about the great resignation and employee engagement, the other about climate change and emissions reduction. Students focused on developing solutions that both made a positive impact on society and made sense for Frontier Co-op to potentially pursue.
The competition included a launch session on April 1, with finalists making their presentations to members of the Frontier Co-op leadership team April 9. Competitors’ business solutions were evaluated on the viability, communication, innovation, and potential impact towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. First place for each case won $1,500, with second place garnering $750.
Third-year law students Stacy Massey and Audrey Honert took first place in the great resignation and employee engagement case for their cooperative childcare solution.
Aoife Cleary, a sophomore chemical engineering major, Lucy Conlon, freshmen sustainability science major, Graciela Vebi, a senior microbiology major, and Ifeoma Anyaoha, a first year master’s of science in business analytics student, took first place in the climate change and emissions reduction case. They presented a path for reducing emissions by using existing waste as biomass fuel.
“At Frontier Co-op, we’re dedicated to ensuring our work has a positive impact in all the lives we touch–from our farmer partners around the world to our employees here at home,” said Laura Kuykendall, vice president of marketing at Frontier Co-op. “An important part of this is making investments in our community, and the next generation of sustainably-minded leaders. Our goal for this competition is to provide an opportunity for students to work on real business challenges related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but it also serves as an opportunity for us to learn about new, fresh ideas that we can use to continuously improve our business.”
“I was impressed with the student presentations. The ideas were innovative and communicated in a compelling way,” said Sara Maples, manager for research and sustainability in the Tippie College of Business. “These students are ready to make a positive impact in their future careers.”
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