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Apple Acquires Tesla—One Berkeley MBA Team’s Proposal

When Apple closed out its fiscal year with $51B in cash reserves, Berkeley MBA students applied themselves to the challenge of spending the loot. Student teams pitched ideas to Apple marketing executives at December’s Apple Technology Challenge, co-sponsored by the Haas Technology Club and the Digital Media and Entertainment Club.

Evening and weekend MBA students Sam Kanakamedala, Archit Lohokare, and Shone Tran, all MBA 13, claimed first prize for their suggestion that Apple acquire electric vehicle company Tesla Motors. Apple’s best opportunity for growth is to expand into new markets, the team reasoned. With Apple already claiming significant mindshare at home, school, work, and the gym, the car is a logical next avenue. The team saw Tesla and Apple as well matched for their similar successes in redefining how consumers interact with and use technology.

Team Tesla knew its idea had merit, Lohokare blogged, but supporting evidence was needed. The team pored over research on telematics, infotainment, and electric vehicles, never forgetting that this exercise was, “for all practical purposes, a strategy presentation to the product marketing executives at the largest technology company in the world.”

Read Lohokare’s blog post on the thrill of victory and view a video the team used in their presentation to Apple, illustrataing how the connected lifestyle gets disconnected in the car.

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About The Author

From 2011-2013, Valerie Gilbert focused on sharing stories of Berkeley MBA student achievements and connection to the Haas Defining Principles. At Haas since 2004 and now Associate Director of Content Marketing, she still enjoys revealing the different facets of life at Berkeley-Haas to a variety of audiences.