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Biodiesel Incorporated

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BIODIESEL INCORPORATED (Case Study p565-569)
Joshua Maxwell shut down his laptop and looked out the window. From the second floor of the Graduate School of Management’s new building, he could see a number of cars driving on the nearby freeway and sitting in the adjacent parking lot. Josh was in his last term of the full-time MBA program at UC Davis. He would soon be graduating and entering a new chapter of his life. While he had the luxury of having several management-level job offers from which to choose, he was unsure whether he wanted to follow such a traditional route. There was one opportunity in particular that had recently come across his path which gave him pause.
Background
The previous term, Josh had been enrolled in Professor Dorf’s class on Business and Sustainability. While the class was offered at the GSM, it was open to the entire university. In this class, he met Hannah Long, who was in her final year of her undergraduate studies in Agricultural Economics, and Matthew Hammond, who was a senior in the Mechanical Engineering department. The three began working on a class project, which would ultimately turn into a formidable business opportunity. The impetus for their collaboration began with a lecture-discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities in the emerging renewable energy industry.
The Challenge
Dependence on energy is a worldwide reality. Energy powers the machines and equipment around us in order to make life more convenient and efficient. In our everyday lives, energy is synonymous with the forms that it can assume. The major generation sources—petroleum, coal, natural gas and nuclear—are non-renewable resources and have detrimental effects on the environment. In our daily lives, the two most common forms of this energy are liquid fuel (refined from petroleum) and electricity. Increasingly, developed and developing countries...

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