MBC – Impact Track

2017 Competition

2017 Impact Track


The Center for Social Impact co-hosted the 2017 Impact Track as part of the campus-wide Michigan Business Challenge, in partnership with the Zell Lurie and Erb Institutes. The competition  awarded a $26,000 prize pool to the most compelling business plans delivering social or environmental impact.  The top Impact Track team won $15K!

Here’s how it unfolded…

2017 Impact Track Timeline

Round 1 of the Michigan Business Challenge
Fri, Dec. 2, 2016 1 – 5:00pm @ Ross School of Business

Over 100 teams pitched their concepts, with half of them competing in the Impact Track


Impact Assessment Workshop
Thurs, Dec. 8, 2016 5:30-7:00pm @ Ross School of Business, R1220

The Center for Social Impact’s Faculty Director, Michael Gordon presented best practices and approaches for launching social ventures, including the following questions:

  • How do you best structure your business model to deliver social impact?
  • What impact tools, metrics, and measurements should you consider?
  • How do you differentiate social goals from commercial and/or financial?
  • What are your target populations and market segments?
  • What does it mean to achieve financial sustainability in a social venture?

Round 2 of the Michigan Business Challenge – Impact Track
Fri, Jan. 20, 2017, 1 – 5 pm @ Ross School of Business

The top ten teams from the first round then pitched their concepts in the Impact Track second round:

AIM Tech – Stephen John (MD ’19)
AIM Tech has a desire to improve health care options for underserved groups on a global scale through the development of safe, user-friendly, low power, and affordable equipment.

Chevuru – Samhita Shiledar (MS Sustainable Systems/MSE Chem E, ’17), Kavya Vayyasi (MS Sustainable Systems, ’17),  Aniket Deshmukh (PhD EECS ’18), Shamitha Keerthi (PhD Resource Ecology and Management,  Dec ’16)
Chevuru uses data science to inform farmers’ agricultural decisions in developing countries to reduce suicide rates and debt risk while improving living standards.

Find Your Ditto – Parisa Soraya (MHI’17)
Find Your Ditto is a mobile application that connects individuals living with chronic illness locally to on-demand, in-person support.

FoodFinder – Jack Griffin (BBA ’19)
Using both a website and smartphone app, FoodFinder is a tool that delivers valuable information to food insecure children and their families to let them know exactly when and where they can receive free food assistance from resources such as food pantries, food kitchens, faith-based institutions, and co-ops.

In-Network Lending – Blake Van Fleteren (MBA/MSW ’17), Brianna Brazell (MBA/MS ’17), Dave Spallina (MBA ’17)
A peer-to-pool-to-peer community platform that incentivizes savings, while providing low-interest loans during times of need, all of which is kept in check by social capital between pool-members.

Kladder LLC – Jaymon Ballew (JD/MBA ’18)
Kladder is an online and mobile application that connects diverse professionals and offers unique industry insights based upon the experiences of these individuals.

Reco – Joe Lacy (LSA ’19)
Reco is an exchange for donations of surplus inventory.

Sage & Grace – Holly Price (MBA ’17)
Sage & Grace is a website and concierge service that educates and empowers grieving families to better, and more affordably, navigate the complications and stress of the American funeral planning process.

SmallWorld – Elliott Brannon (MSTP ’22), Whit Froehlich, (MD ’19), Robert Cesaro (MD ’19)
SmallWorld strengthens communities by facilitating high-quality connections between community members.

Thrive – Ally Stewart (MBA ’17), Bridget Henley (MPH ’17)
Thrive is the CPG company of the future, providing healthy, fresh snacks using food from local farmers.


Finalist Teams submitted their business plans by 8 am on Mon, Feb. 6
Some Finalist Teams attended Business Plan deliverable Office Hours, Jan. 31-Feb.2
Some Finalist Teams attended Pitch practice Feb. 13-15

Final Round of the Michigan Business Challenge – Social Impact Track:
Fri, Feb. 17, 2017, 12:30 – 3 pm @ Ross School of Business

Four MBC – Impact Track Finalists presented at approximately 40 minutes each:

AIM Tech – Stephen John (MD ’19), Aaron Steiner (MBA ’17)
AIM Tech has a desire to improve health care options for underserved groups on a global scale through the development of safe, user-friendly, low power, and affordable equipment.

Find Your Ditto – Parisa Soraya (MHI’17)
Find Your Ditto is a mobile application that connects individuals living with chronic illness locally to on-demand, in-person support.

Kladder LLC – Jaymon Ballew (JD/MBA ’18)
Kladder is an online and mobile application that connects diverse professionals and offers unique industry insights based upon the experiences of these individuals.

Sage & Grace – Holly Price (MBA ’17)
Sage & Grace is a website and concierge service that educates and empowers grieving families to better, and more affordably, navigate the complications and stress of the American funeral planning process.

Starting at Noon: Final Team Pitches
Starting at 5 pm: Team Showcase, Reception, and Winning Team Announcement

The expert judging panel for the finals was comprised of:

  • Michael Finney – Community Ventures Resources
  • Chris UhlRock Ventures
  • Lauren BigelowGrowth Capital Network

Winners!

The winner of the 2017 Impact Track of the Michigan Business Challenge is AIM Tech (Aaron Steiner and Stephen John)

Winners were announced at 6:15 pm in the Blau Colloquium.

  • First Place: AIM Tech received $15,000
  • Second Place: Sage & Grace received $7,500
  • Third Place: Find Your Ditto received $2,500
  • Fourth Place: Kladder received $1,000

Resources