Social Impact Challenge


2017 – Social Impact Challenge – Flint, MI

Each winter term the Center partners with a social impact organization in a Michigan city to tackle a live case with U-M students. Teams of students from multiple schools compete to address a current, real-life strategic challenge and present their recommendations. 


This year, the Social Impact Challenge will be focused on economic development and entrepreneurship in the city of Flint, MI.  The Center has partnered with UM-Flint Outreach, the City of Flint, and Skypoint Ventures—a venture capital and real estate company with strong social impact ties.   Specifically, the case (pdf) addresses how to advance entrepreneurship efforts in Flint to revive neighborhood centers and city corridors for economic development.  Students from U-M in Ann Arbor and UM-Flint will participate together.  The top teams present in Flint, MI to a panel of judges including experts and leaders from Flint. The winning team receives a $2,500 cash prize and the opportunity for their ideas to be implemented! Other specialty prizes will be awarded.

Benefits of Participating

The Social Impact Challenge is an opportunity for students to collaborate on multidisciplinary and cross-campus teams to tackle strategic issues for a social impact organization in a competitive consulting-style environment. Participants have the opportunity to:

  • Apply skills and classroom learning to social and entrepreneurial issues in Flint
  • Impact neighborhoods and the arts in Flint
  • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of students from across U-M Ann Arbor and UM-Flint
  • Engage in dialogue and practical problem-solving with mission-driven leaders

Participant Details

Register your team by 9 am on Tues, Feb. 7 

Challenge Requirements

  • Open to ALL U-M graduate and undergraduate students on the Ann Arbor campus and the UM-Flint campus
  • Teams may have 3-5 students each
  • Teams must be multidisciplinary; representation from two or more majors is required.  Representation from both campuses is recommended.
  • Teams may have both undergraduate and graduate students but it is not required

2017 Team Finder and Team Registration Form – open from Jan 13 – Feb 7

  • Register your team by Feb. 7 at 9 am
  • Use the Team Finder to help find a team or additional teammates

Challenge Kickoff
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 – Flint, MI
3:00 – 4:30 pm @ Happenings Room, University Center
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – Ann Arbor, MI
5:30 – 7:00 pm @ R0320, Ross School of Business 

  • Meet and match with potential teammates
  • All student teams should have representatives attend
  • Official Challenge case statement presented by UM-Flint Outreach staff
  • Pizza provided
  • Immediately following – optional case competition training

Flint Site Visit (please RSVP if you plan to ride the bus from Ann Arbor)
Friday, January 27, 2017
Noon – 5:00 pm (bus departs Ross School of Business at 10:30 am)

  • Opportunity to talk to stakeholders in the city, visit key locations, and gather information for the competition
  • At least one member from each team should attend.
  • Transportation and lunch provided

First Round Proposals Due – February 20, 2017

Challenge Finals (Public Welcome)
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
@ Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI

  • Arts & Entrepreneurship Symposium Speakers:
    • Art keynote speaker – Bill Stolpin, local artist – Noon – 1:00 pm
    • Breakout sessions – 1:00 – 2:45 pm
    • Performing Arts keynote speaker – Aaron Dworkin, Dean of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance – 3:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Finalist Presentations: 4:15 – 5:15 pm
    • Finalists present recommendations to a panel of judges and audience
    • All participants are invited to attend, and the event is free and open to the public
  • Networking Reception & Winning Team Announced: 5:30 – 7:00 pm
    • Winning team announced and awarded $2,500!
    • Various other awards presented to special teams
    • Networking reception with hors d’oeuvres

Finals Judges

  • Amy Gresock – Asst. Professor in the School of Management at UM-Flint
  • Jessica Judson – Program Coordinator of Corporate Social Responsibility for Diplomat Pharmacy
  • Kevin Schronce – Planner III in the City of Flint Planning/Zoning Office
  • Raquel Thueme – VP of Programs for the Ruth Mott Foundation.

Final Team Results

  • Innovation to Impact – First Prize ($2.500)
    (Emily Futcher (MPP), Martha Fedorowitz (MPP), Dean-Mark Clemente (MBA))
  • A.K.A.K.A. – Second Prize ($1,000), Co-Campus Prize ($250), Arts Focus Prize ($250)
    (Kate Blessing (MPP), Aisha Changezi (UM-Flint Art), Ashlyee Freeman (MBA), Ashrita Shetty (MUP), Karen Cuenca (MPP/MUP))
  • Social Enrichment Whizzes – Third Prize ($500)
    (Nara Subramanian (MBA), Ammar Muhammad (UM-Flint General), Megan Graham (MPP), Jorge Sandoval (PhD Chemistry), Jon Nas (BBA))
  • Diversiteam – Fourth Prize
    (Corinne Wong (BBA), Sheila Xu (BBA), Alexandria Swift (BBA), Zijia Cai (BS Engineering), Galaad Preau (BBA))