Social Impact Challenge


2018 Social Impact Challenge – Detroit, MI

Each winter term the Center partners with a social impact organization in Detroit 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 is focusing on pop-ups, that can encourage neighborhood revitalization and small business development in Detroit. The Center has partnered with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) and the Ford School of Public Policy for this year’s challenge.  The details of the case were presented at the Social Impact Challenge Kickoff on Jan. 17.  Thirty-three teams will enter Round One judging on Jan. 29, and only three top teams will continue on to the finals on Feb. 6. The top teams will present to a panel of judges including DEGC staff and key Detroit stakeholders. The winning team receives a $3000 cash prize and the opportunity for their ideas to be implemented!

  • The SIC Kickoff (Jan. 17 at Ross R1210) provides students with information on the case, the opportunity to meet potential teammates, and speakers and case competition preparation (optional). Pizza will be provided.
  • Teams registered by Jan. 17
  • View complete participant data and details to learn more about the competition experience and requirements.
  • Save the evening of Tues, Feb. 6 for the Social Impact Challenge Finals at Ross R0220!

Benefits of Participating

The Social Impact Challenge is an opportunity for students to tackle strategic issues for a social impact organization in collaboration with multidisciplinary, cross-campus teams within a competitive consultative environment. Participants have the opportunity to:

  • Apply skills and classroom learning to socio-economic and entrepreneurial issues in Detroit.
  • Impact neighborhoods in Detroit.
  • Collaborate with an integrated multidisciplinary team of U-M students.
  • Engage in dialogue and practical problem-solving with mission-driven leaders at the DEGC.

Participant Details

Team Registration closed at 9 am on Wed, Jan. 17

Matt Kelterborn, Program Director, and 2017 SIC Team, Innovation to Action (Left to Right) Emily Futcher, Martha Fedorowitz, and Dean-Mark Clemente, along with UM-Flint’s Paula Nas.

Challenge Requirements

  • Open to all U-M graduate and undergraduate students on the Ann Arbor campus.
  • Teams may have 3-5 students each.
  • Teams must be multidisciplinary; representation from two or more majors is required. 
  • Teams may have both undergraduate and graduate students, but it is not required.
  • Teams registered by Jan. 17 at 9 am

Challenge Kickoff – Wed, Jan. 17, 2018
6:30 – 8 pm @ Ross R1210

  • Meet and match with potential teammates
  • All student teams should have representatives attend
  • Official Challenge case statement will be presented
  • Pizza provided
  • Immediately following – optional case competition training

First Round Proposals Due – Mon, Jan. 29, 2018 @ 9 am

Challenge Finals (Public Welcome)
Tues, Feb. 6, 2017 @ Ross R0220

  • Finalist Presentations: 5 – 6 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: 6 – 6:30 pm
    • Winning team announced and awarded $3000!
    • Second and third prizes, specialty prizes awarded
    • Networking reception with hors d’oeuvres


The 2018 Social Impact Challenge is sponsored by: