Last weekend, 25 student teams from some of the world’s top business and policy schools gathered on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia for the culmination of MIINT—the MBA Impact Investing Network & Training program.
MIINT is an experiential lab designed to give business students a hands-on education in impact investing, while helping participants in the field to identify a pipeline of talent and investment opportunities. It is produced by Bridges Impact+, the advisory arm of specialist fund manager Bridges Ventures, and Wharton Social Impact Initiative.
MIINT concludes each spring with an exciting final competition, where teams pitch real-life impact investing opportunities to a team of expert judges in the hope of winning a $50,000 investment for their selected company from MIINT’s sponsor, The Moelis Family Foundation.
The winner of this year’s competition was the team from MIT Sloan School of Management, who presented on an innovative financial inclusion business that helps people in South America access credit. Their prize was the opportunity for a $50,000 investment in their selected company (pending further independent review).
The first runner-up was a team from the UK’s London Business School, for a business commercializing a technology that makes electric motors more energy-efficient. The second prize was a potential investment of $25,000 from MIINT sponsor Liquidnet. The second runner-up – also winning a potential $25,000 investment from Liquidnet – was a team from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Canada, who presented on a business that supplies prosthetic limbs for amputees in developed and developing markets.
All three winners were participating in the MIINT for the first year this year. Teams from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University completed the top five finalists, presenting on a technology-based employment matching business and a transportation energy efficiency business, respectively. The team from Columbia Business School also earned an award for Best Diligence.
The program grew this year to include 25 business schools from across the world and more than 620 MBA and graduate students enrolled—the largest competition yet.
MIINT’s growing popularity highlights the rising interest in impact investing, particularly among the millennial generation
“Demand for impact investing content is growing on campuses around the world,” says Jacob Gray, Senior Director for the Wharton Social Impact Initiative. “Our goal in co-producing the MIINT is to provide the best experiential education available in the field of impact investment. And we believe this kind of experience should be made available to students across the world.”
All the judges – who included Surya Kolluri, WG’92, of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Ron Moelis, C’78, W’78, of L+M Development Partners, Andrea Phillips of Goldman Sachs, Ron Albahary, W’90, of Threshold Group, Susan Balloch, WG’84, of the Global Impact Investing Network, Ross Coull of CDC Group, Marc Diaz of NatureVest, Miljana Vujosevic of Prudential, Dustin Rosen of Wonder Ventures, John Rogers of Bridges Ventures and Liesel Pritzker Simmons of Blue Haven Initiative – noted the extremely high caliber of presentations across the board.
In addition to the competition, many of the judges and a number of other leading impact investors made themselves available to participants for one-to-one career discussions during the preceding day, in addition to a speaker panel during the main day. There were also numerous opportunities for the students to network and learn from each other.
“A vital part of building the impact investment field is to develop a pipeline of talented people who combine solid commercial training with an appreciation for how social and environmental changes happen,” says Brian Trelstad, Partner at Bridges Ventures. “We recognized that business schools might find it difficult to meet the growing interest in impact investing among MBA students, so we created the MIINT as a new kind of course: one that is experiential, and one that is inherently collaborative, by working across campuses around the world. The MIINT’s remarkable growth in the last three years demonstrates the global appetite for this kind of program.”
For the full photo album of the 2016 finals, visit our Facebook page. To learn more about MIINT, visit themiint.org.