MIT Sloan takes top prize at largest-ever MIINT competition

  • The MIINT is an experiential impact investing program for MBA students, with more than 600 students participating from across the globe
  • It culminates in a finals day at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where teams of students pitch a potential impact investment to a team of expert judges
  • The MIT Sloan School of Management presented the winning proposal, which will result in the company receiving a $50,000 investment (pending further due diligence)
  • The growing popularity of the program highlights the rising interest in impact investing, particularly among the millennial generation

PHILADELPHIA/ LONDON/ NEW YORK: This weekend, 25 student teams from some of the world’s top business and policy schools gathered at The Wharton School on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia for the culmination of the MIINT, an experiential impact investing program produced by Bridges Impact+, the advisory arm of Bridges Ventures, and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.

The MIINT (MBA Impact Investing Network & Training programme) is an experiential lab designed to give students at business and graduate schools a hands-on education in impact investing, while helping participants in the field to identify a pipeline of talent and investment opportunities.

This year’s program was the biggest ever, with more than 600 students around the world taking part.

The MIINT culminates with a final competition, where the 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 MIT Sloan School of Management in the U.S., 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 final five, 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.

All the judges – who included Surya Kolluri of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Ron Moelis of L+M Development Partners, Andrea Phillips of Goldman Sachs, Ron Albahary of Threshold Group, Susan Balloch 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 calibre 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.

Brian Trelstad, Partner at Bridges Ventures, said:

“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. We recognised 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 programme.”

Jacob Gray, Senior Director of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, said

“Demand for impact investing content is growing on campuses around the world. 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.”