Ross Students Are Killing It in Competitions Worldwide


Michigan Ross students have been on a winning streak lately, coming out on top in competitions with business schools across the globe. Check out the latest accolades earned by our MBAs:


Best Diligence and People’s Choice Award, MBA Impact Investing Network and Training (MIINT) Competition

The MIINT is an annual "experiential lab" produced by The Wharton Social Impact Initiative and Bridges Fund Management’s Impact+ program for students from 25 business schools to learn more about the impact investing industry via hands-on deal sourcing, screening, and due diligence. During the final competition event, winning teams receive capital investment for the companies they’ve investigated. Rossers have taken part in this competition since the beginning of the school year, doing the bulk of the work from January to April.

Out of 25 participating schools, the Ross team, a delegation from the Social Venture Fund, won the Best Diligence award as well as the People's Choice award, a new peer-to-peer recognition. They completed due diligence for an innovative health-tech company that reduces medical errors by providing doctors and nurses digitized checklists and step-by-step videos.

The presenting team: Mike Ilardi (co-lead), MBA/MS ‘19; Monika Johnson (co-lead), MBA/MS ‘19; Luke Sawitsky, MBA/MS ‘18; and Alli Zimmermann, MBA/MPP ‘18. The preparation team included: Julio Villasenor, MBA/MS ‘17; Maureen Higgins, MBA/MPP ‘17; Alex Kravitz, MBA ‘17; Sahar Omrani, MBA ‘18; John Barbour, MBA ‘18; Ashley Fernandes, MBA ‘18; Wiles Kase, MBA/MS ‘18; and Daniel Patton, MBA/MS ‘17.

Best Written Business Plan at the Rice Business Plan Competition

Aaron Steiner, MBA ‘17, and U-M medical student Stephen John were awarded the Palo Alto Software Outstanding Written Business Plan Prize for their company, NeoVent, at the Rice Business Plan Competition. The competition is considered the "largest and richest" among grad school business plan competitions –– the 42 teams selected to participate came from four continents and dozens of top graduate schools. In addition to the Ross team’s $3,000 prize, the team also took home an elevator pitch prize. The internationally recognized event “provided us the chance to connect one-on-one with leaders in venture capital, entrepreneurship, and business acceleration, all with the potential to shape this lifesaving company.”

NeoVent’s device provides respiratory support for infants without requiring electricity or a respiratory therapist, two barriers that often prevent newborns in developing countries from getting the critical support they need to survive. In addition to this latest award, NeoVent has earned a host of prizes at competitions across the country over the past two years.

Finalist Runner-Up, New Venture Challenge

Matt Lum, MBA ‘17, and Michael Bradie, MBA ‘17, participated in the New Venture Challenge at the University of Oregon, taking home $2,500 in prize money. Their business, Integrated Extraction, sells equipment and provides ancillary services to companies involved in the extraction of marijuana concentrate. “The extraction machine that we've designed is safer and more efficient than other machines on the market, and making it to the final round of this competition provided some external validation that the business plan we have in place makes sense.” Lum said. He and Bradie plan to beta test a prototype machine in June.

All of these teams owe their success to hard work and the support of the Zell Lurie Institute, which provides coaching, mentoring, and funds for travel. The Erb Institute also supported project funding for members of the presenting team in the MIINT competition.


Learn more about the Zell Lurie Institute

Learn more about the Erb Institute