December 2021 Newsletter


Nathan Allston of Plucky Comics presenting in front of a screen

Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track Round Two Winners

The second round of the MIchigan Business Challenge Seigle Impact Track at the Ross School of Business has brought forward eight impact-focused ventures to watch. These eight teams will now advance to the semi-finals, taking place on Friday, January 21, 2022. From there, four teams will advance to the Finals on Friday, February 11, 2022.


Woman writing on whiteboard in the Impact Studio

+Impact Studio Deepens Impactful Support in Ross’ #4 Program for Entrepreneurial Education

The +Impact Studio brings impactful ideas to life using business knowledge, design tools, and research expertise. The studio contributed to Michigan Ross’ recent jump to #4 in the Princeton Review ranking for entrepreneurial education. 

Design Equitable Enterprises in Winter +Impact Studio Course

This course received an "Ideas worth teaching" award for its "resilient, inclusive, sustainable version of capitalism."The award-winning Impact Studio course BA670 will be offered Winter term. This 3 credit course is open to all graduate students, and in the course you’ll tackle questions such as: How can you use the tools of design to create a more just and inclusive economy? To build enterprises that uplift rather than deplete their communities? To enable sustainable livelihoods rather than financial precarity?

A record number of students enrolled in the course from the schools of business, public policy, information, education, social work, public health, architecture and urban planning, SEAS. This will allow the course, now taught by Jerry Davis and Cat Johnson, to field more teams and complete needed work on more projects than ever before. A completely redesigned syllabus will be accompanied by a completely redesigned webpage that discusses the work of these amazing students.



Ross Event Highlights:

Jerome Tagger, CEO of the investor-focused non-profit, Preventable Surprises

Erb: CPRT Dialogue:Jerome Tagger and Hamish Stewart
Thur, Dec. 16, 2-3:15 pm ET

MLK Symposium event flyer

Ross: MLK Symposium
Mon, Jan 17 @ 10 am
Hill Auditorium

Impact Gateway website pageA Searchable Platform for All Things Impact at Ross and Across Campus

The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 


Warm Wishes from Business+Impact

As we bid farewell to 2021, we at Business+Impact warmly congratulate our students as they complete the semester. Despite the challenges we face, there is much to celebrate and be grateful for, and we are so grateful for everyone in our impact community and the vital work they do as changemakers. Wishing each of you an impactful 2022!

Jack Griffin

Jack Griffin Is One of the Forbes 30 under 30 for 2022

Not so long ago, Jack Griffin was creating his own social enterprise, FoodFinder, and competing as an undergraduate in the Michigan Business Challenge–Seigle Impact Track. This year has been good to him and FoodFinder: he recently was accepted by Google’s Find Food Support program, was featured in Newsweek, and just this past week was announced as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Impact leader.



Ian Robinson (MBA/MS ’17)

Ian Robinson (MBA/MS ’17), President and COO of BlueConduitIan Robinson (MBA/MS ’17) is President and COO of BlueConduit, a company co-founded by Michigan Ross faculty member Eric Schwartz, with development help from the +Impact Studio. BlueConduit uses machine learning to bring clarity to lead service line inventory and replacement efforts in municipalities. Ian has strong ties to U-M: he was summer studio manager with the Center for Socially Engaged Design, an Erb dual degree student of Business and Sustainability (MBA/MS), and received his BBA from Michigan Ross. We caught up with Ian after BlueConduit recently received a $3 million grant from to develop software for identifying  lead service lines.


At the University:


Learning Levers

Learning LeversProposals Accepted
Dec. 1, 2021 – Mar. 13, 2022

Bring your passion and make an impact on pre-K–12 Education. The James A. Kelly Learning Levers Prize is a student pitch competition that supports scalable, research-based ideas that promote learning in pre-K–12 education. All U-M undergraduate and graduate students from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, or Flint campuses can enter as individuals or teams.

Learn More


Demo DayDesai banner

Tues, Dec. 14 @ Noon ET

Desai Accelerator is hosting our virtual Fall Demo Day. Over the past seven months, the four companies in our program have worked extremely hard to develop their businesses.  Come see how they are innovating in inclusive athletic wear, personal breathing devices, video tours (SaaS), and sustainable sporting equipment.

Register Here


Apply for Innovation in Action 2022 Cohort

Innovation in Action bannerApplication Due
Sun, Jan. 9

Innovation in Action (IiA) at the University of Michigan is a campus-wide program giving groups the opportunity, the tools, the people, and the room to take on the world’s biggest challenges. Through the course of this experience, you and your team will do a deep dive into a problem space, develop robust insights about complex issues, and the tools to synthesize that data and turn it into a solution.

Apply here


MLK Day at the U-M Detroit Center

MLK Day at U-M Detroit Center flyerMon, Jan. 17 @ 12:30-1 pm
U-M Detroit Center

We are excited to share our plans for MLK day programming at the Detroit Center. Moderated by the Director of the Center for Social Solutions Dr. Earl Lewis, the event is entitled, You Can Keep the Mule: What Reparations Might Look Like in America. It will explore various concepts of what the U.S. may owe the descendants of enslaved Africans and how reparations might look.

Register here


DEI Global Case Writing Competition

DEI Global Case Writing Competition bannerIntent-to-Enter Form
Due Fri, Jan . 28

You are invited to enter our competition and support and strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) skills and knowledge for today’s students, who will become tomorrow’s global business leaders. WDI Publishing and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business are proud to present the second annual DEI Global Case Writing Competition.

More Info

In the Impact Community:

Volunteer for VITA and Help Others with Tax Returns

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) logoApply now

VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Join a community of over 80 volunteers in working to complete federal and state tax returns for low to moderate income families in Washtenaw County. Volunteer to help clients save on costly tax preparation fees, and put over $1.4 million of refunds into the hands of those that need it most. No experience? No problem! United Way‘s comprehensive training process will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare basic tax returns.

More Info

Americorps City Year

Application Due
Fri, Dec.17
Americorps City Year apply now flyer

Join a community that helps you grow by helping others grow. City Year is currently accepting mid year applications for positions beginning in December or January for most sites, and full year applications for the 2022-2023 school year.

Learn more

Epic Social Ventures

Epic Social Ventures bannerDeadline Mon, Dec. 20
Apply Now

Do you have an idea for a product or service that is affordable to those impacted by poverty while creating employment opportunities? Apply for EPIC and your idea could be funded to impact the communities you care about most. OPEN to all social entrepreneurs who want to make a systematic change from the ground up on the #1 UN SDG: No Poverty.

Info & Registration

Some images in this newsletter are Pre-COVID.

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