Open Road at Ross

Program Key Dates

  • December – Info session
  • Late January – Application Opens
  • February – Mixer
  • Mid-February – Application Due
  • Late February – Team Interviews
  • Hit the road in May

Open Road at Ross

Powered by Ford

Since 2014, Ross has sent MBAs to participate in Ross Open Road, a program that pairs MBA students with visionary entrepreneurs. Open Road is an established action-based social entrepreneurship program developed by Ross students and powered by Business+Impact and the Ford Motor Company. The aim of the program is to give small business owners extra hands in solving complex challenges and to help students gain real experience understanding the various issues social ventures face.

Over the course of five weeks, students drive from state to state meeting socially- and environmentally-driven entrepreneurs. Students spend one week on-site in each location, working closely with the entrepreneur, to provide a solution or recommendation to a business problem they are facing. At the end of each week, students pack up the car and hit the road again to meet with the next entrepreneur!

Are you interested in applying to Open Road? Visit the official student-authored Open Road website to find more information.

Open Road 2021

Though working primarily remotely this year, these intrepid travelers are focused on addressing business challenges for Detroit is the New Black, Shelby + Coffee Down Under, and Coton Clothiers, all in Detroit, MI.  Business+Impact and Zell Lurie Institute are proud to partners on this program, funded by Ford Motor Company.

Coton Clothiers:

Chris Gradone, MBA

Rachel Ing, MBA

Natasha Suddhi, MBA

Detroit Is the New Black:

Dustin Huibregtse, MBA

Alex Johnson, MBA

Briana Jones, MBA

Sasha Kapur, MBA

Shelby + Coffee Down Under:

Chris Gradone, MBA

Rachel Ing, MBA

Chris Nguyen, MBA

Natasha Suddhi, MBA

Allison Winstel, MBA, MPP

When Open Road was on the road - May 2019

2019 Ross Open Road

In May 2019, three Ross teams embarked on their journey across America to partner with social entrepreneurs. To find out details about Team LOVA, Team MPower and Team RAIK, visit the Ross Open Road team page or our 2019 Open Road story and meet team members, see itineraries, and learn about the destinations. You can follow their experiences on Twitter #RossOpenRoad and Instagram #RossOpenRoad

Testimonials from 2019

Team LOVA working together in a room


“One of the week’s highlights were the entrepreneur’s nuggets of wisdom, which we’ve found ourselves repeating already! A few of our favorites include, “the riches are in niches,” and “no money, no mission.”” — Katarina Athanasiou

Team MPower posing in front of a mural

Team MPower

“Open Road was one of my favorite experiences at Ross. Each week we got to know a new entrepreneur, a new city, and apply what we’ve learned all year in business school to make an impact.” — Brooke Burton

Team RAIK in a minivan together


“Detroit is showing strong signs of revitalization, and I am excited to have met one of the individuals who are leading this change. I am strongly reminded on the importance on not generalizing a population without understanding the history and culture of that population.” — Ritesh Kumar

Video Blogs from 2018