CANCELLED – Innovation in Action Final Showcase

This event was cancelled due to concerns associated with Covid-19.

On March 16 @ 4pm five U-M student interdisciplinary teams will pitch on stage for the chance to win in the Innovation in Action program. Students are excited to share their ideas with a live audience. From an aggregator platform to battle fast fashion & address clothing waste to providing reproductive support for adolescents to addressing Detroit’s housing needs by informing contractors of resources, the competition is fierce and it would not have been possible without your help! This event will take place in the Robertson Auditorium in the Ross School of Business and a reception will follow in the atrium to celebrate all Innovation in Action participants.

Come cheer your favorite team as they compete for a $10,000 first price, a $7,500 second prize, and a $5,000 third prize, plus a unique $2,500 Poverty Solutions Award.  Attendees can get in the mix by selecting a $1,000 Audience Choice award, chosen live during the event.

The featured speaker is Alisyn Malek, Co-founder of May Mobility, a company that uses technology to create a better, cleaner and more accessible way to get around.  Alysin was named a top automotive professional under 35 to watch by LinkedIn, and worked in electronic technology with General Motors.

This event is co sponsored by The Center for Socially Engaged Design and B+I’s +Impact Studio.

Four Impact Track Teams Advance to the Finals of the Michigan Business Challenge

January 27, 2020 – Ann Arbor – Business+Impact wants to thank all the teams and judges involved in Round Two of this year’s Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track! The competition has been very successful thus far, and the 9 teams from Round Two did a lot of hard work on their presentations. The Seigle Impact Track had a panel of three judges – Eric Davis, Chief Investment Officer, ReValue; Dr. Marcus Harris, College of Business, University of Michigan—Dearborn; and John Cunningham, Chief Operating Officer, Functional Fluidics.


In addition to the 4 Impact Track teams moving on, a total of 4 teams will compete in the Innovation Track, and 4 teams will compete in the Invention Track.

The Seigle Impact Track finals will take place on February 21, 2020 from 9 – 11:35 am at the Ross School of Business. The following teams will participate there:

For Dearborn (4D) –  Rima Imad Fadlallah (MBA ‘20)  For Dearborn (4D) creates space for Arab and/or Muslim Americans (AAM) to self actualize and thrive through digital media, programming, fashion and philanthropy. 

HalalFin – Razeen Karim (BBA ’20), Safwaan Mir (MM ’20), Mohammad Eddir (BSE ’20), & Abrar Quazi (BSE ’20) HalalFin is developing a platform that utilizes blockchain technology, specifically cryptocurrency, to provide individuals access to Islamic-compliant banking and transacting. 

Lillian Augusta – Jannice Newson (MS ‘20) & Nana Britwum (MS ‘20) Lillian Augusta is a brand that revolutionizes Black hair care by offering hair without harm. We aspire to make plastic-based synthetic braiding hair obsolete by replacing it with biodegradable braiding hair made from Phragmites, an invasive plant species. 

Revolin Sports – Hughes Davis (MSE ’20) Revolin Sports provides conscientious athletes with high-performance sporting equipment to help them up their game while respecting the planet. Starting with our pickleball paddle, we use our natural BioFlx Technology™ to create products that undoubtedly prove sustainability and performance are not mutually exclusive. 

The Michigan Business Challenge is a campus-wide, multi-round business plan competition where the winning team has the opportunity to win  funding, gain feedback from judges and expand their business network.  The competition is open to all students of the University of Michigan, and multidisciplinary teams are encouraged. The at-large Michigan Business Challenge is sponsored by the Zell Lurie Institute, and the Impact Track is co-sponsored by Zell Lurie and Business+Impact.


Mixer and Team Finding Session

Attend this session to learn more about Open Road at Ross, set up teams, and hear from previous participants. A perfect event to attend before submitting your application.

Detroit Entrepreneurs Panel

Entrepreneurs “R” Us: Learn more about Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Panelists include:
– Roslyn Karamako, CEO of Detroit is the New Black
– Fares Ksebati, CEO of MySwimPro
– Ishma Best, Director of Sales & Leasing at Century Partners
– Kwaku Osei, CEO of Cooperative Capital
– Stella Saffari, CEO of Zapenda

Ross Open Road Information Session

Ross Open Road — The road-trip of a lifetime with three other MBAs, working alongside social entrepreneurs across the USA on pressing business challenges. Does that sound like a May adventure worth pursuing?

Attend this information session to learn more about Ross Open Road and to hear Open Road alums share their stories from on the road! (Sessions are offered Nov. 17 and Nov. 20)

The program is scheduled to take place in May 2020, at a time that does not conflict with most summer internships. Both Ross MBA1s and graduating MBA2s are eligible to apply.

Ross Open Road is a student-run program co-sponsored by Business+Impact.

ATC Happy Hour Fundraiser

ATC Guatemala and Michigan are getting together to share stories from the field and visions for the future!

Come learn about how the Collaborative is growing – from new University partners in Guatemala and Mexico, new municipal governments and non-profit partners, we are growing a movement for sustainable development with green technologies and social entreprenuership.

Join us for chats with ATC leaders and a dynamic presentation by Monika Goforth, Executive DirectorCirc Bar

Buy tickets here!

Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project Showcase

The University of Michigan’s Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project is hosting its first Small Business Showcase. More than 120 small businesses throughout the Detroit area have worked with University of Michigan students since the DNEP accelerator was launched in 2016. Meet some of the 30 Detroit small business owners who are working with University of Michigan marketing, communications, law, design, and accounting students this fall — and a few of our superstar alumni businesses, too!

The showcase will be set up farmer’s market style, with light hors d’oeuvres. Admission is free. Network with Detroit small businesses. Learn more about Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Learn how you can be part of Detroit’s renaissance. Hosted by the U-M Center on Finance, Law & Policy. Co-sponsored by the U-M Detroit Center, Zell Lurie Institute, Michigan Ross’ Business+Impact, and the Ford School’s Program in Practical Policy Engagement.

Learn more at


Celebrate Invention

U-M Tech Transfer will host Celebrate Invention on October 22nd at the Michigan League.

Program schedule:
11 AM – Everything You Need to Know about Open-Sourcing
12 PM – Innovation to Impact: A Conversation on the Opportunities for Impact at the Nation’s Leading Public Research University
1 PM – Remarks by the 2019 winners of the Distinguished University Innovator Award – followed by
panel session
2 PM – Ann Arbor as an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Powerhouse. Do We Have What it Takes?
Representatives from over 20 translational funds will provide inventors the opportunity to learn about resources and programs available to advance innovation into the marketplace.

Seating is limited within the sessions. The sessions will be live-streamed for those who cannot be accommodated inside the sessions.


The Importance of Design for Business: A Conversation with Juan-Carlos Morales

The B+I +Impact Studio and Design+Business are pleased to invite Juan-Carlos Morales to Michigan Ross to speak about design thinking applications to the world of business, in particular business that does good for society. He will be interviewed in by Michigan Ross’ faculty director of the +Impact Studio, Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks as part of Innovation Week.

In the past 20 years Mr. Morales has taken his varied experiences and used  them to help organizations create better experiences for people. From creating better products and services to the marketing that promotes them , he has helped those organizations win awards, get talked about in the press, and even patent new technology . His current goals are the same goals he had  when painting graffiti as a teenager. Make things that people will talk about: work that he can be proud of, and work for a place that has purpose greater than just making money.

Currently the Executive Creative Director at Chameleon Collective in Florida, he served as Chief Creative Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers Digital Services, creating the “Art of the Possible” thought leadership series.


Social Impact as a Competitive Advantage: Amulya Parmar’s Takeaway from his invitation to the United Nations

Amulya Parmar at the United Nations, on his reinvitation in 2019

On any given day, there are about 2,000 people at the United Nations. These 2,000 people speak for 7 billion others. The list includes luminaries, world leaders, and C-level execs. And this coming September… that list included, albeit for a brief time, a junior from the University of Michigan. 

Hi, my name is Amulya Parmar. I am a junior in the BBA program at the Ross School of Business and Computer Science Engineer with the School of Engineering. 

I was originally invited to the United Nations because of my nonprofit HostYourVoice and its work with One of my first employees became an international photographer for the United Nations, and since we supported individuals like him as well as our international partners like Kidskintha, the PVBLIC organization, the media subsidiary of the United Nations gave us an invitation with open arms.  

Two years ago, we helped put on for the Media for Social Impact Summit at the United Nations with the help of four partners.  Last year, we were re-invited as VIP guests to the Summit, eventually partnering with Givewith, a sister company of CBS, and hiring a few interns from right here at the University of Michigan for our collaboration. This September, with the support of the Ross Business+Impact Initiative, I will be going back to the United Nations not just representing my organization HostYourVoice but also as a Business+Impact representative. 

Amulya Parmar’s organization Host Your Voice was chosen as one of the 300 leading social enterprises in social impact internationally 2017-2019 at the UN Summit

The first year and second year I went to the United Nations–okay, I’ll admit–I didn’t necessarily fit in. But I never said I wanted to fit in, did I? Usually, I am the youngest individual in the room, but the thing that makes the United Nations special is that the UN realizes the role younger generations’ Gen Z and millennials or “digital natives” will play in solving the next generation of world problems.

It’s startling, if anything, that being a part of Generation Z is an advantage.  

One of my most important takeaways, in my visit in the United Nations this year, was that our Generation Z is the “first generation that can truly solve world hunger and education, but is one of the last that can solve problems like climate change.”

We aren’t just the first generation to be digital natives, we are also the largest generation in the history of the world (about 2.1 billion individuals), and will have the ability to effect scale on magnitude unseen before. 

Although, Peter Parker AKA Spiderman slung his webs in New York City, the words of his Uncle Ben still ring true: “With great power comes great responsibility.” It is our job as both the advocates and enablers of social change. 

You can meet many different types of individuals at the United Nations: Activists, Politicians, Artists, and Tourists. 

Yet my most life-altering conversation was with an entrepreneur named Paul Polizzotto. Paul has been a social entrepreneur before the term was invented.

He doesn’t come from the marketing world or the tech world. Since he was 25, he has been building for-profit businesses that simultaneously better the lives of people in communities across the country. He jokes that he hasn’t worked for anyone his entire life — that is until his business was acquired by CBS for an undisclosed sum.

Yet one of the most interesting parts of Paul’s story was that he was able to empower over $100 million dollars in financing for nonprofit projects across the United States without fundraising a single dollar for charity. 

How? Well. Here’s how Paul explains it:

“For years, advertising was a monopoly business. There were a few networks that controlled which businesses could have access to advertising to their millions of viewers. The likes of ABC, CBS and Fox. However, as time brought more mainstream networks like HGTV, CN, Disney and more, advertising became much more of a commodity. Anyone could have access to it. 

“With the advent of the Internet, the commodity-like nature of advertising became even more pronounced. Prices quickly fell, and even more businesses started advertising. Supply was greater than demand. 

“So for the first time, the conversation with advertising went from spray and pray to pay to say. Subsequently, a lot of attention was paid on what was said in every advertisement. 

“Companies now had to be creative and innovative with how they produce advertising in order to get results.

“Instead of serving primarily the businesses, advertising became a function of serving the customer. The best deals. The exclusive discounts. Or in the case with EcoMedia, consumers could be enabled to impact the lives of other individuals just by consuming an ad.”

See Ecomedia placed social impact at the center of its business. Paul’s thesis was that brands would spend an inordinate amount of money on traditional advertising to prove that their brand stood for something greater than a cap.


My greatest takeaway from the United Nations is simple. We, Generation Z, as the next generation that has the opportunity to invent new businesses that impact the world, we have the ability to reinvent the business models that fundamentally change the platform on which all businesses operate.

Till next time, your Business+Impact Ambassador 2019