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U-M MBA students pitch entrepreneurial change in Detroit

MBA students at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business pitched business ideas that could create positive change in Detroit and make a profit as part of the university's Ross Impact Challenge.

The week-long program challenged U-M's 500 MBA students to "develop a new for-profit venture that creates economic and social value in Detroit." The students worked with local organizations, like Detroit Venture Partners, the Detroit Institute of Arts, D:hive and Habitat for Humanity to come up with a social entrepreneurial pitch for business ventures that would tackle problems like the hunger or providing quality housing.

"This was a real opportunity a real opportunity for us to expose them to Detroit, many of them for the first time," says Brian Flanagan, managing director of the Ross Leadership Initiative in U-M's Ross School of Business. "It also an opportunity to expose them to Detroit as a community as an opportunity."

The 500 students broke into 48 teams which came up with socially entrepreneurial pitches. Of those, six were chosen as finalists. One of the pitches was called "DCutBikes," which wants to improve transportation in Detroit by creating a bike program supporting youth in need. Another is called "Mobile Grocery Store," which pitched an idea to bring fresh and healthy food to the Brightmoor neighborhood.

Source: Brian Flanagan, managing director of the Ross Leadership Initiative in University of Michigan's Ross School of Business
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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