At Wharton Social Impact, building the evidence base and talent pipeline for impact investing is our priority. We’ve seen that students at Wharton and beyond are eager for hands-on training in impact investing. That’s why it’s no surprise to see the MIINT program growing to over 30 business schools and 550+ students worldwide this year.
What is the MIINT? A collaboration between Bridges Impact Foundation and Wharton Social Impact, MIINT (MBA Impact Investing Network & Training) is a year-long experiential program designed to give students at business and graduate schools a hands-on education in impact investing. Students learn about integrating social and environmental impact into the investment process as they assess early-stage impact venture capital deals.
How It Works
Graduate students at participating schools form teams. They complete several training modules and get practice in sourcing and due diligence. During this sourcing and diligence, teams select a seed-stage company that is actively raising investment capital and exemplifies the promise of impact investing — deep impact and the possibility of strong financial returns.
Each school sends one team to pitch the company they sourced at the global finals (hosted at Wharton each April) to a committee of leaders in the impact investing field. And the competition is high-stakes — the winning team receives a $50k investment into the company they pitch, capturing a real impact investment for this company they’ve come to know and recommend. Winners from recent years include the Yale School of Management (with their presentation of a storm water sensor company), INSEAD (with their presentation of a health education company), and MIT Sloan (with their presentation of a financial inclusion company).
Why Impact Investing?
Organizers at Wharton Social Impact and Bridges Impact Foundation have seen significant growth in numbers of participants — reaching over 2,000 students around the world in the last five years alone. Participating schools include Harvard Business School, the London School of Economics, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy), Kellogg School of Management, INSEAD (France/Singapore/United Arab Emirates), and more.
“Student demand for impact investing training continues to grow,” said Nick Ashburn, Wharton Social Impact’s senior director of impact investing. “We are consistently hearing from students around the world who are interested in joining the MIINT competition.”
Students complete modules like “formulating an investment thesis,” “valuing early stage social enterprises,” and “structuring investments” to learn the ins and outs of impact investing. They also have access to an online curriculum of videos and articles, and each school is paired with an industry advisor to provide guidance and feedback along the way. With all of these resources, it’s easy to see why students continue to take advantage of this experiential learning opportunity.
“Many students believe that impact investing will one day be ‘just good investing,’ and they’re eager to learn how to get ahead of the curve to position themselves for the investment jobs of the future. The MIINT is one of the only opportunities for some to get exposure to this type of training,” said Ashburn.
In past years, approximately 140 Wharton MBAs applied for around 30 spots for the Wharton MIINT team. To meet the demand from Wharton students, Wharton Social Impact significantly expanded participation at Wharton this year by not capping the number of spots available in the program.
Now called MIINT@Wharton, this program is Penn’s internal competition to select the student team that will represent Wharton at MIINT’s global finals in April.
“Through MIINT, I have gained the tools and confidence to think like an impact investor. I met so many amazing entrepreneurs and loved digging into their companies’ revenue drivers and impact outcomes. Most of all, I learned from my teammates as we worked together to select a company, perform due diligence, and build a compelling investment case,” said MIINT@Wharton participant Dawn Powell, WG’20.
Ana Ramos, WG’20, another MIINT@Wharton student, added: “It is a real experience — we source startups, run due diligence, and develop our recommendation to the Investing Committee about a company that is already operational and growing. It is a lot of responsibility to represent Wharton before entrepreneurs who feel honored to be participating in this competition.”
This week, the MIINT@Wharton teams competed with each other to see who gets to represent Wharton at the MIINT global finals. We look forward to following the global competition on April 13.
— Nisa Nejadi
Posted: March 21, 2019