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 Turner MIINT program growing to over 35 business schools and 600+ students worldwide this year.
What is the Turner MIINT? A collaboration between Bridges Impact Foundation and Wharton Social Impact, the Turner 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 training modules and get practice in topics including sourcing and due diligence. After sourcing and conducting diligence on companies, teams select one 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 best company they sourced at the global finals (typically hosted at Wharton each April, but currently conducted virtually) to a committee of leaders in the impact investing field. And the competition is high-stakes — the winning team gets the opportunity for 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 McCombs School of Business at UT Austin (with their presentation of company that provides diagnostic and treatment services to tackle invasive species in aquatic ecosystems), the Yale School of Management (with their presentation of a peer-to-peer electric vehicle charging app), 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 nearly 3,000 students around the world since the program started 10 years ago. 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 experiential learning opportunities in impact investing is strong – and growing each year. We’re delighted that we can deliver that experience not only to students at Wharton, but to hundreds more around the globe through the Turner MIINT,” said Sandi Hunt, Wharton Social Impact’s managing director.
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 Nick Ashburn, vice president and director of responsible investing strategy at PNC and Turner MIINT judge.
Growing Turner MIINT@Wharton
To meet the demand from Wharton students, Wharton Social Impact expanded Turner MIINT participation at Wharton. Though only one team from Wharton can advance to the semifinals, Turner MIINT@Wharton allows many Wharton teams to compete for that spot — and, in doing so, they all get experience pitching their deal to a mock investment committee.
“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.”
Mid-March, Turner MIINT@Wharton teams compete with each other to see who gets to represent Wharton at the Turner MIINT Global Finals. We look forward to following the global competition on April 9, 2021. Follow @whartonsocial on Twitter for live competition updates.
— Nisa Nejadi
Posted: March 22, 2021