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Incoming Ross MBA Students Look to Innovate Detroit

8/24/2012 --

Foundation session orientation program will take 500 Full-time MBA students into Detroit to learn valuable leadership lessons.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Starting Friday, Aug. 24, more than 500 incoming Full-time MBA students are participating in the 2012 Ross Leadership Initiative Foundation Session, a week-long orientation program that focuses on leadership development.

Titled “Ross Impact Challenge: Innovate Detroit,” the program is dividing the students into 48 teams working with one of six nonprofit organizations. The students will have six days to fully develop a “pitch” for a new for-profit venture that creates economic and social value in Detroit.

The teams will focus on six sectors — with a prominent Detroit nonprofit helping them understand the market need and context in each:

With lessons from Ross professors and coaching sessions from Ann Arbor SPARK along the way, students will present their venture ideas to a panel of judges at the end of the week. Students will also be sharing their experiences with the public during the program, using the tag #RossLeaders on Twitter. View a live stream of Tweets from the students and participating organizations.

The teams with the best pitches will have an opportunity to work with organizations such as the Ross Social Venture Fund and SPARK to further develop and fund their ventures.

During the week, students will engage in a series of workshops designed to develop their leadership and entrepreneurial skills, including:

The session will wrap up in Blau Auditorium on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 1:15 p.m. with a keynote address from Robert Safian, editor of Fast Company magazine. That event is free and open to the public.

— Christopher Ankney

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 647-1847,