Kellogg MBAs Win Big at MINT Investment Competition

Kellogg MBAs Win Big at MINT Investment Competition

The Kellogg School of Management’s MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MINT) competition tasks teams of MBAs to discover the best real-world startups that have the potential to benefit both society and investors’ pocketbooks. Three Kellogg MBAs’ were drawn to Jail Education Solutions, a startup that provides tablet-based educational services to help inmates get their lives back on track, as the basis of their entry to the competition.

Kellogg’s Cindy Ye ’15, Zoila Jennings ’14 and Jennifer Wittig ’14 looked for potential startups in three places– online, through the Kellogg network and at local startup incubators like Impact Engine. These searches came together when the group met the Jail Education Solutions team at an Impact Engine demo day. JES was founded by Kellogg student Brian Hill ’15, Northwestern Law grad Freya Riel ’13 and Andy Brimhall.

It was an earlier-stage startup than the other companies the team considered, but the team couldn’t shake the excitement they had when talking about JES. The team has found that backing JES has paid off— the trio beat out 60 students from seven top business schools at the competition’s finals at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The Kellogg team took home the Best Investment and Best Impact awards, as well as $50,000 in equity for JES.

“We first won the social impact award, which we were really excited about because we believe strongly that jail has very high social impact,” Jennings said. “But it was really exciting then to win the Best Investment because it demonstrated it’s not an either-or [question]. Even the most impactful could also be a fantastic investment.”

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