by Eva Gudbergsdottir

A team of four Middlebury Institute MBA students won the international Business for a Better World Case Competition in Davos, Switzerland, in January. Teammates Ben Grimmig MBA ’17, Shannon Nolan MBA ’17, Christina Lukeman MBA ’17 and Nicholas Fisher MBA/MAIEP ‘17 beat out finalist teams from McGill University and York University, taking home $6,000 and a crystal trophy.

The competition is a partnership between Corporate Knights and the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto. This year teams were challenged to design a global equity portfolio that advances the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals while also maximizing returns.

The Institute team’s proposal was titled “A Purposeful Tilt” and utilized the “tilting” strategy of a well-diversified portfolio to generate impact. The team gave added weight to firms based on their proprietary financial and impact evaluation, and created a dynamic model that can be adapted to meet the specific needs of a target market.

The team formed during the fall semester Business Competition Immersion class developed and taught by Dow and Yuwei Shi, and was coached by the two professors.

The win in Davos is the latest in a string of noteworthy successes for the Institute’s MBA teams. Student teams representing the Institute won The Economist case competition in 2015. Institute students took second place in the same competition in 2016 and third place in the Business for a Better World competition in 2014.