The Fowler Center's 2022 Impact Investing Competition

Photo of 2nd place 2022 winners, team "ESG Capital"
From left to right: Nick Cwikla, Colin Basinski, Yuzi Li, Shawn Sun, and Brandon Gathagan with their second place award.

On Friday, February 25th, the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit hosted its 3rd Impact Investing Competition in person at the Peter B. Lewis building on the Case Western Reserve campus.

Five student teams presented in person before a panel of six judges- all representing a unique and diverse field of investing and social impact-oriented practitioners. The pre-recorded 7 minutes video presentations from the participating teams addressed their reason behind choosing a specific UN Global Goal, their investment thesis, their approach for determining investments, and an overview of each investment. The six judges included:

  • Lynn Carpenter, Co-Founder, EPOCH Pi
  • William Vogelgesang, Co-Founder, EPOCH Pi
  • Christal L. Contini, Co-Chair, Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group, McDonald Hopkins, LLC
  • Amy Wojnarwsky, Business Associate, Business Department, McDonald Hopkins, LLC
  • Ben Cooper, Sr. Vice President, Portfolio Management, KeyBank
  • Scott Hackenberg, Social Impact Investor   

This year’s Impact Investing Competition was focused on enhancing the students’ awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN Global Goals) and gaining a real-world understanding of portfolio management in the impact investing space. Students were given an opportunity to be creative in their role as impact investors and assemble an investment portfolio that maximized impact aligned with the Global Goals while also realizing financial returns. Teams were responsible for allocating $100 Million USD in up to three investment opportunities.  After finalizing their portfolio and completing due diligence, teams were required to “pitch” their investment portfolio to a panel of potential investors (competition judge panel) through a pre-recorded video.

The competition was held in person in the Peter B. Lewis building on the Case Western Reserve campus. Judges evaluated each team and anonymously shared their constructive feedback with participating teams after the competition was concluded. Following the team presentations, a pre-recorded interview between Fowler Center Fellow Ayushee Agarwal and Keynote Speaker Dr. Rumu Sarkar (General counsel of Millennium Partners (MP) and Adjunct Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law) was played.  At 3:45 pm, the winners were announced by the panel of judges.
First place, and a prize of $2,000 total, went to team “Coffee & Finance”: Suyash Pranjal (Full-time MBA), Anshul Gupta (Full-time MBA), and Samit Chauhan (Full-time MBA).

Second place, and a prize of $1,000 total, went to team “ESG Capital”: Colin Basinski (Full-time MBA), Brandon Gathagan (Full-time MBA), Nick Cwikla (Full-time MBA), Shawn Sun (MSM- Finance), and Yuzi Li (MSM- Finance).

The Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit would like to thank all of the student teams for their work in crafting their portfolios and presentations and the judges for their time and dedication to the education and coaching of our business students. We would also like to thank Dr. Rumu Sarkar - our Keynote Speaker for the event, for broadening student understanding of the impact investment landscape. 

The Fowler Center would like to thank Megan Buchter - Director of the Fowler Center, for managing the team presentations and making this competition succeed in person. A big shout out and thanks to Fowler Center fellows (Kyle Regan, Ayushee Agarwal, Nikita Tayal, Tyler Holsopple, and Fiona Wang) and staff (Joseph Bianchini) for working together to successfully plan, organize, and manage this competition.