Empowering Future Impact Investors: Our Experience in the 2023 Turner MIINT Programme
Turner MIINT is a hands-on education in impact investing for business and graduate school students. It is facilitated by impact investment firm Bridges Fund Management in conjunction with the Wharton Social Impact Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania.
2023 marked INSEAD’s seventh participation in the programme. How did we perform this year? Read our journey below to find out!
We started our journey in October 2022 when we formed a team of 12 people across the Fontainebleau and Singapore campuses. This team was selected after an initial recruitment process set up by the CDC team.
MIINT is different from the typical impact investing competitions because it also weaves in the learning aspect on top of just the competition. Participants are called MIINT students as we go through a hands-on learning experience through a curriculum that teaches us the A-to-Z of impact investing.
It focused on the foundations of an investment thesis and strategy, how to source early-stage investments, how to conduct due diligence, and how to present to an investment committee.
What’s also quite unique about MIINT is that it’s not a simulation.
Instead, we had to do everything that an impact investment professional would do, which was supported by interim assignments.
There were also more than ten events throughout the year, which ranged from fireside chats with impact investors to additional training which would complement the self-paced course. The programme culminated at the investment committee weekend in Philadelphia, where INSEAD represented the selected company to the panel and competed for up to $50,000 investment into the startup.
The investment capital is provided by a third-party supporter of MIINT, and as such there are criteria the selected company must meet, such as its size and stage, the investment type, and the company must be raising capital (separate to the MIINT investment).
Around December, we came to a really exciting yet challenging part of the process, which was to do our sourcing execution.
The team reached out to more than 15 startups, and we scheduled one-hour calls with each of the founders to talk about our initial due diligence process.
During our initial call, we assessed the companies holistically from their product and value proposition, business model, team structure and of course, their impact proposition
Out of the 15 startups we talked to, we finally shortlisted six startups, and everyone on the team voted for their preference. To choose the final startup to pitch in Philadelphia, we held a pitch competition where we presented the investment options in just three minutes.
Finally, as a team, we made a decision to choose Bib Batteries. Bib Batteries is an end-to-end battery management solution which optimises the performance of batteries in the micro-mobility space, extends their lifecycle and offers recycling options at the end of their lifecycle, thus making batteries more sustainable.
Pitching for these investments was quite different from pitching our own idea because we needed to be objective in our assessment and include not only the most positive factors but also the potential risk.
Leading up to the competition in April in Philadelphia, the team worked together to submit a comprehensive investment memo that summarised our due diligence process.
The team also developed an investment deck and practised our pitch almost every day for about one week. We were guided by our team’s mentors Ernst Hoestra and Laura Noorani.
The live competition at Wharton Business School was the culmination of our six-month work on the MIINT Programme.
We started the day with a panel discussion with the sponsors of the programme and during the lunch break, we had another discussion on impact investing.
The event provided a unique educational opportunity for us to practice our pitching skills in front of three judges at the semi-finals, which were held on the first day. We also observed four other teams and had networking drinks with all 31 business school participants and judges.
The highlight of that day was when we were announced as one of the six teams to continue to the finals.
The night before the final, we practiced our pitch again based on the feedback from the first day to make sure we would deliver it perfectly. On the finals next day, we presented our investment pitch in front of six judges and 150 other students.
Shortly afterwards, the time we’d been waiting for had come, the winner announcement!
We got the second place out of all 31 participating teams.
The MIINT Programme ended up being one of our highlights during our INSEAD journey as it provided great training in impact investing, an opportunity to practice our presentation skills and an expanded network beyond our school. We also cherished the friendships we grew throughout the programme.