Impact Competition | Weatherhead

Fowler Center Impact Investing Case Competition: A unique and exciting challenge for Weatherhead students

The Fowler Center is pleased to announce its first ever Impact Investing Case Competition to be held February 2020 in partnership with Epoch Pi, a local purpose-driven investment bank, and Cleveland-based law firm McDonald Hopkins. The competition is open to all Weatherhead students and will require students to use various business skills to analyze and value a B Corporation. The purpose of the competition is to connect and engage students with the Fowler Center's mission and teach them about impact investment through a unique exercise and networking opportunity.

Participating in the FC Case Competition will give students the opportunity to:
  • Network with employers in the Cleveland investment and impact investment field
  • Gain insight into social enterprise and sustainable value creation
  • Apply valuable academic skills to a real world investment situation
  • Connect with Weatherhead students from different programs
  • Enhance presentation and teamwork skills
  • Win meaningful rewards including cash prizes

Case Format:

The case will be presented to students as a memo between 10 - 15 pages which will provide all the information needed to analyze and obtain the per-share value of a specific B Corporation. Students will use this memo to create an internal memorandum addressed to an investment manager detailing their recommended price for the company and providing analysis of the company and its industry in terms of growth, profitability, and sustainable value creation. The student memorandum should be no more than one page single-spaced (times new roman size 12 font, not including appendices or supplemental information). Students should construct the memorandum as if they were presenting a recommendation to an investment manager or an investment committee who will be determining whether or not to include the company in the allocation of a particular social impact investment portfolio. As such, students should discuss the merits of the company as an investment in terms of both its financial and social merits and not simply issue a price recommendation.

Students will be allowed to supplement the materials within the case with their own additional research, however, they should adhere to the dates provided within the memo and not use later information. Doing so will cause their team to lose points. Students will receive detailed submission rules and guidelines with the case memo. The memo will include all other submission requirements.

Students will also be asked to give a ten-minute powerpoint presentation on the date of the competition to summarize their findings and highlight important points. There will not be a separate time allotted for questions and judges will be informed that they may ask questions at any time during the presentations. These powerpoint presentations must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the night before the competition, along with the required memorandum.

Competition Date and Time:

The competition will take place on Friday, February 28th from noon to 3 p.m. and will be held at Weatherhead's Peter B. Lewis building. More details will be released in the weeks before the competition. Students should arrive at 12 p.m. for lunch and a brief informal presentation on impact investing.


Case documents will be released on Monday, February 3rd, at 8 am.

The memorandum submission deadline will be Thursday, February 27th, at 5 p.m.

Student presentations will take place Friday, February 28th at 1 p.m. after a brief presentation and a lunch provided by the Fowler Center at 12 p.m.

Application Deadline:

Students must complete and submit the application by 5 p.m. on January 31st to be eligible to participate in the competition. Students can access the application here.

Competition Rules and Other Information:


All Weatherhead students enrolled at the time of the competition are eligible to compete. Students must have access to the internet and be available to present in person to a panel of judges on February 28th from noon to 3 p.m.

Team Guidelines
  • Each team should be no fewer than three and no more than five current students
  • Students should be on one team only
  • All current Weatherhead students are encouraged to apply
  • There are no restrictions on team composition; however, students are encouraged to consider the relative strengths of their potential team members to form a more balanced team. The Fowler Center may be able to assist teams that are looking for additional members. If you are having difficulty finding team members, contact:

Student Behavior:
  • Teams may only share information with other team members.
  • Any viewing of competition materials beforehand will result in immediate disqualification.
  • Students are expected to behave in a professional business manner and treat judges, other team members, Fowler Center staff, and other contestants with courtesy and respect.
  • Students participating in the competition are representatives of the Weatherhead school of management and are therefore held to the Weatherhead Student Code of Conduct. Any plagiarism or academic dishonesty will result in disqualification.
  • If a team is not present twenty minutes before the start of presentations, that team may be disqualified. Students should be prepared to dress in formal business attire for their presentation.

Judge Qualifications:

Judges will be Weatherhead professors, alumni, or members of the Northeastern Ohio area business community who have the experience to judge the quality of the student presentations in terms of professionalism, accuracy, appropriateness of methods used, and quality of the supplementary analysis. Judges will be familiar with impact investing and investment management, valuation methods, and sustainable value creation.

Judge Determinations:

Judges will determine the contest winner and runner up by using a rubric, which will assign points to various categories of student performance. The total point value will be 100 points. Teams should recognize that judges will make qualitative determinations and will consider a variety of factors. Technical competence, creativity, the effectiveness of communication, and professionalism will be among these factors. Individual judge scores will be averaged together to obtain a final score. There will be no appeals to judge determinations. In the case of a tied point value, judges will confer and decide the winner by a simple majority vote.