Ross Students to Hit the Road for an Entrepreneurial Road Trip You’ll Wish You Could Go On, Too


This May, eight Ross MBA students will embark on a road trip across America to meet with social entrepreneurs around the country and work with them on bringing innovative solutions to the challenges their companies are facing.

It’s part of Open Road, a new action-based social entrepreneurship program developed by Ross students and based on the MBAs Across America Open Road model. The aim of the program is to give small business owners extra help in solving complex challenges, and to help students gain firsthand experience understanding the various issues social ventures face.

Over the course of the next five weeks, the students will drive from state to state meeting entrepreneurs, spending one week on site in each location working together on a solution to a business problem, and then pack up the car and hit the road again.

From Michigan to Texas, and from North Dakota to Alabama, the two teams will meet with nine companies in seven states:


Teams will be chronicling and reflecting on their journeys in various ways over the next few weeks — here’s how you can follow along:

Student Voices Blog

Students will be writing about their travels and work in each location on a weekly basis in the Ross Student Voices Blog. UPDATE: See bottom of post of complete list of blogs.

Read the blogs


Teams will be posting pictures from their road trips to Instagram using the tag #RossOpenRoad. Once their trips begin this week, you can follow the tag to check out pictures from the road. Students traveling are listed below, along with their Instagram accounts.


Aaron Steiner, MBA ʼ17

Anita Lin, MBA ʼ17

Iris Nguyen, MBA ʼ17

Sarah Haroon, MBA ʼ17

Blake Van Fleteren, MBA ʼ17

Sanmeet Jasuja, MBA ʼ17

Mikaela Rodkin, MBA ʼ17 Alexander Ho, MBA ʼ17

For more about the trip, information on the companies, and bios of the team members hitting the road this summer, visit the Center for Social Impact site.

The Open Road program is sponsored by the Zell Lurie Institute, the Center for Social Impact, the Sanger Leadership Center, and General Motors.

Read More From The Open Road


WEEK ONE: We’re Driving Across America, Learning About Hard Decisions and Sweet Potato Pies
We launched into our Open Road journey with the delicious smells of fresh sweet potato pie at Detroit’s Sweet Potato Sensations — which is celebrating 28 years of business. Read Blog

WEEK TWO: In a Small Town, We Learned Some Big Lessons About Partnerships
There is no economic or regulatory incentive to recycle in the surrounding area, so Kevin relies on community members’ sense of environmental stewardship. Read Blog

WEEK THREE: Here in New Orleans, We Discovered What Really Matters
Our week with Tippy, Tonto, and Goods That Matter taught us the power of passion. Tippy is successfully integrating product design and social impact in a meaningful way. Read Blog

WEEK FOUR: This Is Business in the Real World. Textbook Solutions Will Only Get Us So Far
AMP faces real business challenges with the futures of real people on the line. THIS is business in the real world. Read Blog

WEEK FIVE: In Kansas City, We Witnessed How Human Connections Are Closing the Digital Divide
When you consider how critical the internet is to leading a productive life as an engaged citizen -- allowing us to access job opportunities, education, or any kind of information -- the idea of the digital divide begins to take shape. Read Blog


WEEK ONE: We Just Had A Perfect Experience During Our Entrepreneurial Road Trip Across America
Earlier this month we landed on-site with our first group of entrepreneurs who founded and run the company Mitten Crate. Read Blog


WEEK TWO: We Dove Into the Twin Cities to Learn About Hydroponics and Aquaponics
While with the Garden Fresh Farms team, we were asked to address how the farm can raise capital within two months to support the business in its next phase of growth. Read Blog​

WEEK THREE: The Entrepreneurial Pulse of Fargo Lives in the Prairie Den
Greg Tehven, co-founder of Emerging Prairie, presented us with this question on Monday: “How can we get people to want to stay in Fargo-Moorhead for one more day?” Read Blog

WEEK FOUR: We Experienced the Thriving Midwestern Tech Hub in Downtown Minneapolis
Our team arrived in Minneapolis on May 21 for the last leg of our amazing Ross Open Road experience. As we entered the 25-member premise of Flipgrid, a tech startup, we felt a strong connection to the office culture that promotes creativity. Read Blog

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