COVID-19 Stories: Michigan Ross Executive MBAs Tackle Real Pandemic-Related Challenges and Opportunities Facing Six Organizations Across the U.S. and Around the World
As the pandemic continues to impact the global business community, teams of Executive MBA students from the Ross School of Business are working with six organizations on projects related to new opportunities created by the crisis.
The EMBAs’ projects are part of a special action-based learning elective course this summer. The course was created to help organizations address their needs during this uncertain time as well as to provide students with hands-on experience tackling challenging, real-world problems.
The six organizations span a wide range of sizes and industries across the globe — from Microsoft Healthcare to Lima, Peru-based iVisa. Projects range in scope from developing marketing and sales strategies to creating a playbook for how small- and medium-sized businesses can safely reopen:
Akervall Technologies Inc.
Akervall Technologies Inc. is a manufacturer based in Saline, Mich., that creates mouth guards for athletic and medical use. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, ATI has pivoted from producing mouth guards to developing and producing personal protective equipment. The EMBA team is developing a go-to-market strategy for this new line of medical protective products, which will include face shields and new designs currently under patent review.
Frontizo Cares combines its proprietary technology and service experience to provide clinics, hospitals, and accountable care organizations nationwide with free or low-cost solutions for tracking patient data. The company’s care coordination and remote patient monitoring services are particularly useful in helping hospitals care for patients who are discharged due to overcrowding in the pandemic. The EMBA team is working on a strategic logistics plan to implement its remote patient monitoring devices in hospital systems.
Founded in 2013, iVisa’s web-based platform simplifies the process of applying for travel visas, saving customers time and frustration. The Lima, Peru-based company has been growing quickly since 2017 and has become a leader in the e-visa market; however, the travel and tourism sector has been dramatically affected by COVID-19 and recovery will take time. The EMBA team is evaluating whether iVisa should continue focusing exclusively on travel documentation or pivot to other markets by providing a forecast for the industry, competitive landscape assessment, and product roadmap.
Microsoft Healthcare focuses on cloud-based solutions that improve outcomes for patients, providers, payers, pharma, platforms, and policymakers. Since the pandemic began, Microsoft has expanded its target audience to include organizations, governments, and large enterprises to provide and/or support solutions that will help save lives, enable safe return to work, have an immediate impact, and are scalable. The EMBA team is working with Microsoft to develop a “back to workplace” playbook for small- to medium-sized businesses.
optimize.health is a leading digital health brand that delivers a SAAS-based Remote Patient Monitoring platform to enable healthcare systems to adopt virtual and remote care pathways. Although optimize.health is currently the market leader, COVID-19 has accelerated demand for its product and with it a rush of new competitive entrants. The EMBA team is working on evaluating optimize's business model and pricing options, conducting a competitive pricing analysis, and providing a recommendation for a financial model.
Troy Chamber of Commerce
The Troy Chamber of Commerce in Troy, Mich., serves nearly 700 members across 50 different industries, such as manufacturing, hospitality, automotive, financial, legal, nonprofits, and retail. Since the pandemic emerged, the chamber has had to cancel many events and seen a rapid decrease in membership renewal, both of which it relies on to cover its operational expenses. The EMBA team is developing a recovery plan of growth strategies, including recruiting and retaining new members after the pandemic, along with new revenue stream ideas.