Northwestern Trustee Ellen Kullman ’83 MBA, chair of the board of directors at digital manufacturing platform Carbon, served as keynote speaker at this spring’s Convocation. Read the highlights and hear from the newest Kellogg School of Management alumni in this issue's “Connections”.
Kellogg School of Management MBA students took two of the top three prizes at VentureCat 2022, Northwestern University’s highly ranked entrepreneurship competition.
Teams prepared for weeks, pitching, coaching and prepping for the final round of presentations on May 25, 2022. From a field of 25 semifinalists, judges selected six finalists who pitched a few hours later during a public showcase at the Kellogg Global Hub, with several hundred in-person attendees and a livestream audience watching.
Beni, a browser extension that finds secondhand clothing alternatives while users shop their favorite brands, finished in second place. Founder Sarah Pinner ’22 MS, MBA, a graduate of the MMM Program, describes it as “Honey meets Expedia for recommerce.”
Pinner was exuberant after winning. “Since starting Beni in the fall of my first year at Kellogg, it has been quite a journey,” she said. “I could not think of a better capstone to my journey building Beni while at Kellogg.”
Zuri, a digital fertility app that gives patients vital information and resources to plan families, took third place. The startup is led by MD-MBA Program graduate Giuliana Zaccardelli ’22 MD, MBA, and Pritzker Law School graduate Blair Matthews ’22 JD.
First place went to InfernoGuard, a company co-founded by engineering student Kevin Kaspar ’24 that is developing a digital wildfire detection and notification solution.
The Kellogg School of Management has received a $2 million joint gift to establish the Thomas K. Montag Senior Fellowship in Sustainable Finance. Northwestern Trustee Tom Montag ’82 MBA and Janet M. Montag, along with Bank of America Charitable Foundation, each made a $1 million gift to Kellogg. Tom served as chief operating officer of Bank of America from 2014 until his retirement in December of 2021.
The Montag Senior Fellowship, honoring Tom’s contributions to sustainable finance, will bring prestigious leaders in the field on a rotating basis to engage with Kellogg students and faculty as part of the school’s mission to develop industry leaders. Sustainable finance focuses on responsible investing and business practices that prioritize environmental, social and governance issues. The gift will advance the field as it relates to finance, banking and economics in topics such as addressing climate change and promoting the circular economy as well as improving inclusive development practices.
“Anybody who knows Tom knows that he is a force of nature,” said Dean Francesca Cornelli. “He has been a leader in the financial and banking sector for a long time, always moving forward and not afraid to take new directions. It is not a surprise that he has been a supporter of sustainable finance from the very start. Kellogg shares his belief that the financial sector is pivotal in meaningfully advancing sustainability. This generous gift will make a significant difference in the study and teaching of sustainable finance. We at Kellogg are delighted to pay tribute to Tom’s incredible accomplishments and forward-looking attitude.”
Read the full story at Northwestern’s website.
You may have noticed a slight change to the alumni designations in this issue. Kellogg has made some adjustments to better recognize our alumni community. This new system, based on Northwestern’s established guidelines, will allow us to recognize our alumni more fully, demonstrate the breadth of the Kellogg community, and improve accuracy and consistency. For most alumni, the change will be adding Kellogg degree letters beside the graduation year. Kellogg alumni who earned additional degrees at Northwestern will be recognized for those achievements as well.