Shared-X is a for-profit impact investing company working to revamp agricultural practices and models for high-value specialty crops like organic bananas, aromatic cocoa and specialty coffee in developing countries. They strive to close the agricultural yield gap by implementing advanced farming techniques while also connecting rural farmers to global markets so they can earn more equitable returns from their harvest.

Erb Student Involvement
Erb Strategic Advisory Council (SAC) Member, John Denniston and his business partner, Tony Salas visited U-M in September 2015 to share collaboration opportunities with Erb Institute MBA/MS dual-degree students. This cutting-edge model sparked the interest of Erb students so much so that a group of 16 students gathered together after the event to strategize potential student involvement with Shared-X.

On the ground experience
Two Erb students from this group, Carissa De Young and Bob Kraynak, traveled to Peru in December 2015 to see the Shared-X model in action, with the goal of reporting their findings back to the group. Carissa and Bob connected and interacted with a variety of stakeholders: farmers, distributors and many others who bring Shared-X to life. This trip gave the students better insight into the production process and will allow the Business Impact Group (BIG) to make improved recommendations for scaling the impact Shared-X can have on rural farmers in Peru.