Reflection from the Winners of CSB's 2023 Sustainable Business Pitch Competition

CSB 2023 Sustainable Business Pitch Competition

Riley Angarella, Nate Hudson, Eitan Kahn, and Maggie Talbot


Winner's of the 2023 Sustainable Business Pitch Competition, sponsored by Eddie Stern, describe their strategy and takeaways from participating in the case competition. Congratulations Riley, Nate, Eitan, and Maggie!


After meeting through our involvement in student clubs, class trips, and Tensie Whelan’s Sustainability for Competitive Advantage course, our team was so excited to band together to work on a problem we were passionate about: alleviating food insecurity in New York State. 


It was the prompt that drove us to sign up for the Center for Sustainable Business’ 2023 Pitch Competition, which asked teams to pitch strategies for Dollar General to expand its range of healthy and sustainable food products offered in its New York State stores. We were immediately intrigued by the challenge and couldn’t wait to brainstorm how we could use Dollar General’s massive infrastructure to bring healthy and sustainable foods to the New Yorkers who needed it most.


Our team dove into research, starting by learning about the root causes of food insecurity, which we learned include a variety of components including lack of transportation access, cooking capabilities, and financial pressures. We learned more about how other communities had addressed these issues, what their pain points were, and what forward-thinking solutions looked like. This was anchored by the Expert Sessions coordinated by the Center for Sustainable Business, where we had the opportunity to work with Sustainability, Healthy Food, and Food Accessibility experts to learn more about their experience and perspective. 


After diving through countless hours of research, we applied our learnings to Dollar General’s business model, brainstorming how the company could leverage its vast infrastructure to help implement solutions to alleviate the accessibility issues we had researched. We even conducted field visits to understand on the ground level how these solutions could apply. Take a look at some of our research images below!