Our Story

Cohort 1, 2016-2017

Cohort 1, 2016-2017


We believe students can change the world. OptimizeWayne unleashes that potential by creating inspiring environments for students to take action on self-directed projects that work toward a just and sustainable world.

After participating in the Challenge at the University of Michigan, Limi Sharif recognized the potential for growth and impact in Detroit. Kavya Davuluri joined her as they set to work, developing a network, finding support, and understanding their university in a different light. With the addition of Leena Abbas and the guidance of optiMize founder Jeff Sorensen, the founding team was complete.

Student teams participate in the Social Innovation Challenge—our co-curricular program that provides workshops, mentorship, and resources to grow an idea into real impact. So far, the Challenge has helped 130 students develop 60+ social impact projects. If you can think of something positive you want to do, even if you don't think of it as a "startup", we can almost guarantee it will fit with OptimizeWayne!

You can get involved too! By being an Optimizer, making out a gift, mentoring our entrepreneurs, or stopping by at our next event!