The Finals for the Zell Lurie Institute’s campus wide business plan competition, the Michigan Business Challenge (MBC), are only one day away! Leading up to the competition, ZLI has been highlighting one of the innovative teams from the MBC Semi-Finals each day.

MBC Semi-Finalist Team Zell Lurie Michigan Business Challenge University of Michigan Ross

Neurable – Ramses Alcaide (PhD ’15), Max Jacobson (MBA ’17), Xiaoya Ma

 How did you develop team name?

This was a really long process that included writing about 100 names and voting on which ones we liked with the original founders. Neurable got second place but it was everyone’s second place so we went with it.  What is more interesting is the meaning. Neurable = Neuron + Able. So we are enabling people to use their neurons to control devices.

Tell us briefly about your business idea. 

Our technology allows anyone to control devices like wheelchairs or video games using their thoughts. The passion to do this came to me when I was 8 years old and my uncle got into a truck accident, losing both his legs. Although at the time I did not know how to create the tools to help him. At that moment I decided to dedicate my life to creating technology to allow people with disabilities to live without limitations. It wasn’t until college when I studied engineering, and now as a soon to be neuroscience PhD, that I have the tools to make a difference.

My long term goal is to bring this technology to the mass market allowing everyone to interact differently with the world and transform the lives of people disabilities.

 How has the MBC experience helped transform your business strategy?

MBC has helped me form a team of incredibly talented MBAs and also helped us shift our business to a market that will allow us to grow and scale.

What do you think will be the long-term impact of the implementation of this idea?

Neurable’s technology has the potential to change the way humans interact with the world. Long-term this will allow people with disabilities to live without limitations and also create new interaction methods for everyone.

What has been your biggest takeaway from this experience? 

Our biggest learning experience was developing our business plan and getting feedback on everything we assumed incorrectly. The mentors really changed how we viewed our company’s growth and allowed us create better assumptions on how we plan to scale.

If you win, what will you do immediately following the competition?

We plan on investing the money towards hiring a full time development team to help create Neurable’s final technology. Thus, allowing to effectively raise seed and series A funding.

Final thoughts? 

We are an early startup looking for seed funding on an exciting and transformative technology. Also we promise we can’t read your mind from afar and don’t plan to create SkyNet!

Michigan Business Challenge Zell Lurie Institute University of Michigan Ross

Learn more about these great student startups by attending the Michigan Business Challenge Showcase and Finalson February 19. Route for your favorite team during the MBC final presentations at 3p.m., mingle with local entrepreneurs during the showcase at 5p.m., then stay to cheer on the winners as they accept cash award prizes totaling up to $85,000!

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