The Zell Lurie Institute’s campus-wide business plan competition, the Michigan Business Challenge (MBC), concludes on Friday, March 15. ZLI will highlight each of the student teams competing in the MBC Finals.

MBC Semi-Finalist

Calcium Solutions – Robert Chisena and Matthew Hildner (PhDs ’19 and ’20)

How did you come up with your team name?

Calcium Solutions was a natural extension of our device name, Plaque-Buster. Plaque-Buster is a device that provides a solution to interventional cardiologists to go into a person’s arteries and disintegrate dangerous calcifications, or hard spots. This treatment leads to better outcomes and is safer, more effective, and affordable to hospitals.

Tell us briefly about your venture.

The Calcium Solutions venture started with a long-time collaboration between Mechanical Engineering and the Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan. We not only hope to bring this device to market, but we also hope that the device will be able to increase the effectiveness of the treatment of calcified plaque. As the population continues to grow older, we expect Plaque-Buster will have a growing impact in the cardiovascular device space.

How has the MBC experience helped transform your approach to business strategy?

MBC has allowed our team to remain hyper-focused on the business aspect of our venture. We have been fortunate enough to meet with experts at the Zell Lurie Institute that have helped and guided us along the way. Finally, our team is more knowledgeable, confident, and prepared because of MBC.

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

Plaque-Buster has the opportunity to displace many existing and outdated technologies in the cardiovascular space for treating calcified plaque. Furthermore, because of its ease-of-use, clinicians will find the device familiar and adaptable to the clinical setting.

What has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?

Our team’s biggest takeaway is how to better communicate and connect with an audience. By doing this, we can reach a wider group of people so that we can spread the idea and the benefits of using this device.

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

If Disney World was an option, we would certainly choose that – Michigan winters are far too long. However, if it is not, we plan to continue the hard work that will be required to get this device into the hands of clinicians. The journey will be long, but we are confident that with the hard work and determination of our talented team, Plaque-Buster will be improving the treatment and lives of patients in no time.
Learn more about these great student startups by attending the Michigan Business Challenge Semi-Finals and Finals on March 15.

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