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 Team

NeoHealth – Sujai Arakali and Derrell Chapman

Twitter: @neohealthmi

How did you come up with your name?

We wanted a name that showed that we were a modern medical innovation company, so we brainstormed a bunch of names until we both agreed on NeoHealth.

Tell us briefly about your venture.

NeoHealth focuses on eliminating the global problem of counterfeit drugs through a low-cost device that attaches to the back of a phone and utilizes the camera to detect counterfeit drugs. We hope that it makes a significant reduction in the number of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and ends up saving lives.

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

Prior to MBC, both of us were primarily focused on the technical development of the product and lacked knowledge of how to pitch our project or develop a projection for our financials. The mentorship and workshops helped teach us skills essential for the development of a successful company.

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

An estimated 1,000,000 deaths occur each year due to counterfeit pharmaceuticals. We hope that our product will be able significantly reduce the number of lives impacted by counterfeit pharmaceuticals in developing country.

What has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?

Starting a business can be one of the most exciting yet difficult tasks. Thankfully the University of Michigan has countless resources to help make this experience as easy as possible.

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

Get back to work. An entrepreneur never has time to relax.

Learn more about these great student startups by attending the Michigan Business Challenge Semi-Finals and Finals on March 15.

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