The 2021 Michigan Business Challenge (MBC), the University of Michigan’s annual campus-wide business plan competition, exposes students to a rigorous, multi-phase business development and planning process. Open to all current undergraduate and graduate students, entrepreneurial teams from medicine, business, law, engineering, and a number of other different disciplines are advancing to the final round of the competition.
Introduced in 2020, MBC features three tracks of competition for the student teams. Four winners from each track are moving forward to the 2021 Michigan Business Challenge Finals.
MBC Seigle Impact Track
The MBC Seigle Impact Track recognizes the business that best pursues a mission-driven goal and aims to stimulate the creation of new businesses, products or services that prioritize social and/or environmental considerations. The teams advancing in this track include:
CLOVO Brand – CLOVO Brand is a sustainable fashion company that produces the most comfortable and natural sheer tights using Tencel and a functional design to eliminate sagging, discomfort, and wardrobe malfunctions. Megan Martis (MS ’21)
EQuity – EQuity is a learning and development venture that provides digital training and coaching to help clients advance racial justice by developing emotional intelligence. Justin Woods (MBA/MSW ’21)
Parcel Health – Parcel Health designs and creates sustainable medication products. We have created a 100% recyclable medication bottle replacement to replace orange plastic prescription bottles to drastically reduce plastic waste. Melinda Su-En Lee (PharmD ’21), Victor Le (PhD ’21)
SustainiUM – SustainiUM’s technology collects heat generated by spent nuclear fuel, a form of nuclear waste, and uses this heat to dry wastewater sludge. Jacob Ladd (JD’23), Luyao Li (MS’21), Anya Shapiro (MS/MBA’22), Aniket Yadav (MS’21)
MBC Innovation Track
The Michigan Business Challenge Innovation Track recognizes new ventures that offer a product, service, mobile application, or platform serving consumers or enterprises. The following teams will be advancing to the finals:
Aurora Tights – Aurora Tights provides inclusive sports apparel for dancers, ice skaters, and other performers of all skin tones and sizes. Imani Rickerby (MHSA, ’21)
EcoSimmer – EcoSimmer provides the first ever flameless and compact device for making hot meals and drinks in the backcountry. Tom Swift (MBA ’21), Josh Troger (MBA ’21), Joshua Ahrens (MBA ’21), Ted Jerse (MBA ’21) and Cory Ireland (MBA ’21).
LeaseMagnets – LeaseMagnets is a B2B SaaS proptech startup that bridges the gap between the physical and digital leasing experience. Amulya Parmar (BSE/BBA ’22) & Varun Madan (BBA ’21)
MintyBrain – MintyBrain is building highly engaging educational video games to make kids fall in love with math and STEM subjects. Dan Zakon (BS ’21).
MBC Invention Track
The Michigan Business Challenge Invention Track recognizes ventures that have intellectual property at the core of their high-tech venture and aims to stimulate the creation of new businesses in life sciences, physical sciences, mobility, AR/VR, and more. The student-led teams advancing to the finals include:
EpiSLS – EpiSLS is a novel medical device enabling automated, in-vivo allergy testing with a rapid, safe, and reliable platform. Parker Martin (MD, MBA ’22)
Rolling Lights – Rolling Lights provides unique engineering solutions used to produce luxury flexible OLED lighting panels at a low cost. Zhiyi Chen (PhD ’22), Boning Qu (PhD ’21)
Surgical ComfORt – Surgical ComfORt reimagines the surgical assistant by designing and manufacturing a highly versatile assistive arm that combines several vital functions to improve efficiency and ergonomics of the case. Mark Farha (MD/MBA ’22), Devlin McConnell (MBA ’22), Lauren LaMonica (MD ’24), Christopher Tossas (PhD Biomedical Engineering ’22), Yuvraj Singh (Masters Mechanical Engineering ’22)
The Smartwheel Project – The Smartwheel Project offers an affordable wheel that transforms any bike to an electric bike in a matter of seconds. Pablo Oliveros Rubio, (WMBA ’22)
These innovative teams have the opportunity to win a variety of cash prizes totaling more than $100,000, gain feedback from judges, and expand their business network with fellow entrepreneurs and prospective investors. Select your favorite U-M startup and cheer them on Friday, February 26.