As the world pushes through the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Michigan students continue to carve their own entrepreneurial paths. At the beginning of fall term, student-led startups were selected for the Dare to Dream grant program at the Zell Lurie Institute. Through dedication and determination, grant funding was awarded to 36 of these U-M ventures.
The Dare to Dream grant program moves U-M students through the business creation process by offering business development support and awarding up to $5,000 in grants to individuals or student teams. The program requires students to submit deliverables as they are guided through the business development path from a nascent idea to formulating and assessing potential businesses to planning and launching these businesses. The Dare to Dream grant offers three phases and students may enter their business into the program at any phase.
Mayleben Venture Shaping – Phase I
athlEATs – A software program to help endurance athletes develop nutrition plans to optimize performance and recovery. Student awardee: Erin Nieusma (MBA ’21).
Bramble – The everything cart that will allow users to centralize items from different ecommerce stores to one cart and streamline the checkout process. Student awardees: Tim Blair (MBA ’21), and Jamie Shisler (MBA ’21).
Bridge – A recruiting platform that fosters organic conversations in a student-driven manner at in-person and virtual events, additionally providing students, recruiters, event managers and companies with actionable feedback in a comfortable and user-friendly ecosystem. Student awardees: Brian Lin (BE ’21), Hunter Harloff (BSE ’21), Arya Kumar (BSE ’22), and Ashish Urval (BS ’21).
buddy/health – A digital health platform enabling college students to have on-demand access to healthcare. Student awardees: Kasha Scott (MBA ’21), and Payal Parikh (MBA ’21).
Creating Who You Are – A community-based on-line platform that produces and shares the wisdom and tools to unlock our potential to create our conscious, harmonious and coherent self. Student awardee: Dimitri Alejo Giraldo (MBA ‘22).
Detroit Design and Technology Corporation – A decentralized data exchange platform facilitating user sovereignty over their digital identity and enabling ownership of their data without reliance on third-party services. Student awardee: Kirk Turrentine (BSE ’21).
Digital Nomad Cases – Protective luggage for the tech-savvy traveler. Student awardee: Ian Stewart (MBA ’22).
EpiSLS – A novel medical device to validate patient reported allergies at the bedside with a rapid, safe, and accessible platform. Student awardee: Parker Martin (MD/MBA ’22).
FEMoney Investing Platform – An investing platform for women that utilizes an algorithm based on persuasion technology to recommend investment opportunities and auto enroll/invest users into stocks, etfs, mutual funds, and alternative funds. Student awardee: Marian Omidiji (MBA’22).
homeBASE – A single-sign on administrative platform that brings together residential service provider options, enrollment, transaction and consolidated payment management capabilities for new homeowners. Student awardee: Erica Elias (MBA ’22).
Kiakia Foods – An e-commerce food brand serving distributors and consumers through our new landmark delivery program. Student awardee: Ari A Arowoile (MBA ’22).
Nunana Meals – Online grocery and recipe marketplace connecting ethnic grocers and their customers. Student awardee: Kwame Ankomah-Boateng (MBA ’21).
snug – An on-demand and custom clothing from sustainable materials that will have you wondering why clothes weren’t always made this way. Student awardee: Maura McInerney-Rowley (MBA’22).
The Devereux Collective – A collaborative lifestyle art & fashion label, bringing together creative minds that deliver interesting works of art, whether decorative or wearable. Student awardee: Claire Pardington (WMBA’22).
utORpia – A platform that makes financial analysis easy and democratized. Student awardees: Adithya Sanjay (BBA/BSE, ’22), and Adam Schreck (CS, ’21).
Virgo – A non-toxic hair product that promotes healthy hair growth and hair length retention among women of African descent. Student awardee: Madison Bates (BBA/BFA ’23).
Yolked – A 2.5D Action Adventure video game developed by a student-led game studio, MacroHard Studio, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Student awardees: Hazel Wong (BS ’20), Baha Okten (BS ’20), and Floney Yang (BS, ’21).
Zai App – A free AR interior design app; just let it know what you like and it will design your room for you. Student awardee: Idris Hanafi (MSI, ’22).
Zoomleap – A lessons platform for children to learn hobbies on-demand. Student awardee: Patrick Morgan (BSE ’22).
Applebaum Dare to Dream Assessment – Phase II
Aurora Tights – A disruptive company that designs sports apparel for performers of ALL skin tones and ALL sizes. Student awardee: Imani Rickerby (MHSA ’21).
BUYMYSPOT – Peer-to-peer marketplace for parking on college campuses. Student awardees: Ian Herdegen (BSI ’22) and Jacob Glick (BSE ’22).
Caregiver Health Tool – A tool for caregivers to add healthy habits such as exercise and meditation into their life with content catered specifically for them. Student awardees: Stephanie Simpson (MBA/MSI ’21), and Joshua Tooker (MBA/MSI ’21).
Down to the Roots, Ann Arbor – The most efficient, all-in-one service that will conveniently transform a property with precision and efficiency. Student awardees: Isaac Lippert (BBA ’24), Robbie White (SCM ’24), and Tyler Stephens-Romanow (KINS ’24).
Drone Autonomy – Developing health informed mission management for drones. Student awardee: Prashin Sharma, (PhD Candidate, Robotics ’21).
enGarage – In-garage delivery service in a safe, secure and convenient manner. Student awardee: Peng Zhao (PT-MBA ’21).
GrayRain – Builds web tools to securely share healthcare data for a more productive ecosystem. Student awardees: Johnny Liu (BS ’21), and Ronak Shetty (BS ’21).
Helix Professional Services – Consulting sprints and white-label case competition management. Student awardees: David Botos (BBA ’22), Arya Pudota (BS ’22), and Calvin McIntyre (BS ’22).
Hi-Jack – High-quality, affordable décor products that turn obsolete household eye sores into useful and attractive spaces in the home. Student awardees: Clinton Bourbonais (MBA ’21), and Corey Stearns Bourbonais (MBA ’21).
Just Enough Wines – Premium, great-tasting wine in the convenience of a can. Student awardee: Kaitlyn Lo (MBA ’21).
LeaseMagnets – A B2B SaaS Proptech startup that bridges the gap between the physical and digital leasing experience, by bringing the in-person touring experience live on each apartment website. Student awardees: Amulya Parmar (BBA/BS ’22), and Varun Madan (BBA ’21).
MintyBrain – An educational 3D math arcade called “Smartyville” to help students practice math and bolster their confidence in their math abilities. Student awardee: Dan Zakon (BS ’21).
SportsBooster – A college football fan app where players create conferences and compete with friends throughout the season. Student awardees: Michael Bettis (MBA ’21), and Sean Skyllingstad (MBA ’21).
Applebaum Dare to Dream Assessment – Phase III
Comme Homme – A tech enabled men’s grooming and lifestyle brand serving the over 50 Million Men that are bald or dealing with hair loss in America. Student awardees: Kene Onuorah (MBA ’21), and Mejoy Lawson (MBA 21′).
PeerMinutes – A web platform that matches student tutors with students seeking help to decrease the (virtual) office hours line for Computer Science classes and increase on-demand resources on campus. Student awardees: Anastasia Bergeron (BA ’21), Arjun Chaliha (BSE ’21), Louis Gouirand (BSE ’21), and Hridey Sahgal (BSE ’21).
Salud – An online wedding planning service that empowers engaged couples to virtually plan their wedding with the assistance of a human wedding planner. Student awardees: Anne Goering (MBA December ’20), and Shivani Kothari (MBA ’21).
Vitam – A personalized, web-based communication tool for patients with aphasia who have lost their ability to express language, including their ability to speak, write, type, or even spell. Student awardees: Linda Weng (BSE ’24), and Maxwell Weng (BSE ’22).
The Eugene Applebaum Dare to Dream Grant Program is supported by the late Eugene Applebaum and Applebaum Family Philanthropy. Support for the Mayleben Family Venture Shaping Grants is provided by Tim Mayleben, CEO and president of Aastrom Biosciences, and his wife Dawn Evans.
Congratulations to all of our Dare to Dream Fall 2020 award recipients. We look forward to following your journey as you continue to develop and refine your U-M venture.