The first round of the 2020 Michigan Business Challenge (MBC) was held on Friday, November 22, at the Ross School of Business. Fifty student-led ventures competed for a chance to advance in the annual campus-wide business plan competition – boasting over $100,000 in cash prizes.
MBC guides student entrepreneurs through the entire cycle of new venture creation, from creating a strong pitch to writing a comprehensive business plan. After much deliberation, our panels of expert judges selected the following teams to advance to Round 2:
Cellular EMS – CellularEMS is a software-based energy management system for improving energy efficiency and sustainability of cell tower networks.
Comme Homme – Developing a two-prong solution comprised of uniquely designed shaving products and an interactive online community to inject confidence into the hair loss journey and improve the experience of bald men everywhere.
Mashed – Mashed produces simple and delicious banana-based, non-dairy ice cream because customers shouldn’t have to choose between real, healthy foods and dessert.
Official Burrito Blanket – Official Burrito Blanket is an e-commerce retailer famous for making The Burrito Blanket, a fleece blanket mimicking the design of a tortilla, go incredibly viral on social media. They sell a variety of products from blankets to bedspreads and offer their featured product on the Macy’s website.
Peer Minutes – A web platform that matches student tutors with students seeking help to decrease the office hours line for Computer Science classes and increase on-demand resources on campus.
Rotaero – Bringing radical transparency to the aerospace industry with a collaborative B2B demand planning SaaS platform that enables the secure sharing and analysis of supply and demand data.
TyFlos – A new venture that empowers the visually-impaired to instantly understand and easily navigate their surroundings.
ZeroSixty – A consumer brand offering a fast-absorbing energy chew that provides convenient, on-the-go energy for active and busy adults.
This year, the Michigan Business Challenge introduced the IP Track to support U-M entrepreneurs focused on innovative technologies. Student teams advancing in the IP Track include:
Accreos – Developing the patented AxiSym Brace, a non-invasive medical bone stimulator device to accelerate fracture healing and improve the quality of life of patients suffering from fractured bones.
FMB Technologies – A systems services company developing a device to help researchers obtain better data from laboratory animal studies.
GoodKnight – Developing a lucid-dream inducing headband using brainwave analysis to alleviate the effects of recurring nightmares in users with PTSD and/or Nightmare Disorder.
PuriPod – Alleviates challenges associated with menstrual cup usage through their creation of a portable menstrual cup sterilizer.
SSInnovations is developing an innovative eyelid speculum that improves the comfort, safety, and cost-effectiveness of intravitreal injection procedures.
Sleep Churro – A small, portable, and minimally invasive device capable of reducing snoring/sleep apnea by relieving upper airway obstruction through the stenting open of the nasopharyngeal airway.
Tactile Systems – A tactile sensing device that can be embedded to the prosthesis to measure pressure and shear distribution at the residual limb allowing the prosthetist to design a better fitting prosthesis for amputees.
Vitresoft – A privacy conscious brain computer interface company providing effortless communication and authentication to your digital ecosystem.
The Michigan Business Challenge Seigle Impact Track, with prizes totaling over $26,000, recognizes the business plan that best pursues a mission-driven goal. The Seigle Impact Track teams advancing in the competition include:
Apply-U – An online college admissions platform that will ensure first-generation students receive tailored college admissions content, persist through the college admissions process, and achieve life-changing outcomes.
For Dearborn – A space for the Arab and/or Muslim community in Dearborn to discuss taboo issues through media, programming, fashion and philanthropy.
HalalFin – A platform that utilizes blockchain technology, specifically cryptocurrency, to provide individuals access to Islamic-compliant banking and transacting.
HBCU-DAP – Provides resources, mentorship, and support for HBCU students on their journey to the Doctorate.
hEARt Listens – Promoting positive mental health on college campuses by developing a platform that connects students who want to talk with students who want to listen.
Lillian Augusta – A biodegradable hair that will revolutionize the Black hair care industry, providing a sustainable solution to the synthetic hair products currently on the market – hair without harm.
Puente – Software for efficient data collection and analysis to provide sustainable impact in international health development
Revolin Sports – Revolutionizing the sporting goods industry by creating high-performance, sustainable sporting goods for better play and a better planet.
For the second round of the Michigan Business Challenge, student teams must give a seven-minute presentation that describes the new venture’s solution to a pressing market need or pain, an estimation of the market size, and financial assumptions. This presentation is then followed by ten minutes of questions from panels of external judges. New ventures selected from the second round of MBC advance to the final rounds of competition in February.
Congratulations to all of the students who participated in the first round of the Michigan Business Challenge. Join us for MBC Round 2 at the Ross School of Business on January 24, 2020.