The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges, bringing with it an opportunity for our University of Michigan entrepreneurs to pivot and persevere! On December 4, nearly 40 student teams competed in one of three tracks of the 2021 Michigan Business Challenge (MBC) through a virtual platform.
Panels of esteemed judges from the entrepreneurial ecosystem were given the difficult task of selecting only 8 teams per track to advance in the competition. We are happy to announce the teams awarded the chance to compete in the MBC Semi-Finals in early 2021.
MBC Seigle Impact Track Semi-Finalist Teams
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 moving forward in this track include:
CLOVO Brand – Megan Martis, (MS ’21) presented CLOVO, a startup which creates sustainable sheer tights with a new design to empower women and the environment.
Donate Anything – Pitched by Andrew Wang (BBA ’24) and Abdullah Umar (BBA ’24), Donate Anything is a search engine that shows organizations that accept a list of items an individual would like to donate.
enna – Presented by Amani Badran (WMBA, ‘21), enna is a fashion and lifestyle magazine for Muslim women, by Muslim women.
EQuity – Justin Woods (MSW/MBA ’21) pitched EQuity, a learning and development venture that provides training and coaching to help clients advance racial justice by developing emotional intelligence.
Ground Up – Presented by Gabriel Doss (MBA ’21), GroundUp is an app-based marketplace for landscaping jobs and community service.
MoneyMoves – MoneyMoves brings intentionality to consumer spending by helping consumers discover and shop at minority-owned businesses, ensuring that money moves into the hands of under-represented business owners. The MoneyMoves team includes Sasha Kapur (MBA ’21), Claire Yee, (MBA ’21), and Ezana Tadese (MBA ’21).
Parcel Health – Presented by Melinda Su En Lee (PharmD ’21) and Victor Le (PhD ’21), Parcel Health strives to create global impact through sustainable healthcare product innovation.
SustainiUM – Our technology collects heat generated by spent nuclear fuel (SNF), a form of nuclear waste, and uses this heat to dry wastewater sludge. The SustainiUM team includes Aniket Yadav (MS’21), Jacob Ladd (JD’23), Anya Shapiro (MS/MBA’22), Luyao Li (MS’21), and Marianna Coulentianos (Ph.D.’20).
MBC Innovation Track Semi-Finalist Teams
The MBC Innovation Track recognizes new ventures that offer a product, service, mobile application, or platform serving consumers or enterprises. The following teams will be advancing in the competition:
Aurora Tights – Co-founded by Imani Rickerby (MHSA ’21), Aurora Tights is an inclusive sports apparel brand for dancers, ice skaters, and other performers of all skin tones and sizes.
BUYMYSPOT, LLC – Presented by Jacob Glick (BSE ’22) and Ian Herdegen (BSI ’22), BUYMYSPOT is an online marketplace for peer-to-peer parking.
EcoSimmer – EcoSimmer provides the first ever flameless and compact device for making hot meals and drinks in the backcountry. The EcoSimmer team includes Tom Swift (MBA ’21), Josh Troger (MBA ’21), Joshua Ahrens (MBA ’21), Ted Jerse (MBA ’21) and Cory Ireland (MBA ’21).
LeaseMagnets – Pitched by Amulya Parmar (COE/BBA ’22) and Varun Madan (BBA ‘2), LeaseMagnets is a B2B SaaS proptech startup that bridges the gap between the physical and digital leasing experience.
MedVision.ai – Presented by Anurag Bolneni (MSI Applied Data Science ’22/BBA ’20), MedVision.ai is an Amazon Go for hospital supply rooms at 1% of the cost.
MintyBrain – Represented by Dan Zakon (BS ’21), MintyBrain is building educational gaming software to help kids practice and improve their attitudes toward STEM subjects.
Scopal – Sean Geier (MBA ’21), and Alex Johnson (MBA ’21) pitched Scopal, an application that provides workflows to prevent project scope creep.
UniFlow Campus – UniFlow helps students grow by matching them with best-fit opportunities outside the classroom. The UniFlow Campus team includes Arjan Guglani (BBA ’23), Andrew Dixon (BSE ’21), and Rahul Khatti (BSE ’22).
MBC Invention Track Semi-Finalist Teams
The MBC 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 in this track include:
Drone Autonomy – Presented by Prashin Sharma (PhD Candidate Robotics ‘21), Drone Autonomy provides a solution for the major concern of drone reliability by monitoring the health of its components in real time onboard the drone and executing safety actions autonomously.
enGARAGE – Peng Zhao (MBA ‘21) pitched enGARAGE, a secure and seamless in-garage delivery solution, allowing packages to be delivered right into the residential garages with outstanding safety, security, and convenience.
EpiSLS – Presented by Parker Martin (MD/MBA ’22), EpiSLS is a novel medical device to validate patient reported allergies at the bedside with a rapid, safe, and accessible platform.
GrayRain – GrayRain builds tools to securely share healthcare data for a more productive ecosystem. The team includes Johnny Liu (BS Data Science ’21), and Rohak Shetty, (BS Data Science ’21).
MyAuto2, LLC – MyAutO2 is a novel oxygen administration device that automatically adjusts the flow of oxygen to meet patients’ personalized respiratory needs. The MyAutO2 team includes Stewart Kerr (MBA ’21), Stephen Goldberg (MD ’21), and Alex Erikson (MBA ’21).
Rolling Lights – Boning Qu, (PhD Material Science and Engineering ’21) and Zhiyi Chen (PhD Mechanical Engineering ’22) presented Rolling Lights, a unique engineering solutions used to produce luxury flexible OLED lighting panels at a low cost.
Smartwheel Project – Pitched by Pablo Oliveros Rubio (WMBA ’22) The Smartwheel Project offers an affordable wheel that transforms any bike to an electric bike in a matter of seconds.
Surgical ComfORt – A solution that is able to quantify physical and cognitive stressor load intra-operatively among all members of the team and instantly suggest a stress mitigation intervention if the collective levels of stress are too high. The Surgical ComfORt team includes Mark Farha (MD/MBA ’22), Lauren LaMonica (MD ’24), Devlin McConnell (MBA ’22), and Christopher Tossas (PhD Biomedical Engineering, ‘22).
Over the next few weeks, these student teams will continue to fine-tune their business plans for a chance at over $100,000 in cash prizes. Stay connected with the 2021 campus-wide competition through the ZLI website.
The Michigan Business Challenge is a multi-round competition for students from across 19 schools and colleges at the University of Michigan. MBC focuses on entrepreneurial teams testing real-world business concepts through engaging in customer discovery, vetting financial models, conducting market research, and developing a complete business plan. Throughout the competition, students have the opportunity to gain feedback from leaders in the entrepreneurial and venture investment community–allowing them to expand their business network.