Congratulations to the University of Michigan student entrepreneurs who competed in the 41st annual Michigan Business Challenge (MBC)!
The Michigan Business Challenge is a five-round campus-wide competition spanning four months. Students push themselves and their innovative business plans throughout the competition as they advance through three tracks: Seigle Impact Track, Innovation Track, and Invention Track.
The competing teams began with an Intent to Compete and video pitch submission in early November. In Round One, judges evaluated these teams remotely and selected the 45 teams that pitched in front of new panels of judges, live on zoom in December. From there, 23 teams advanced to the Semi-Finals, held on January 20.
Twelve teams competed Friday, February 10, in the MBC Track Finals, four in each of our three tracks: the Seigle Impact Track, the Innovation Track, and the Invention Track. In the afternoon, the winners of those three tracks presented to yet another panel of judges in the OneMagnify Best in Business round.
All twelve finalist teams participated in the MBC Showcase, where they engaged with judges, peers, and guests. This event was followed by our MBC Elevator Pitch Competition, where finalist teams presented a 60-second pitch. Friday was a full day for the students and a great finish to the 2023 MBC.
Meet the 2023 MBC Winners:
Citrimer – Citrimer aims to develop new entirely plant-based synthetic rubbers and plastics to completely mitigate reliance on crude oil as a raw material, enabling a circular life cycle. Founded by Anthony Berardi (PhD ’24) and Ben Swanson (DDS-PhD ’24).
Pryor-Hale First Place Invention Track, $15,000; MBC OneMagnify Best in Business Award, $5,000; MIC Investment Award, $2,000; MBC Elevator Pitch Award, $500
Protein Pints – Protein Pints makes healthy and delicious protein ice cream. Our pints come packed with 45 grams of grass-fed whey protein. Founded by Michael Meadows (CSE ‘24).
Pryor-Hale First Place Innovation Track, $15,000
SeaSpider – SeaSpider builds software to improve the identification of harmful abandoned fishing nets so they can be removed from sensitive marine environments. Founded by Joe Huang (BSE ’23) and Adam Zhang (BS ’23).
Seigle Impact Track First Place, $15,000; Daniel Sillman Most Successful Undergraduate Team Award, $5,000; MBC Showcase Award, $500
BeatNami – The music NFT marketplace democratizing access to music licensing and empowering musicians to distribute their music without relying on middlemen. Represented by Joshua Sum (CSE ‘23), Karthik Ganesh (CSE ’24), En Rui Ng (CSE ’24), and Rohan Gupta (BBA ‘25).
Innovation Track 2nd Place, $7,500; Williamson Award for Outstanding Business & Engineering Team, $5,000
International Footprint – A global comprehensive toolkit that provides access to mindfully translated information about legal policies, including visas, taxes, and healthcare, for international students and workers. Presented by Yeonkyoung No (BBA & BA PPE ’25), Dan Atlman (BSE Mechanical Eng ’24), Gyu Been Moon (BA Political Science & BA Korean Literature and Culture ’24), and Justin Park (BA Cognitive Science ’22).
Seigle Impact Track 2nd Place, $7,500; MBC Elevator Pitch Award, $500
TAP – Travel Aqua Purifier (TAP) is a portable water treatment solution that can clean water from any fresh water source. This is a perfect solution for families, humanitarian assistance, or disaster relief organizations looking to provide potable water to communities after a disaster strikes. Founded by Elvis Torres (EMBA ’23)
Invention Track 2nd Place, $7,500
C-PRO – C-PRO is a two-sided marketplace that connects homeowners to home service providers via virtual session to resolve home issues. Founded by Boyang Wang (MSE ’13 MBA ’23). Innovation Track Finalist, $1,500
E3 – A holistic chrome extension that bridges the information gap to allow consumers to conveniently identify more sustainable choices by scanning and scoring clothing product pages on their environmental impact and providing recommendations for alternative eco-friendly items. Presented by Joshua Glynn (BBA ’24), Saavan Kaneria (BBA + BS ’24), Alexander Bower (BBA ’24), Manal Shaikh (BBA ’24), Lucas Coman (BBA ’24), and Sena Kaddurah (BBA ’24).
Seigle Impact Track Finalist, $1,500
Exquisite Studio – 3D printed earphones, using multi-unit hybrid technology. Presented by Hanlong Liu (BSE ECE’ 24).
Invention Track Finalist, $1,500
ModernVivo – ModernVivo is a software suite that helps pharmaceutical companies design optimized preclinical in-vivo models to improve drug translation, clinical success, and reduce development costs. Presented by Ian Levine (MS ’23).
Invention Track Finalist, $1,500; Pinkert Healthcare Award, $5,000
Relic – Relic’s mission is to transform the college sports experience through Web3 technologies while serving as a vehicle for student-athletes to monetize their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL). Presented by William Bonner (MBA ’23), Mustafa Isik (MBA ’23), Joseph Ortigara (MSI ’23), Bryce Rajabian (BSE ’11, MBA ’23), and Andrew Yang (BBA & BSE ’25).
Innovation Track Finalist, $1,500
Solar Fridge – Solar Fridge is a student-led engineering project team venture working to develop an affordable, solar-powered energy-independent, and low-maintenance vaccine refrigerator to ensure vaccine availability and viability in low-resource communities. Nancy Chen (BSE ’23), Thomas Chen (BS ’23), Ryan Fang (BS ’25), Gabriel Ferriero (BSE ’25), Cara Gallagher (BSE ’25), Carina Gallagher (BSE ’23), Avani Govindswamy (BSE ’24), Aham Lee (BSE ’23), Allison Lee (BSI ’24), Thiago Reis (BSE ’24)
Seigle Impact Track Finalist, $1,500; MBC Showcase Award, $500; MBC Elevator Pitch Award, $500
Congratulations to all teams who competed throughout the 2023 Michigan Business Challenge! We cannot wait to see where your entrepreneurial drive takes you. To learn more about the Michigan Business Challenge (MBC) and other Zell Lurie programs, visit our website: www.zli.umich.edu