Zell Lab for Technologies

Zell Labs for TechnologyThe Zell Lab for Technologies (ZLT) at the Zell Lurie Institute is the design and build studio for student entrepreneurs. ZLT connects UX design interns to student and alumni startups to design, build, and test technology products through highly personalized coaching and mentorship. 

The goal of the program is for student founders to get early market feedback on their products by building prototypes of websites, mobile applications, and software which can be used for user testing, beta programs, and more. Zell Lab for Technologies offers founders and interns the opportunity to learn best practices about how to manage a design process and work with a development team. Founders and interns work closely with ZLI entrepreneur-in-residence Rashmi Menon. 

Program Dates and Deadlines 

Zell Lurie Institute Zell Labs for TechnologyZell Labs runs part-time through fall and winter semesters and full-time over the spring/summer semesters. 

Spring/Summer 2022: Applications for companies have closed.

If you would like to be considered for the Winter 2023 cohort, please contact zell.tech@umich.edu for more information.



Startup Requirements 

Determine if your new venture is a good fit for Zell Lab for Technologies. We are looking for University of Michigan student and alumni startups that meet the following criteria:

  • The company has incorporated
  • Minimum viable product (MVP) is built 
  • The product has a complex user interface 
  • Strong development team or founders with a technical background 
  • Coachable and a willingness to take suggestions/feedback
Design Intern

Design Intern Requirements 

We are looking for current University of Michigan students with a strong desire to iterate and continuously improve. Students interested in applying for the design internship must meet the following criteria: 

  • Experience in both interaction and visual design – please provide a portfolio of work examples 
  • Strong interest in technology and entrepreneurship
  • Ability to pick up a project and lead it independently
  • Great execution skills – is able to deliver high-quality work at a fast pace
  • Proficient in design and prototyping tools such as Figma and Adobe Creative Suite 
  • Traits: self-learner, motivated, hard worker, leader, organizer, effective communicator and team player. 

ZLT Portfolio 

Our product was originally a conceptual, low end mock-up, and it is now a fully functioning prototype that we are proud to showcase. ZLT was the best experience that I have had at Ross, and it enabled me to do exactly what I came here for, which is to build a business.” - ZLT alumni founder 

ZLT helped us streamline our product development by organizing our workflow–using task management tools like JIRA–integrating our UX workflow with the programming workflow, and putting our product development in the context of larger organizational goals. Rashmi was an incredible mentor and I learned a lot of useful skills that I will put to use–user testing, project management, marketing video development, developing marketing strategies, developing marketing phrases–even after the program ends." - ZLT alumni founder