University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute Awards $34,500 in Grants and Business Accelerator Space for Student Entrepreneurs

Shannon Beeman
October 14, 2011

Fall 2011 Dare to Dream Recipients include Live Business Chat Solution, Healthcare Software Security and Several E-Commerce Endeavors

The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business today announced the recipients of the Fall 2011 Dare to Dream grant program and TechArb tenancy. Dare to Dream awarded funding totaling $34,500 based on business concepts and feasibility studies submitted to panels of judges. The announcement was made during a luncheon hosted by Ann Arbor SPARK, which has supported the Dare to Dream program through the participation of staff on review panels, the provision of space to student teams at its Entrepreneur Boot Camp, and through offering resources and networking opportunities to student teams. The student accelerator TechArb, also welcomed eight new tenants. Together, the programs encourage the thoughtful development of student-led businesses and provide real-world experience with venture creation activities.

“Dare to Dream and TechArb embody our commitment to action-based learning that helps students develop the entrepreneurial skills necessary to graduate not only with a degree, but also with the experience to launch their own business, join a startup or innovate within a corporate environment,” said Tom Kinnear, executive director of the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.  “These programs provide the funding, support, and access that build on the business fundamentals these students learn in the classroom. I’m continually impressed with promise of this year’s recipients and expect to see a lot more of them in the future—at the Michigan Business Challenge competition, Michigan Growth Capital Symposium and well beyond.”

Dare to Dream Provides Grants to Build Student Start ups
The Dare to Dream program, a hallmark of the Zell Lurie Institute, distributes up to $100,000 per academic year to University of Michigan students. Grants are administered in three funding levels that build upon one another. These start with venture shaping grants of $500 for students with a promising business idea, followed by assessment grants of $1,500 where students conduct a feasibility study, and integration grants of up to $10,000 to complete a full business plan and develop an investor pitch. Grants awarded in October 2011, include:

Integration Grant Awards – up to $10,000 each

  • EVo Hair ($2,000)- B-to-B wholesale hair extension supplier
  • SecureHealing ($10,000) – privacy monitoring and reporting across healthcare software systems
  • ($5,000) – Live Chat that increases brand equity through IM and text conversation

Assessment Grants – $1,500 each

  • AddressMe – automatically updated electronic address book application
  • Conspire – platform for individuals seeking collaborators and companies seeking managers
  • Dean Adam – web-based retailer of high-end men’s grooming and personal care items
  • DIIME – R&D company designing low cost medical devices in collaboration with developing country clinicians
  • IFM Database – software plug-in solution for facility management service providers
  • Knuron –  knowledge sharing platform connecting students, employers and advertisers
  • Real Good Food – platform coordinating homemade food exchanges and collaborative cooking and dining events
  • Vault Health Solutions – platform to enable healthcare providers greater access to patients’ medical histories

Venture Shaping Grants ($500 each)

  • Don’t Weed Me – solving how to connect tutors to students in “weed out” classes
  • DrupalAI – creating an intelligent recommender system as a Drupal module
  • eRent –  solving landlord and tenant rent collection and accounting problems
  • EVStation – addressing limited availability of electric vehicle changing stations
  • FinAsk – online platform connecting financial advisors to those seeking financial advice
  • Medicron –  addressing needed nation wide health data tracking acrossTanzania
  • MyInfluence –  solving limited offline interactions of online social networking tool users
  • Smart Peru – solving limited availability of online information for Peruvians
  • Stoowards – creating rewards system connecting college students with local merchants
  • Thrively – addressing lack of tools for employee feedback and self-development
  • Torch Hybrid Boat Co. – addressing carbon emissions and water pollution solutions and the high cost of fuel prices with current boating options