University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute Awards $28,500 in Start Up Grants to Student Entrepreneurs

Shannon Beeman
October 16, 2012

The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business has announced the recipients of the Fall 2012 Mayleben Venture Shaping and Dare to Dream grant program. The student teams represent a wide cross-section of industries, including healthcare, clean tech and social, as well as a diverse set of students, representing the Business School, College of Engineering, Medical School and others.  Each year, the program awards up to $100,000 to University of Michigan students to develop their businesses while earning their degrees, with programs in the fall and spring.

Grants Help Establish and Build Student Start Ups

The Mayleben Venture Shaping and Dare to Dream program is a cornerstone of the Zell Lurie Institute’s action-based approach to entrepreneurial education and guides student teams from across the University through the business ideation and creation process. At the Venture Shaping stage, student teams learn how to transform identified opportunities into businesses. From there, Assessment grants are offered for student teams with a proposed business that is selling a unique product or service with a clear market need. During the assessment process teams will establish the feasibility of their business in order to gauge whether or not to invest further resources and commit to launching the venture. Once this is established, an Integration grant encourages the creation of a full business plan. This year’s recipients are:

Venture Shaping Grants – $500 each

  • – Website enabling consumers to make more informed choices about medical tourism
  • A2Cribs – Website for aggregated off-campus Ann Arbor rental property information
  • Andean Berries – U.S. import company of berries from Peru during U.S. supply scarcity
  • BendOptic – Slit lamp attachment to enable easier eye examination of the very young, elderly, disabled and obese
  • Cafe Esperanza – Addressing the lack of resources for creating a sustainable premium coffee industry in Honduras
  • ContainEarth – Go-to market solution to address the issue of single-use takeout container waste
  • Focus Solutions – Combination device and application for physical therapy and training
  • Heapst – Tool to track product warranties allowing consumers to be notified of product recalls
  • J-Ro Productions – Enabling musicians to network, represent and promote their brands globally
  • Juxtaway & Company – Kiosk rental system to allow consumers to enjoy books-on-the-move
  • Manmade – Membership-based E-commerce platform targeting young professional men for home delivery of ready-to-cook meals.
  • Mutable Vaccines – Technology for creating ‘universal’ vaccines that develop broad protective immunity in individuals
  • OraGen – Accurate, simple test to detect any susceptibility or early existence of oral cancer
  • Oasis – Online trial matching platform to facilitate patient recruitment in China
  • P2MD Communications – Messaging system to notify patients when a physician will be late
  • Park-n-Rent – Alternative car rental service using owner’s cars for service while the owner is traveling
  • – Platform to join data across healthcare institutions to provide a single profit per visit for every patient encounter
  • SISTAH Butters – Development of natural hair care products for African American women
  • SMRT Delivery – Technology which can prevent premature replacement of pipeline infrastructure
  • Swadesh Clinics – Mobile health clinics for people in rural areas of India
  • TBD Analytics – Comprehensive management tool for large scale infrastructure projects
  • UniSprout – Crowd funding website for university alumni to donate to student ideas and ventures
  • Wintergreen – Stone Aggregate technology to refine and normalize fly ash in Shanxi
  • Yearney – Online marketplace enabling small tourist businesses to effectively market to travelers

Assessment Grants – $1,500 each

  • Dinner With – Online volunteer and fundraising platform for charities to connect with a broader donor base

Integration Grants – Up to $10,000 each

  • Exo Dynamics – Next generation spinal orthoses to improve treatment processes
  • PhotoSocial – Free photo gallery software for mobile devices to simplify photo management, trading and ordering
  • Real Good Food – Food sharing platform that allows customers to enjoy the best food in their community
  • Torch Hybrid – Software service provider for marine hybrid-electric powertrain development and energy management