#ZellChat #2: Michigan Business Challenge 101

Shannon Beeman
December 18, 2014

We hosted our second Twitter chat earlier this month and wanted to share the content for anyone who wasn’t able to follow along live. This chat focused on student business competitions at the Institute, specifically the Michigan Business Challenge (MBC).

If you aren’t already, follow us on Twitter @ZellLurie. Look out for our next #ZellChat in early 2015!

  1. Is MBC the only business competition Zell students participate in?
    • Teams that reach Round 2 of the Michigan Business Challenge are eligible for consideration to participate in intercollegiate competitions.
    • Those MBC teams receive coaching and financial support to prep and compete in competitions at Rice, Austin, and others.
  2. What are three things you recommend addressing in the pitch?
    • Be clear about the problem you are solving. The judges want to hear a real pain point.
    • Describe your solution clearly and concisely. The judges should know exactly what your business is after the pitch.
    • Team team team! Tell the judges why you are the right team to solve this problem.
  3. What advice would you give to teams heading into competition?
    • Play to the strengths of team members, but acknowledge gaps in your skills. If you make it to Round 2, try to fill those gaps.
    • Take advantage of the many resources available to you at the Institute – office hours and startup workshops.
    • The Institute posts all workshop handouts/presentations on Ctools in the CLI/MBC folder.
  4. If we’re in the competition, when can we expect to hear if we made it to Round 2?
    • If your MBC team is selected to move on to Round 2 you’ll be notified on Monday 12/8 via email.
    • MBC Round 2 takes place on Friday, January 23. To help prepare your deliverables, attend our startup workshops.
  5. What do the MBC 2015 winners get?
    • Thanks to our corporate sponsor Fitbit, winners will receive a Fitbit tracker, aria scale, and other gear.
    • The winner of MBC will receive $20,000 and can win other awards like $5,000 for best cross-functional team.
    • The winner of the MBC Social Impact Track will receive $15,000 and can win other awards like best marketing for $2,500.
    • MBC competitors will be pitching in front of potential investors – real VCs!
  6. Who were some of the previous winners and where are they now?
    • Movellus, a patent-pending clock generator technology for the microprocessor market, was a 2014 winner.
    • Flipsi Bottle, a reusable drinking bottle that flips completely inside out for easy cleaning, was the 2014 runner up.
    • MyDerm Portal, a web-based platform for dermatologists to provide follow-up treatment, was a 2014 finalist.
    • Grant Hugh and Cavan Canavan of Focus Motion were our 2013 winners and are in LA going strong!