#ZellChat Recap – Michigan Business Challenge

Shannon Beeman
October 30, 2015

Yesterday, we hosted a Twitter chat on the Michigan Business Challenge – a multi-round business plan competition open to all U-M Ann Arbor entrepreneurs. We answered your questions about competition deliverables and previous winners, as well as the resources provided by the Zell Lurie Institute that help teams excel in the challenge.

For those unable to join us, catch up on the conversation below. You can also visit our website for contact information or to sign up for office hours to learn more about entrepreneurial activities at the University of Michigan.

If you aren’t already, follow us on Twitter @ZellLurie and be on the lookout for details on our next #ZellChat in February.

Q1: What is the Michigan Business Challenge and what are the requirements to participate? #ZellChat

A1: The Michigan Business Challenge is a campus-wide, multi-round business plan competition. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A1: #UMMBC16 is open to all current U-M undergrad and grad students interested in exploring a business idea. #ZellChat

A1: Proposed businesses may be products or services, for-profit or non-profit, but should have high growth potential. #ZellChat

Q2: Does ZLI help the teams prepare for the different rounds throughout the process? #ZellChat

A2: ZLI facilitates #startup workshops to prepare students to pitch their idea and submit #UMMBC16 deliverables. #ZellChat

A2: #Startup workshop topics include: How to Ideate, The Pitch, Sizing Your Market and Assessing Financial Feasibility. #ZellChat

A2: ZLI staff and faculty also hold office hours for teams to practice their pitches and discuss their businesses. #ZellChat

Q3: What makes for a winning business plan/pitch? #ZellChat

A3: The great business plans and pitches we’ve seen address a significant problem and are scalable. #ZellChat

A3: Judges also look for a well-rounded, interdisciplinary team. #ZellChat

A3: Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged, but not required. If you are interested in finding team members, contact us! #ZellChat #UMMBC16

Q4: What are things you’d recommend us addressing in our #UMMBC16 pitch? #ZellChat

A4: Emphasize what sets your idea apart from the others. Judges and investors hear a lot of pitches, so get creative! #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A4: In the first round, they hear about 80 pitches. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A4: You have 3 mins to convince judges your idea solves a real problem, has market potential and your team can do it. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

Q5: What are some of the teams/businesses that have won the Michigan Business Challenge in previous years? #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A5: .@getcompanion, a peer-to-peer safety app that allows friends and family to monitor you while walking late at night. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A5: .@b4pangaea, a non-profit that collects unused medical supplies and ships them to targeted areas in emerging nations. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A5: .@Movellus, a company specializing in the design of all-digital timing components for the semiconductor market. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A5: For a full list of previous winners, visit: https://t.co/iH2DqnOl2e #ZellChat #UMMBC16

Q6: What do we receive if our team wins the Michigan Business Challenge? #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A6: The Michigan Business Challenge top prize is $25,000. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A6: Teams win awards as they progress through the different phases, including best marketing plan, best presentation, etc. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A6: Teams receive feedback from the judges on how to continue building their business and attracting investors. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A6: Teams also meet regularly with ZLI staff and faculty as they go from ideation to launch. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

Q7: What are some of the important dates to know if we’re participating in the Michigan Business Challenge? #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A7: We’re hosting an information session on the Michigan Business Challenge on Nov. 4 from 5-5:30 p.m. in R0240. #ZellChat #UMMBC16

A7: Intent to compete forms for #UMMBC16 must be submitted by Nov. 16. Download one here: https://t.co/1LP6HgGSf9 #ZellChat

A7: #UMMBC16 officially kicks off Dec. 4, when student teams will give their first 3 min. pitch to a panel of judges. #ZellChat

A7: The final round of #UMMBC16 is Feb 19. For more information and important dates, check out our website: https://t.co/bGZ9d4h0GD

Q8: What are some other programs for #entrepreneurs at ZLI? #ZellChat

A8: Student teams can participate in Dare to Dream and startup workshops to move their ideas forward and receive grant funding. #ZellChat

A8: Students interested in doing a summer internship at a startup or VC firm can apply for a Marcel Gani internship. #ZellChat

A8: ZLI hosts events for #entrepreneurs throughout the year, including Entrepalooza and the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium. #ZellChat