2021 Michigan Business Challenge Spotlight – Rolling Lights

Shannon Beeman
February 24, 2021

MBC Invention Track Spotlight

The 2021 Michigan Business Challenge (MBC) Finals are quickly approaching! The days leading up to the final round of the campus-wide business plan competition, ZLI will highlight the innovative teams advancing from the MBC Semi-Finals.

MBC 2019Startup Description

Rolling Lights provides unique engineering solutions used to produce luxury flexible OLED lighting panels at a low cost. Zhiyi Chen (PhD ’22), Boning Qu (PhD ’21).

What was the origin of this venture? How was the problem or opportunity discovered?

OLED lighting are attractive light sources but expensive. A cheap manufacturing approach will open the market and exploit the potential.

What do you think will be the long-term impact of launching your venture?

OLED lighting will penetrate the indoor lighting market given its efficiency and color.

Rolling Lights - Zhiyi ChenHow did you form your team?

We are the technology inventors. 

How has participation in MBC helped move your venture forward?

MBC promoted us to investigate market potential and IP ownership distribution in depth.

What has been your biggest takeaway from the MBC experience (so far)?

We had great response from judges in terms of optimizing business model and clearing IP licensing/distribution process.

What are your plans following MBC? How would prize money help your venture?

We will generate a commercialization roadmap of OLED lighting with one of our potential investor. The prize money can be used for law and business counseling from third parties.

What advice do you have for other student entrepreneurs?

Be brave to commercialize your idea. Bring it to the University and U-M will always be your strong back up.

2021 Michigan Business Challenge Finals 


Learn more about these great University of Michigan student startups by following the Michigan Business Challenge Finals on February 26 through ZLI social media. Route for your favorite team during the MBC final presentations and cheer on the winners as they accept cash award prizes totaling over $100,000!