Meet the 2022 Zell Entrepreneur Cohort

Shannon Beeman
October 29, 2021

We are thrilled to announce the new startups selected for the 2021-22 cohort of Zell Entrepreneurs. This cohort of nine ventures showcases the range of innovation happening within the University of Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Akhil Kondepudi, BS ’22. Founder of Phonica, a mobile application that provides automated speech therapy for adults with speech impediments using AI.

Alec Kremins, BBA ’22. Co-Founder of Ember, a consumer brand selling uniquely formulated energy chews designed to help people conquer the infamous afternoon crash.

Claire Pardington, WMBA ‘22. Founder of Pardington Collective, a collaborative art, fashion, and lifestyle label that redefines how consumers engage with art, fashion, and lifestyle products.

Dimitri Alejo Giraldo, MBA ’22. Founder of Creating Who You Are, an online educational platform for Latin America that helps users create and live a conscious and purposeful life.

Dylan Rushton, MSE ’21. Co-Founder of Arbor Simulation, a medical education company that creates high-quality medical simulations to improve medical training and better patient outcomes.

Justin Gainsley, BBA ’22. Founder of Wander, a social media platform that makes it easy to recommend and discuss intellectual content.

Justin Woods, MBA/MSW ’21. Founder of EQuity, a digital learning and development platform that advances racial justice by developing users’ emotional intelligence.

Megan Martis, MSE ’21. Founder of CLOVO, a science of fashion company which makes sheer tights and underwear that offer unbelievable comfort and sustainability.

Nathan Alston, MBA ’22. Co-Founder of Plucky Comics, an education company that tells the story of black queer historical figures through the medium of comics, in order to inform and empower students.

Zell Entrepreneurs is an elite program that provides the necessary mentorship, funding, resources, and support to U-M students who aim to launch their businesses full-time upon graduation. The program is open to final-year students from all University of Michigan schools and colleges in Ann Arbor.