University of Michigan Students Receive Startup Grants for 2021-22

Shannon Beeman
June 16, 2022

Student selected for the Zell Lurie entrepreneurial grant program are dedicated to testing their new venture while earning their degree. These students have demonstrated the drive and entrepreneurial spirit that continues to flourish at the University of Michigan

Fall 2022 Recipients

Mayleben Venture Shaping Grants

Bambu – Implementing creative programs in the local Ann Arbor area, Bambu aims to help our communities reconnect with nature and facilitate a transition towards sustainability on and off campus. Founded by Luis Solano (BSI ’23).

Bread & Mortar – A ghost kitchen that offers diverse food options to communities and provides infrastructure to promising restaurant owners. Founded by Jai Parson (MBA ’22).

Cider Mill Spirit – A hard apple spirit that captures the experience of going to a cider mill. Founded by Nathan McDonald (WMBA ’23).

DietStats  – A meal planning calendar, personal recipe book, and grocery list generator designed to reduce the user’s burden of data entry while providing more meaningful nutrition insights than existing solutions. Founded by Nate May (MSI ’22).

G2G (Grow Together) – A culturally relevant financial decision-making program that addresses the widening wealth gap. Founded by Yasmin Abdulhadi (MBA ’23).

Halcyon HempWorks – U.S.-based hemp (non-THC) processor and manufacturer focused on industrial applications. Founded by James Holland (MBA/M.Sci ’24).

Happy Healthy Humble (HHH)- HHH reimagines the most important meal of the day (breakfast), seeking to produce substitutes and alternatives that provide more variety, health, and speed. Founded by Shayan Emtiaz (MM ’22).

Ibrahim’s Jaffa Cafe – Ibrahim’s Jaffa Cafe is a cozy and authentic cultural exposure to Levant cuisine with an educational twist. Founded by Jumanah Saadeh (MBA ’25).

Immersive Commerce – A web-based platform that enables viewers to discover new products. Founded by Austin Sivik (MBA ’23).

Indicate – Indicate provides sustainability professional services to support organizations in navigating complexity and acting sustainably in holistic, actionable ways. Founded by Carlotta Pham (MBA/MS ’22).

Keepze – A SaaS platform to keep track of networking interactions for students seeking a job.Founded by Fernando Lozada, (MBA ’22), Shota Saito (MBA ’22), Matt Cohen (MBA ’22) and Jon Leopold (MBA ’22).

Matchimony – Matchimony seeks to reduce exorbitant wedding costs through connecting wedders to one another with the common goal of sharing ancillary costs (i.e., flowers) and providing a focused marketplace for second-hand wedding items. Founded by Jessica Angelos.

Moment – By acting as an intermediary, between commercial landlords and up-and-coming brands we can offer landlords the opportunity to rent their empty properties on a short term lease to host a pop up shop, offering a quick payday while at the same time offering the brands a carefully crafted viral Moment. Founded by Alexander Atkins (BBA ’22) and Juan Luis Garcia (BBA ’22).

Mutualistic Marine Communities – Development of permanent, revitalizing aquaculture systems. Founded by Brady McCarron (BBA ’24).

My Big Why – An online educational platform that helps students discover their purpose and create a plan to actualize it.Founded by Fara Li (MBA ’24).

MyPretendPlay – Customized Paper Magnet Dolls for Children. Founded by John Lee (MBA ’24).

Phonica – The startup develops software to help those with speech impediments.Founded by Akhil Kondepudi (BS ’22), Tejas Gumudavelly (BBA ’24), Rohan Kodati (BSE ’24) and Felix Hu (BS ’23).

Plate808 – Plate808 is a delicious hawaiian style food truck that serves all gluten free products. Founded by John Baty (LSA ’22).

PPD Project – The PPD Project is a pipeline for professionals with disabilities to develop personal and professional skills through a coaching program of autonomous visioning, growth, and action. Founded by Kayla Rothstein (BBA ’24).

Q-PRO – Q-PRO os a web and app platform that enables junior professionals to easily identify relevant experts and conduct relaxed conversations to seek career advices. Founded by Boyang Wang (MBA ’23).

Reference Rate – Reference Rate is a one stop shop for a hiring manager to learn about the important skills of their applicants. Founded by Will Garvin (BS ’24).

Safe Lending -A platform to lend money safely. Founded by Yumeng Gao (MBA ’23).

Seconds Labs – The startup transforms a byproduct of coffee farming into a novel, performance-boosting beverage for the health-conscious consumer. Founded by Matt Baker (MBA ’22), Claire Bissa (MBA ’22) and Austin Clowes (MBA ’22).

Syftum – Syftum is focused on crowdsourcing the process of creating personally-curated datasets for individuals and organizations. Jonah Liss (BBA/BS ’25), Kabir Singh (BBA ’25) and Dilan Tank (BBA ’25).

The Helena Collective More – A company crafting supportive activewear for women. Founded by Kathryn Mioduszewski (MBA ’23).

The OGO Group – Orchestrating Generational Opportunities – The OGO Group is a mission-driven collective creating an ecosystem of generational health and wealth for communities of color through education, entertainment, and e-commerce. Founded by George Okpamen (PharmD/MBA ’23).

Verso  – A mobile marketplace connecting freelance art handlers with arts institutions.     Founded by Michael O’Brien (MBA ’23).

Maura McInerney-Rowley Michigan Ross MBAWild – Wild is destigmatizing the death industry through a digital platform that offers comprehensive end-of-life planning services. Founded by Maura McInerney-Rowley (MBA ’22).

yTAG Games – yTAG Games is a student-made videogame startup founded by two transfer students to the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor that is starting to create video-games to help people become better and more active problem-solvers in the real-world. Founded by Paul Young (BA ’22) and Rett Graham (BS’ 23).

Applebaum Dare to Dream Assessment Grants

Arbor Simulation – Develop a vaginal surgery skills trainer to improve medical education for OBGYN residents. Founded by Dylan Rushton (MSE ’21) and Kiran Rushton (BBA ’23).

bonbon cocktails – bonbon is a vodka based ready to drink seltzer made to be natural, gluten free, organic, and lower in calories with the purpose of bringing people together, to celebrate, and to enjoy the sweet things in life! Founded by Zach Conte (MBA ’22).

Clear Computing – Providing private tech lessons and in-home tech support to older adults to help them learn to use their devices independently and confidently. Founded by James Giordani (MSW ’22).

Fluentum – A 2-sided network connecting non-Japanese students who pursue their careers in Japan with online language tutors (elderly/retired Japanese citizens). Founded by Shota Saito (MBA ’22), Masaki Takahashi (MBA ’22) and Jun Takahashi (MBA ’22).

University of Michigan Business Challenge Zell Lurie Institute 2022Plucky Comics Plucky Comics is a webapp that tells the story of black queer historical figures through the medium of comics. Founded by Nathan Alston (MBA ’22) and Daniella Gennaro (MBA ’22).

Solid Solid is a platform that allows anybody to easily save money and get up to 10% in fixed annual cash returns using Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Through Solid users can start investing from $100, monitor their returns in almost real-time, and withdraw their money at any time (no fixed terms). Founded by Q Cong (MS ’22) and Juan Sebastian Cruz (MSE ’21).

Travel Management Platform Our proposed solution is a simplified and collaborative travel management platform that centralizes operational and logistical information related to group travel. Founded by Danielle Eisenberg (MBA ’22) and Noy Leyb (MBA ’22).

Applebaum Dare to Dream Integration Grants

BUYMYSPOT – A peer-to-peer parking marketplace that enables home owners, landlords, community centers, and businesses on college campuses the ability to list their extra parking spots for rent, while giving students, residents, and visitors a more affordable option for parking. Founded. by Ian Herdegen (BS ’22) and Jacob Glick (BSE ’21).

CLOVO – A sustainable fashion company that makes natural and functional sheer tights and underwear. Founded by Megan Martis (MS ’21).

Creating Who You Are – Educational online platform that teaches consciousness and spirituality topics to help people in Latin America to create their truest self (life with purpose) through cohort-based courses. Founded by Dimitri Esteban Alejo Giraldo (MBA ’23).

Kiakia Foods – A tech-enabled food retail platform based in Nigeria. Founded by Aristarchus Arowoile (MBA ’22).

Claire Pardington Zell Lurie Institute University of Michigan RossPARDINGTON COLLECTIVE – A collaborative art, fashion, and lifestyle brand that redefines how consumers engage and consume art, fashion, and lifestyle products. Founded by Claire Pardington (MBA ’22).

Compass – An intelligent web platform that centralizes information about on-campus healthcare resources, empowering students to make better healthcare decisions. Founded by Grant Veldhuis (BSE ’23) and Kishor Bharadwaj (BSE ’23).

Winter 2022

Mayleben Venture Shaping Grants

Zell Lurie Institute University of Michigan RossCompass – An intelligent web platform that centralizes information about on-campus healthcare resources, empowering students to make better healthcare decisions. Founded by Grant Veldhuis (BSE ’23) and Kishor Bharadwaj (BSE ’23).

Cupcake Bar – An innovative cupcake shop where customers have the opportunity to create their own customizable cupcakes. Founded by Elliana Roberts (BA ’23).

Grand Giveaway – A social media marketing brand that promotes local businesses through giveaways. Founded by Hussein Harajli (BA ’24) and Mahdi Qazwini (BS ’23).

Foreign Familiars – An app that connects people domestically and internationally to meet in person and explore new places together.

Indie Pass  – Indie Pass is a game subscription service focused on providing a new monetization opportunity for independent game developers. Founded by Matthew Stone (MBA ’24).

Kurrant – Kurrant is a sexual health and wellness app for gay and bisexual men. Founded by Nicholas Rojas (MBA/MS ’24) and Patrick Burden (MBA ’23).

Portlab – Bridging the gap between school and work, Portlab aims to create a collaborative platform to improve students’ job readiness by tackling real and impactful projects. Founded by Andy Chen (MS ’23) and Tianyu Jiang (MS ’22).

Remedy Bill – A patient-focused healthcare financial advocate that helps people simplify, reduce, and dispute their hospital and medical bills. Founded by Luke Hendon (MBA ’23).

MarianSports – Cutting commissions out of sports betting to offer users an even expected value betting experience. Founded by Jake Herman (BSE ’25).

MotorBlock – Creating a blockchain to track the life of a vehicle to provide transparency and build trust across the industry. Founded by Adam Leemans (MBA ’22).

Applebaum Dare to Dream Assessment Grants

Bastion – Bastion is an online coaching service that provides fitness guidance to anyone looking to get in shape or facilitate already experienced gym-goers in their goals. Founded by Sebastien Patino (BBA ’23).

C-PRO – A virtual knowledge sharing platform that enables instant communication to guide self-reliant home owners to resolve house repair/improvement problems. Founded by John Worth (WMBA ’23) and Tianhao Guo (WMBA ’23).

Grow Together – Grow Together is working to address the racial wealth gap by beginning with financial education by using a web-based platform. Founded by Yasmin Abdulhadi (MBA ’23).

Helena Collective – Create a high-end, near custom sports bra company which provides customization in the 3 main pain points (straps, cups, and zips). Founded by Kathryn Mioduszewski (MBA ’23).

Immersive Commerce – The first online marketplace that lets viewers discover and purchase products in video content. Founded Raymond Gunawan (MBA ’23) and Rogelio Lemarroy (MBA ’23).

The OGO Group – A mission-driven collective focused on closing generational gaps in health and wealth. Founded by George Okpamen (MBA ’23), Joseph Kemp (MBA/JD ’22), Lande Kayode (MBA ’20), Tony Awojoodu (PhD ’14) and Josh Blackwell (PharmD ’15).

Applebaum Dare to Dream Integration Grants

Arbor Simulation – A medical education company aiming to improve patient care by advancing simulation through novel evidence-based training tools that support medical learners and healthcare professionals. Founded by Dylan Rushton (MSE ’21) and Kiran Rushton (BBA, ’22).

Games Giordani Zell Lurie Institute University of MichiganClear Computing – Providing private tech lessons and in-home tech support to older adults to help them learn to use their devices independently and confidently. Founded by James Giordani (MSW ’22).

Detroit Design & Technology, Inc. – An information technology company providing a universal infrastructure to adhere to identity assurance procedures, mitigate transactional uncertainty and risk for stakeholders in the overlap between real and online space, and allow you to verify you are who you say you are. Founded by Kirk Turrentine (BGS ’21) and Tyran Chandler (BS ’22).

Effie – An end-to-end project management tool that consolidates all trip planning processes into one place. Founded by Noy Leyb (MBA ’22).

Parker Martin University of Michigan Business Plan Zell Lurie InstituteEpiSLS  – A novel medical device enabling rapid, safe, and effective point of care allergy testing. Founded by Parker Martin (MD/MBA ’22).

ScentKeeper – A portable scent camera to capture, concentrate and store scents from any object or place for long-term enjoyment of the most important smells and memories. Founded by Matthew Smith (MPH ’22) and Ethan Ellingboe (MSE ’21).

WILD – An online marketplace and digital platform that combines technology and human support to save people time, money, and stress when experiencing or preparing for the loss of a loved one. Founded by Maura McInerney-Rowley (MBA ’22).

The Zell Lurie Student Startup Grants program, composed of the Mayleben Venture Shaping grants and the Eugene Applebaum Dare to Dream grant program, moves University of Michigan students through the business creation process by offering startup workshops and awarding $300-$5,000 in grants to individuals or student teams. The program requires students to submit deliverables as they are guided through the business development path from a nascent idea to formulating and assessing potential businesses to planning and launching these businesses.

Congratulations to all of our graduate and undergraduate entrepreneurs. These budding entrepreneurs will go far with the funds awarded to advance your startup.