Semi-Finalists named in Annual Michigan Business Challenge

Today the eight teams that will advance to the semi-finals of the Michigan Business Challenge were announced. Part of the Institute’s action-based approach to entrepreneurial education, the Michigan Business Challenge is an annual business plan competition that exposes students to the rigorous, multi-phase business development and planning process.

The eight finalist teams were selected from an initial pool of more than 70 teams of students from across the University’s 19 schools and colleges. Following an initial pitch to a panel of judges, those teams were narrowed down to 16 who were invited to submit a seven-page market and financial assessment that describes the market need or pain, market size, and preliminary financial assessment and then present their findings in a seven-minute presentation to the judges. Mentoring is provided throughout the process.

Based on that process, the eight teams selected for the semi-finals are:

  • eV Score – Smartphone app for potential electric vehicle purchasers to assess their travel patterns and evaluate how existing models meet these needs
  • Flipsi – Reusable drinking bottle that flips completely inside out to facilitate easier cleaning
  • Keravnos Energy – Installing heavy duty power electronics and battery storage units in commercial buildings for fast-charging services to electric vehicle drivers and reduced building utility costs
  • Lab Compass – Cloud-based software enabling more efficient collection, storage and sharing of sensitive healthcare data used in medical research
  • Movellus Circuits – Revolutionary clock generator designs for embedded processors
  • MyDermPortal – Web-based app for dermatologists to provide follow-up treatment via the internet for the most common diagnoses in significantly less time than an in person visit
  • Notify (formerly Stay Connected) – Mobile apps that automatically refines a user’s professional network into a manageable group of important contacts and suggests relevant reasons to stay in touch
  • VeritaPharm – System of kiosks for pharmacists and consumers to check the authenticity of their prescription drugs via a molecular barcode in each drug

In addition to being named semi-finalists, Flipsi and MyDermPortal both received Marketing Awards, which include a $2500 prize. The Marketing Award, sponsored by Mark Petroff, is awarded to two teams that compete in Round 2 of the Michigan Business Challenge. 

“This was an extremely well run Zell Lurie Institute event with great and diversified student team participation from across campus,”  said Stewart Thornhill, executive director of the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. “The Michigan Business Challenge continues to be a showcase for the quality of all the emerging entrepreneurship programs and courses across the University of Michigan.”

The semi-finals and finals of the annual business plan competition will be held on Friday, Feb. 21, during which more than $60,000 in prizes will be awarded through generous donations from Millard and Mary Pryor, Mark Petroff, Bud Williamson, the Clayton G. Hale Endowment Fund, the Erb Institute, and the University of Michigan Office of Research. Follow the action during the final rounds of the competition on Twitter through @ZellLurie or attend to catch it live on Feb. 21. For more information, see http://www.zli.bus.umich.edu.

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