The Eleven Best Startups Currently Being Launched by Michigan Students
They beat out more than 100 other teams to advance to the semi-finals of the Michigan Business Challenge. And now, the teams behind eleven incredible startups will compete in the final rounds of a competition to secure more than $85,000 in funding for their businesses.
The final rounds of the Michigan Business Challenge, sponsored by the Zell Lurie Institute, kick off on Friday, Feb 17, and by the end of the day, one team will be going home with a check and the confidence and mentorship access needed to take their business to the next level.
The businesses remaining in the competition come from a range of industries – from enterprise-level healthcare solutions to consumer products – but they all have one thing in common: They’re being developed by the Leaders and Best.
By mid-day Friday, four of the eight teams will advance to a final round of competition, where they will have one last chance to present their business plans and proposals to a team of advisors and investors.
The final round of competition will start at 3:00p.m. in the Blau Hall Colloquium (5th floor), and is open to the public. You can follow along live on Instagram by following Michigan Ross.
Check out the eleven best startups currently being launched by Michigan Students (in no particular order):
From Eric Katz, BBA ’17
Kulisha is a for-profit agriculture and biotechnology company developing a proprietary system that enables organic wastewater treatment plants to inject black-soldier-fly larvae (BSFL) into the “sludge” at the end of the treatment process. The larvae consume the sludge, which turns into larvae feces, which Kulisha then sells as a protein base for animal feed and organic compost. The system removes the need for disposal and saves 15-50 percent in operational costs.
From Ellis Fried, BA ’17
proteinbits™ is an on-the-go bite-size protein snack made with the highest quality natural and organic ingredients. proteinbits™ are served fresh in a handheld resealable package, making for the healthiest, tastiest, and most convenient high-protein snack on the market. As the population becomes increasingly health-conscious, proteinbits™ has the opportunity to grow into one of the largest nutrition brands in the world.
Udai Mody, MBA ’17
Moxytech aims to bring precision to pain care. Their technology, GeoPain, offers a user-friendly, device-agnostic software solution for tracking, analyzing, and communicating the details of pain more effectively with clinicians and pharmaceutical manufacturers – data currently lost with existing pain assessment methods.
Jun Liang Benjamin Eu, BSE ’19
Carrycott designs baby strollers to make family outings more delightful. Currently, strollers are four-wheeled, bulky transportation products, which are a bane for families living in crowded urban communities. This frustration led to the creation of Carrycott, the world’s first dual-wheel self-balancing stroller, which is arguably the easiest to close and carry and most intuitive to maneuver. Having the Carrycott makes going outdoors more convenient for the parent and more comfortable for the child.
Stephen John, MD ’19; Aaron Steiner, MBA ‘17
Every year, more than a million babies die of respiratory illness; 99 percent of these deaths occur in low-middle income countries. AIM Tech has developed an affordable, high quality, low-tech pressure ventilator. Their patent-pending, award-winning NeoVent costs less than 1/100th of the price of existing ventilators, is easy to use, and requires no electrical power. The device is already approved for clinical testing and the team plans to implement NeoVent around the world to save millions of infant lives.
AIM Tech is also a finalist in the Impact Track of the challenge.
Sheleen Sahi, MBA ’16
SAHI creates private blend cosmetics for medium skin tones. From personal experience in the makeup industry, the SAHI team realized that no other brand caters to medium skin tones, and it is a huge problem for women of Arabic, Indian, Pakistani, Mediterranean, and Hispanic descent. From the founder’s experience as a materials science engineer to the team’s collective experience as makeup artists, SAHI has carefully curated luxurious products that match their target complexion range.
Austin Reif, BBA ’17
Morning Brew is a daily email business newsletter geared toward young business professionals. The daily newsletter provides the business-interested college student with a concise and conversational four-minute read about all things business.
Avikal Malik, MBA ’17; Spencer Heaton, MD, MBA ’17; Clint Harrison, BSE ’17
Panacea Health is developing a mobile/web-based platform for the measurement of post-market approved prescription drugs’ safety and effectiveness, as well as associated quality of life in the real-world patient population.
The Impact Track
Presented by the Zell Lurie Institute, the Center for Social Impact and the Erb Institute, four teams in a special Impact Track of the challenge also advanced to the finals. The social ventures competing in this track include:
Find Your Ditto
Parisa Soraya, MHI ‘17
More than one-half of all adults in the U.S. live with a chronic illness – an astounding 120 million people. These illnesses, which are mostly invisible, are often accompanied by pervasive feelings of isolation and loneliness. Find Your Ditto is a mobile platform that connects individuals living with the same chronic illness locally for on-demand, in-person peer support. The company’s vision is that no individual living with chronic illness ever has to feel alone and can finally feel like “it’s not just me.”
Jaymon Ballew, JD/MBA ‘18
Kladder is a mobile and social platform aimed at combating the substantial disparity in career advancement suffered by professionals of diverse and minority backgrounds. Kladder’s solution is driven by connecting diverse professionals, spotlighting the high achieving and underexposed, and curating original content to arm these diverse professionals with the necessary resources to advance their careers.
Sage & Grace
Holly Price, MBA ‘17
Sage & Grace is a website and concierge service that helps grieving families navigate the funeral planning process. By empowering and educating consumers, Sage & Grace helps them significantly save money and time, reduce stress, and process their grief more effectively. This platform also increases consumer awareness of predatory sales practices and emerging industry trends that can drastically minimize the negative environmental impacts of funerals.