Michigan Students Have Invented Eight New Products That Make Tiny House Living a Little More Bearable


One of the many ways that Michigan Ross students gain real-world experiences during their business education is by developing real products, with real prototypes, marketing plans, and cost structures.

It’s all part of the Michigan Ross Integrated Product Development Course through the Tauber Institute for Global Operations.

This is the 21st time the Tauber Institute has offered the course, and this year, teams consisting of students from Ross, the Stamps School of Art & Design, Michigan Engineering, and the School of Information were tasked with coming up with products designed for use in small spaces or efficiency apartments.

With a tiny house trend still sweeping the nation, and the rise of small living spaces continuing to spread through America’s big cities, it’s a challenge that couldn’t come at a better time.

This semester, students have been hard at work on their products — working on everything from design prototypes to strategic marketing plans. And now, the eight products are on display — competing to gain “market share” and have their product stand above the rest, and your votes help decide who ultimately wins.

Check out each product below, visit their respective websites, and then head to the IPD Voting Page to cast your vote.

The products will also be on display in person during the Integrated Product Development Trade Show on Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the U-M STAMPS Gallery at 201 South Division St.

Explore the products below and vote for your favorite here. Voting ends Tuesday, Dec 5.


Haven is a collapsible privacy shield for use in shared spaces. Tired of trying to study in a common area while your roommates are arguing? Simply unfold Haven and place it around your personal space to create instant privacy.

Team members include Ryan Colameo, MBA ‘18; Madeleine Fougere; Joshua Thariath; Mindy Yahr Jaffe, MBA ‘18; and Ruta Gokhale.

View website


HerbIn is a small, magnetized, wall-mountable herb garden that lets home chefs with limited space grow fresh herbs for cooking. HerbIn offers a variety of fresh herbs to choose from and relies on a unique watering system that takes into account the capillary action of plant roots.

Team members include Maaz Khalid, MBA ‘18; Andrea Levy; Pauline Park, MBA ‘18; Amy Shih; and Mian Wei, MSCM ‘17.

View website


Counter space is an issue in many homes, no matter the size, but having to take up counter space to dry dishes is especially hard for those in efficiency spaces. High & Dry, a collapsible, mountable dish drying rack looks to solve this problem. You can hang High & Dry on a standard cabinet and instantly have two racks available for drying dishes ― no counter space required!

Team members include Peter Callahan, MBA/MSI '19; Bethany Daniel; Carly Francis; Nisha Mohan; and Kyra Mahoney, MBA '18.

View website


Dining room tables are big, and you can’t often fit one in a small living space ― but that doesn’t mean you should have to forfeit hosting friends and family and entertaining guests. Hostable is a small side table that unfolds into a full-sized dining table. The innovative shape allows owners to easily shift between having a stylish and functional side table to a stylish and functional dining table, in no time at all.

Team members include Amy Goodell; Ben Herrmann, MSCM ‘17; Sneha Joshi; Gus Schissler; and Stephanie Wang, MBA ‘18.

View website


Lyra is a modular lighting system that adapts to a user’s living space and provides multiple configurations, a portable design, and convenient voice activation features.

Team members include Sophie Amberkar; Zahraa Bazzi; Blake Bellistri; Janet Cheng; Kartik Gupta, MBA ‘18; and Anita Jiang.

View website


Snaprep is a collapsible kitchen prep station that provides extra space and additional work surface to small and compact kitchen areas. The base folds easily and the magnetic, wooden cutting board easily snaps onto the base, making for a prep station you can set up in a hurry in virtually any kitchen.

Team members include Tasha Gillum; Matt Kaplan, MBA ‘18; Olga Balashova, MBA ‘18; Emanuel Papageorgiou; and Stephanie Yen.

View website


Sure is part home essentials delivery service, part storage solution. Order your essential house products (like paper towels, cleaning supplies, baby food, or pet supplies) and they arrive straight to your door in recyclable, stackable storage boxes that will look great in any tiny living space.

Team members include Fernando Santo Andre, MBA '18; Jenny Huang, MBA '18; Heidi Liu; Amit Shah; and Kaiwen Sun.

View website


Think Box is a space-saving, hanging wall office that doubles as an organization system and calendar. When it’s closed, Think Box is an ambient reusable glass calendar that you can use to keep track of your schedule or tasks. Unfold Think Box and it becomes a standing or sitting desk with storage for a laptop computer, books, and other essential productivity items.

Team members include Jack Bryce, MSCM ‘17; Srishti Gupta; Kritika Rastogi, MBA ‘18; Gabrielle Zacks; and Weiran Zhang.

View website

VOTE NOW - Voting closes on Dec. 5

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