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Zell Lurie Institute Gives $45,000 to 'Dare to Dream' Winners

10/25/2004 --

Unique program supports entrepreneurial vision be awarding grant to promising high-growth business concepts.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.–The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business has announced the winners of its "Dare to Dream" Grant Program. The 15 winners were awarded a total of $45,000.

The program is designed to support the entrepreneurial vision of business students at the business conception and integration phases through both monetary grants and experienced business counsel.

Founded in 2002, Dare to Dream distributes up to $100,000 per academic year to Ross Business School students to apply for funding to advance their innovative, high-growth potential business concepts toward becoming an operating company. In the program's two-year history, 17 of its 19 grant recipients have continued to develop their business concept or have launched (89 percent).

This year, Dare to Dream has expanded to award students in two phases of business development: business concept assessment and business integration. Awards of $1,000 are given to those entering the concept assessment category, while awards of up to $10,000 are given to those entering the integration category. The grant recipients are given a roadmap of deliverables to meet over a six-month period, such as feasibility studies for businesses in the concept phase, and business plans and investor presentations for those in the integration phase.

"Developing applied entrepreneurial leadership in our students and supporting the formation of innovative, high-potential businesses, is the foundation of the Zell Lurie Institute," says Timothy Faley, managing director of the Zell Lurie Institute. "It is rewarding to provide not just financial support through Dare to Dream, but also guidance and counsel from the institute's advisors that can help these innovative ideas become a reality.

"With our focus on 'intensive hands-on learning'–taking skills learned in the classroom and immediately applying them to the real world–while students earn their degree, Dare to Dream is extremely good for people who want to be entrepreneurs and for people who want to develop high-level leadership capabilities."

Business concept assessment grant recipients ($1,000 each):

  • Coffeeshop.com
    A virtual "coffee shop" community, with social networking, news, exhibits from local artists and musicians, and downloadable e-books and magazines.
  • Fibonacci's Healthy Fast Food
    Healthy fast food restaurant catering to athletes, dieters, vegetarians and other health-conscious Americans.
  • FindIt
    A hand-held GPS navigation system.
  • Green Dot
    Business-to-business distributor of biodegradable tableware and packaging for restaurants.
  • HR Insight
    Organizational chart analysis software.
  • Metro-Urban Real Development and Revitalization LLC
    Facilitates investment into developing economically disadvantaged communities to spur revitalization.
  • No Fall Zone
    Retailers of unique masculine housewares and furniture.
  • Streaming English
    Streaming daily English instructional content and reinforcing interactive games via broadband to families in Asia with pre-school-aged children.
  • Style High
    Retailer and distributor of personalized, branded high school merchandise.
  • Weekend Gourmet Cookware Rental
    High-end cookware rental for urban "foodies" who enjoy cooking and entertaining, but lack storage or interest in purchasing high-end cookware.

Business integration grant recipients (up to $10,000 each):

  • AD-Screens ($5,000)
    Markets, implements and manages digital signage systems for retailers.
  • DreamLight ($5,000)
    A solar energy-based system to run basic electrical appliances in India's rural and semi-urban population at affordable prices and financing terms.
  • Integrated Bio Mimetics ($10,000)
    Technology that enables researchers and medical practitioners to easily and effectively analyze cells and tissues in vitro.
  • NextServices Inc. ($10,000)
    Solutions provider for health care providers that improve administrative efficiencies and ensure compliance with regulatory mandates.
  • TunerMarket.com LLC ($5,000)
    An online shopping search model for the automotive enthusiasts' aftermarket industry.

For more about Dare to Dream, visit: www.zli.bus.umich.edu/events_programs.



For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat
Phone: 734-936-1015 or 647-1847
Email: bernied@umich.edu