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Zell Lurie Students Receive $46,000 in Prize and Grant Money

2/23/2005 --

Pryor-Hale business plan competition and Dare to Dream grant program provide seed funding and business resources.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan recently announced the winners of the 22nd annual Pryor-Hale Business Plan Competition and the recipients of the Spring 2005 Dare To Dream Grants.

Winners and grant recipients were awarded both funding and resources (advice and counsel) based on business concepts and plans. Judges included Ross School faculty and members of the entrepreneurial and venture capital communities from across the United States.

Pryor-Hale Winners
The Pryor-Hale Business Plan Competition featured six finalists and the following winners shared in a total of $29,000 in prize money:

  • Pryor Award for Best Business ($10,000), Best Presentation ($3,000) and Best Written Plan ($3,000): Incept Biosystems, a successful developer of working prototypes of an advanced, simple-to-use micro-fluidic platform technology to allow cell researchers and medical practitioners to more effectively culture, manipulate and analyze cells and tissues in vitro. Michigan MBA Team: Michael Crowley and Charlie Covert.
  • Pryor Award for Best Business ($10,000): Style High has licensed a personalized digital printing and embroidery technology for single-run printing at reduced prices. The company will sell made-to-order products with personalized printing to high schools, middle schools and townships via co-branded Web sites. Michigan MBA Team: Todd Sullivan and Ben Lewis.
  • Social Impact Award ($3,000): Urban Real Revitalization, a Michigan-based real estate development concern that specializes in renovating distressed property in metropolitan areas designated the "Top 25 Worst Places to Live." Michigan MBA Team: Ratiera Harrison, Karimah Malcolm, Sheila Collins and Melanie Glover.

Dare to Dream Grant Recipients
The Dare to Dream Grant Program awarded a total of $17,000 in two categories—Business Concept Assessment and Business Integration—bringing the total grants awarded for the 2004-2005 academic year to $62,000.

Business Concept Assessment Grants ($1,000 per concept) awarded to the following Michigan MBAs:

  • Airline Marketing Solutions (Jason Miller)—In-flight marketing and interactive promotion services provided by flight attendants on U.S. domestic flights.
  • Convenience Care (Tony Tsai, Rebecca Arbuckle)—High-quality, timely and affordable basic health care in the United States.
  • Integrated Monitor Company (Sarah Arendsen, Aren Arendsen)—A biometric warning system integrated into baby monitors.
  • No Assembly Required (Raymond Hudack, Michael Pecoraro, Jill Katie)—Capitalizing on commercial opportunities of the "ready-to-assemble" furniture industry.
  • Smart Sound (Marcelo Freitas, Richard Freitas)—Application of an Internet protocol (IP), already in existence, for an onboard system targeting the automotive aftermarket.
  • Sweet Pea Teen Spa and Salon (Sheila Collins, Toria Crichlow, Erica Roerson)—Bringing the spa experience to teens.
  • Vida Dulce (Brad Wolvin, Kort Syverson)—Bringing the high-quality, fast-casual ice cream experience to Mexico's urban areas.

Business Integration Grants (up to $10,000 per business) awarded to the following:

DuraPower (Adam Borden, Nick Cucinelli, Bodhi Burgess, Ed Chao)—Plans to bring to market the DuraPower "Expedition," the first market-ready solid oxide fuel cell that is truly portable, affordable and compatible with widely available one-pound propane tanks.

Pryor-Hale and Dare to Dream focus on the development and application of entrepreneurial skills. Students compete with fellow aspiring entrepreneurs based strictly on the merits of their ideas and business plans, seeking to acquire seed funding and valuable insight for moving a business idea to concept and, eventually, launch.

The Zell Lurie Institute was formed in 1999 with a mission to focus the capabilities and resources of the Ross School of Business to provide education, experience and opportunities in entrepreneurship; serve as a catalyst for new venture development; and contribute important research in the field of entrepreneurship.

For more information, please visit www.zli.bus.umich.edu.

For more information, contact:
Heather Thorne
Phone: (734) 936-8421
Email: hthorne@umich.edu