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Zell Lurie Students Dominate Business Plan Competition

6/15/2005 --
Apparel marketing company wins Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Two students from the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies (ZLI) at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan won the Grand Prize at the 5th annual Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest (GLEQ) business plan competition held June 7 at the Michigan Information Technology Center in Ann Arbor.

Spirit Shop Inc., an apparel and merchandise marketing company developed by Todd Sullivan, MBA '05, and Christie Clark, MBA '06, took home $25,000 in cash, three hours of legal services, and two hours of financial, accounting and website consulting. The company uses proprietary technology to produce personalized digital printing and embroidery for K-12 school branded merchandise. The team also placed first in the regional GLEQ New Business Idea competition earlier this year.

Other ZLI winners include two Honorable Mentions: Integrated BioMimetics, presented by Michael Crowley, MBA '05—A women’s health laboratory test company that mimics the female reproductive system for use in In Vitro Fertilization procedures to reduce the risk of multiple births; and Pixel Velocity, presented by Erick Trombley, MBA '03—A proprietary 3-D accurate, low-cost facial biometric camera for security applications. Both teams won two hours of financial, accounting and public relations consultation.

Each of the six finalists gave a three-minute elevator pitch to a panel of venture capitalist judges. Their presentation (25 percent) and business plan (75 percent) scores were combined to determine the winners.

GLEQ is managed by ZLI. Founded in 2000, the nonprofit program encourages and educates entrepreneurs on the creation, start up and early stages of high-growth businesses in Michigan.

ZLI was formed in 1999 with a mission to focus the capabilities and resources of the Ross School 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.

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