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Zell Lurie Students Receive $98,000 in Prize and Grant Money

3/8/2006 --

Michigan Business Challenge and Dare to Dream grant program provide seed funding resources.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business recently announced the winners of the 2006 Michigan Business Challenge (MBC), formerly the Pryor-Hale Business Plan Competition and the Eugene Applebaum Dare to Dream Grants.

Winners and grant recipients were awarded both funding and resources (advice and counsel) totaling $98,500 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.

Michigan Business Challenge Winners
The MBC awarded a total of $36,000 in prize money:

  • Pryor-Hale Award for Best Business ($15,000): Outfoxed, Web browser software. Jake Braly, MBA '06 and Jason Godley, MBA '06.
  • Pryor-Hale Runner-Up ($5,000), Outstanding Presentation ($2,500) and Williamson Award ($5,000): Space Weather Forecasting Technologies will provide customized forecasts that help users mitigate the destructive, costly effects of space weather. Jared Bell, PhD Space Science & Physics '07; Joshua Botkin, MBA '06; Alex Glocer, PhD Space Science & Physics '07; Daniel Welling, PhD Space Science '08.
  • Social Impact Award ($3,000) and Outstanding Presentation ($2,500): Adelante Consulting will deliver bilingual, culturally appropriate education and communications campaigns around employee retirement benefits. Karen Biddle, MPP '07; Matthew Johnson, MBA '05; Brooke Reilly, MBA/MPP '08.
  • Best Written Plan ($2,500): Red Baron Rocks will provide high quality rocks and boulders, from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Jared Ailstok, BS Economics '08; Matthew Kaczynski, BBA '06.
  • Four semifinalists—Blaze, Intelligun, Mobilday and TheRealRetro received $250 awards.

Dare to Dream Grant Recipients
The following student teams received grants:

Spring Integration Grants (February 2006) – $5,000 each:

  • Electrical Baseboards – based on a patented electrical outlet solution.
  • GROOM Media – designed for men facing wedding planning.
  • Outfoxed – delivers relevant search results enhanced by social networks.
  • Red Baron Rocks – suppliers of high quality rocks and boulders from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Spring Assessment Grants (February 2006) – $1,000 each:

  • BusShark – provides real-time bus arrival data via the Internet and cell phones to commuters.
  • Infinity Designs – organizes and charges electronic devices while purifying the air.
  • Laptopps! Inc – designs custom and removable laptop skins.
  • mySnap – executes image-recognition-based searches transmitted through cell phones.
  • NATCONS – software application enabling consulting firms to conduct effective management decisions.
  • National Poker Federation – online and real-world poker community.
  • RealDeal – delivers specific customer-requested coupons via cell phones.
  • TrifectaCell – provides 3D plated cell scaffolds for compound testing and drug screening.
  • Unique Solutions – installs programmable indoor/outdoor lighting utilizing LEDs.

Fall Integration Grants (October 2005):

  • NY Kid Car ($10,000) – safe, convenient transportation for young children and guardians.
  • Vida Dulce ($10,000) – Mexican ice cream franchise.
  • Intelligun ($5,000) – device designed to lock a firearm via fingerprint scanning.

Fall Assessment Grants (October 2005) – $1,000 each:

  • Airline Recruiting & Training – trains American pilots for the Chinese airline market.
  • Blood Analyser – develops a medical device to improve testing for red blood cell plasticity.
  • EnRoute – provides airline snack food service for regional and eventually national airlines.
  • Global Goods – runs a short-haul trucking service utilizing a Hydrogen Fuel Injection system.
  • Gregory Sports Management – sells sports marketing opportunities to global companies.
  • GROOM Media – designed for men facing wedding planning.
  • Integrated Home Offices – provides a single point of contact for all home office needs.
  • Master Model Design Company – models jewelry by converting hand drawings to CAD/CAM wax models ready for manufacturing.
  • OM Solutions for Emerging Markets – operations consulting to SME in the European Emerging Markets (Poland, Hungary, etc.)
  • Qualmod, LLC – proposes a computational engine available via Internet to run water quality services.
  • Red Baron Rocks – suppliers of high quality rocks and boulders from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
  • Shelter One – short-term inflatable housing solutions for local emergency planners.
  • Sleep Lab Management Solutions – manages physician-run sleep labs.

MBC and Dare to Dream focus on the development and application of entrepreneurial skills. Students compete by applying for funding and support to help advance their business concepts toward 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
E-mail: hthorne@umich.edu