UM student startups win more than $100,000 in funding

ANN ARBOR – Student startups at the University of Michigan took home more than $100,000 in prizes in the final round of the 2019 Michigan Business Challenge (MBC), a campus-wide, multi-round business plan competition hosted by UM Ross School of Business’ Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

This year, for the first time, the MBC also featured the Michigan Investment Challenge, which took students through the venture investment experience. Rather than selecting from an external or alumni startup, as is the standard for student venture capital investment competitions, UM students selected a startup competing in the Michigan Business Challenge.

Michigan Business Challenge winners:

  • Calcium Solutions was named the overall winner and received the $25,000 grand prize, in addition to the Michigan Investment Challenge (MIC) investment for $2,000 and one of two Best Presentation Awards. Founded by Robert Chisena (PhD ’19) and Matthew Hildner (PhD ’20), Calcium Solutions has created Plaque-Buster, a safe, easy-to-use, patent-pending device developed to improve the treatment of calcified, atherosclerotic plaques in cardiovascular peripheral arteries.
  • Dear Black Women, a network and affirmation movement for black women to heal, connect, and grow, specializing in curating offline and online communities that increase the social capital of black women in the movement, founded by Florence Noel (MBA/MSI ‘19) took home the first prize of $15,000 in the Impact Track.
  • Holly Keith Lingerie, a luxury lingerie brand founded by Holly Meyers (MBA ’19) that provides high-quality lingerie to larger busted women and innovates how women are sized for bras, received the Pryor-Hale Runner-Up Award for Best Business for $10,000, and one of two Marketing Awards, presented by Marketing Associates, for $2,500.
  • Practical Prosthetics, which integrates 3D printing in the prosthetic manufacturing process, received the Seigle Impact Track Runner-up award of $7,500, the Sillman Award for Best Undergraduate Team for $5,000 and the Williamson Award for Outstanding Cross-Functional Team for $5,000. The startup was founded by Harrison Price (BSE ‘21), Joseph Schuman (BS ‘21), Ethan Russo (BBA ‘21), and Anthony Salmeron (BSE ‘21).
  • Eastern Bazaar, a line of chic and affordable holiday decorations and stationary for the Muslim-American community, founded by Farah Ahmed (MBA ‘20), was awarded the second of two Marketing Awards, sponsored by Marketing Associates, for $2,500.
  • NeoHealth, a company dedicated to eliminating counterfeit drugs in developing countries, founded by Sujai Arakali (BS ‘20), Derrell Chapman (BS ‘19), received the Small Giants Positive Organizing Award for $2,500 and Best Showcase Award, decided by popular audience vote.
  • Acqua e Rosa, a Detroit-based luxury floral design brand specializing in timeless and elegant floral arrangements using signature acrylic boxes, founded by Mariam Jalloul (MBA/MPH ‘19), took home the second of two Best Presentation Awards.
  • LineLeap was recognized with the award for Best Written Plan. Founded by Patrick Skelly (BA’19) and Nick Becker (BBA’20), LineLeap couples with entertainment venues across the United States to increase nightlife venues’ revenue and give customers a platform where they can conveniently purchase different passes and tickets in one place.

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