University of Michigan's Zell Lurie Institute Awards $34,500 in Grants and Business Accelerator Space for Student Entrepreneurs

Oct 13, 2011, 08:00 ET from The Zell Lurie Institute

Fall 2011 Dare to Dream Recipients include Live Business Chat Solution, Healthcare Software Security and Several E-Commerce Endeavors

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business today announced the recipients of the Fall 2011 Dare to Dream grant program and TechArb tenancy. Dare to Dream awarded funding totaling $34,500 based on business concepts and feasibility studies submitted to panels of judges. The announcement was made during a luncheon hosted by Ann Arbor SPARK, which has supported the Dare to Dream program through the participation of staff on review panels, the provision of space to student teams at its Entrepreneur Boot Camp, and through offering resources and networking opportunities to student teams. The student accelerator TechArb, also welcomed eight new tenants. Together, the programs encourage the thoughtful development of student-led businesses and provide real-world experience with venture creation activities.

"Dare to Dream and TechArb embody our commitment to action-based learning that helps students develop the entrepreneurial skills necessary to graduate not only with a degree, but also with the experience to launch their own business, join a startup or innovate within a corporate environment," said Tom Kinnear, executive director of the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.  "These programs provide the funding, support, and access that build on the business fundamentals these students learn in the classroom. I'm continually impressed with promise of this year's recipients and expect to see a lot more of them in the future—at the Michigan Business Challenge competition, Michigan Growth Capital Symposium and well beyond."

Dare to Dream Provides Grants to Build Student Start ups
The Dare to Dream program, a hallmark of the Zell Lurie Institute, distributes up to $100,000 per academic year to University of Michigan students. Grants are administered in three funding levels that build upon one another. These start with venture shaping grants of $500 for students with a promising business idea, followed by assessment grants of $1,500 where students conduct a feasibility study, and integration grants of up to $10,000 to complete a full business plan and develop an investor pitch. Grants awarded in October 2011, include:

Integration Grants - up to $10,000 each

  • EVo Hair ($2,000)- B-to-B wholesale hair extension supplier
  • SecureHealing ($10,000) - privacy monitoring and reporting across healthcare software systems
  • ($5,000) - Live Chat that increases brand equity through IM and text conversation


Assessment Grants - $1,500 each

  • AddressMe - automatically updated electronic address book application
  • Conspire - platform for individuals seeking collaborators and companies seeking managers
  • Dean Adam - web-based retailer of high-end men's grooming and personal care items
  • DIIME – R&D company designing low cost medical devices in collaboration with developing country clinicians
  • IFM Database – software plug-in solution for facility management service providers
  • Knuron -  knowledge sharing platform connecting students, employers and advertisers
  • Real Good Food - platform coordinating homemade food exchanges and collaborative cooking and dining events
  • Vault Health Solutions – platform to enable healthcare providers greater access to patients' medical histories


Venture Shaping Grants ($500 each)

  • Don't Weed Me - solving how to connect tutors to students in "weed out" classes
  • DrupalAI - creating an intelligent recommender system as a Drupal module
  • eRent -  solving landlord and tenant rent collection and accounting problems
  • EVStation – addressing limited availability of electric vehicle changing stations
  • FinAsk - online platform connecting financial advisors to those seeking financial advice
  • Medicron -  addressing needed nation wide health data tracking across Tanzania
  • MyInfluence -  solving limited offline interactions of online social networking tool users
  • Smart Peru - solving limited availability of online information for Peruvians
  • Stoowards - creating rewards system connecting college students with local merchants
  • Thrively - addressing lack of tools for employee feedback and self-development
  • Torch Hybrid Boat Co. - addressing carbon emissions and water pollution solutions and the high cost of fuel prices with current boating options


TechArb Student Business Accelerator Welcomes New Tenants
Managed by the Zell Lurie Institute and Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering, TechArb provides early stage companies that are launching the benefit of support through a community of entrepreneurs and mentors. In October, eight student teams were awarded tenancy in TechArb in conjunction with the Dare to Dream grant program. Teams who will move in this November include: EVStation, FinAsk, IFM Database, SynapTech (licensing agreements and technical support for a patent-pending platform neural interfacing technology), Team Fit (platform that allows dieters to maintain motivation and accountability in their weight loss goals), Thrively, and YouTrivia (platform that allows anyone to create and share trivia games).

The next application cycle for Dare to Dream Grants and TechArb tenancy will be January 27, 2012. For application materials, please see or

About the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Institute and its Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance bring together a potent mix of knowledge, experience and opportunities from the front lines of entrepreneurship and alternative investments.  The student learning experience is further enhanced through internships, entrepreneurial clubs and events that serve to provide viable networks and engage the business community.  The School's three student-led investment funds, with over $5M under management, immerse students in the business assessment and investment process.  Founding Board Members include Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments and Eugene Applebaum, Founder of Arbor Drugs, Inc. For more information, visit the Institute at

SOURCE The Zell Lurie Institute