Meet the Finalists Vying for $100K in Cash Prizes in the 2018 Michigan Business Challenge


It’s that time of the year again: When entrepreneurs from across the University of Michigan duke it out in a three-month-long battle for the best business idea.

What’s at stake? Cash prizes totaling $100,000 to help these eager founders and CEOs boost their startup’s success. 

The Michigan Business Challenge, hosted by the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, is a multi-round competition for U-M students. It encourages entrepreneurial teams to test real-world business concepts by vetting financial models, conducting market research, and developing a complete business plan. Throughout the competition teams have the opportunity to win cash prizes, get feedback from business leaders, and expand their business network.

This year’s finalists beat out more than 60 other teams to make it to the finals. These startups have created innovations for cancer diagnostics, autonomous vehicles, green energy, expectant parents, alleviating hunger, and more. Of the 11 final teams, six include Michigan Ross students or graduates.

Join the Zell Lurie Institute in celebrating the 35th Annual Pryor-Hale award for best business at the MBC team showcase and awards reception. Watch innovation in action as the teams give their final pitches on Friday, Feb. 16 in the lower level of Michigan Ross from 1-6 p.m.



​Sanmeet Jasuja (MBA/MSI ’18), Brian Shahbazian (MS ’18), Ryan Branch (BSE ’18), Minjeong Cha (PhD)
Advanced LIDAR Semantics (ALISE) is developing LiDAR devices with enhanced object recognition and reduced data processing capabilities leading to smarter and safer autonomous vehicles.



Alexander Mills (BSE CSE ’17), Owen Hughes (BS Math ‘21)
Arbor Automation is developing a cloud-based software service for the automated conversion of 3D design files to executable CNC machine code, which reduces labor costs for companies that manufacture hardware prototypes.

Clot Buster

Yang Liu (PhD ’19)
Clot Buster develops a medical device to safely and rapidly remove clot for treatment of vessel occlusion-caused diseases, including but not limited to stroke.


MedKairos Inc.

Michael Moore (MD ’21), Andy Kozminski, (MSE ’19, MD ’20)
One out of five biopsies have to be repeated due to the quality of the tissue collected. MedKairos has developed a platform that verifies the sample quality at the point of care so patients will only have to undergo the procedure once.


Adam Hokin (BBA ’19), Anna Moreira Bianchi (MBA ’19)
PedalCell creates novel bike-powered phone chargers for the bike share industry that promote ridership usage by transforming traditional bicycle rides into engaging, motion-powered experiences. PedalCell was invited to Capitol Hill last summer to showcase its product.


Jonathan Lundt (PhD, ’18), Nikita Jambulingam (MD/MBA ’18), Jonathan Macoskey (PhD, 19) Francisco De Orue Monteverde (MBA '18)
Sonodontics is developing an intra-oral 3D ultrasound scanning device for early diagnosis of gum disease.


Rent The Sari

Hira Baig (JD ’19)
Rent the Sari is developing a mobile/web-based platform for women to rent high-end, designer clothes from Pakistan and India. Our service caters to women who can’t otherwise find their choice of beautiful, South Asian fashion.


Kiley Judge, Computer Science & History (LSA ’17), Rahul Agrawal Bejarano, Computer Science (COE ’18)  
Quirk crafts small-batch, locally made drinking vinegars from quirky fruits. Our refreshing vinegars are made from the freshest, most delicious fruit that would normally be rejected based on their size, shape, or color.

The Seigle Impact Track

The Michigan Business Challenge Seigle Impact Track, with prizes totaling more than $26,000, recognizes the business plan that best pursues a mission-driven goal. These awards aim to stimulate the creation of new businesses, products or services that prioritize social or environmental considerations.


​Stef Rubinstein (MBA ’19), Tracy Wolfbiss (MBA ’19), Vanessa Lynskey (MBA ’19)   
Adelie is developing a digital platform to seamlessly manage parental leave for expectant mothers and fathers, reducing the stress and emotional burden placed disproportionately on women.



Ann Duong (MHI ’18), Brandon Keelean (MDes ’18)
Canopy develops digital tools to help families talk about and make end-of-life healthcare decisions and then share those decisions through a legal document with loved ones and medical providers.



Jack Griffin (BBA ’19)
​FoodFinder is a registered non-profit organization that uses a website and mobile app to make it as easy as it should be to locate and learn about your nearest free food assistance programs.



Adam Hokin (BBA ’19), Anna Moreira Bianchi (MBA ’19)
PedalCell creates novel bike-powered phone chargers for the bike share industry that promote ridership usage by transforming traditional bicycle rides into engaging motion-powered experiences.


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