Ventures

Student-run ventures are prime examples of the impact of U-M’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. These ventures by U-M students and a few recent grads span multiple disciplines and models—from for-profit businesses to nonprofit organizations to innovative products with market potential—and the university is helping nurture their journeys from idea to execution.

Each venture falls into one of three categories: START (S)—in the beginning stages, determining market potential; LAUNCH (L)—creating prototypes, defining customers, and developing teams; and GROW (G)—ready to deliver innovative products or services, looking for investment, and planning for success.

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  • Po1nt
    SLG

    Po1nt is creating a product that can nearly instantaneously measure certain blood laboratory values and directly communicate with the Electronic Health Record (EHR) to import results of these studies.

    Po1nt close

    Blood draws occur nearly 1 million times/day across hospitals in the US. While this process is essential, it involves a complex workflow with numerous handoffs and communication pathways. Its complexity and rate of repetition imposes inherent efficiency and cr

    Po1nt is creating a product that utilizes a pre-existing intravenous line that can nearly instantaneously measure certain blood laboratory values and directly communicate with the Electronic Health Record (EHR) to import results of these studies. Hospital systems that choose to adopt this system would benefit in two ways: 1) reducing the cost of care through material/labor waste reduction and 2) augmenting output of patient care through enabling improved productivity and efficiency of their care providers.

    Medical School Paths of Excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Sling Health; Zell Lurie Institute advising


    Team:

  • Caravan
    SLG

    For people with limited access to transportation, Caravan streamlines existing transportation services to increase their accessibility.

    Caravan close

    Caravan improves mobility for people with limited access to transportation, particularly those without phone data or credit. By matching riders and providers, Caravan formalizes and streamlines existing car-and ride-sharing behavior among neighbors, nonprofits, and others. Currently, residents have to register for each nonprofit transportation service separately, a cumbersome process. Conversely, vehicles provided by nonprofits often sit empty. Caravan addresses both of these problems. By ensuring access to safe, reliable, and affordable transportation, Caravan hopes to improve access to education, nutritious foods, employment, healthcare, and leisure.

    Graham Sustainability Institute; Dow Sustainability Fellowship; SPH Innovation In Action; Center for Entrepreneurship Jump Start grant, Edward Ginsberg Center, Community Engagement Grant, Michigan Library Student Mini-GrantZell Entrepreneurship and Law


    Team:

  • Canopy
    SLG

    Canopy can help to facilitate conversations about how to handle loved ones' end-of-life decisions.

    Canopy close

    “The guilt caregivers feel for making decisions for a loved one who has not clearly expressed their wishes can be overwhelming. The more simple and routine this process can become the less suffering for everyone.”

    Canopy facilitates the conversations about the end-of-life that we aren’t having, but maybe should be. Through a simple application, Canopy walks users through the questions and answers they might need someday. It features a balance of both technical and human questions, the ability to share in your own words—through video—what you would like, and a legal document users can easily share with loved ones and health providers. Currently only 26% of Americans have an advance care directive, and there are clear socioeconomic and racial disparities among those who do possess an advance care directive. As modern medicine makes end-of-life decisions more complicated and more needed than ever, we believe everyone should be able to have these conversations. Canopy enables individuals and families to take steps today for managing the difficulties of tomorrow.

    School of Public Health Innovation in Action; Zell Lurie Institute advising; Zell Entrepreneurship and Law Clinic


    Team:

  • Adapt Design
    SLG

    Adapt Design is a design company that creates designs that promote independence for people facing various health challenges.

    Adapt Design close

    Adapt Design is a disability design company using an empathetic human-centered design process to develop beautiful and productive designs alongside people with disabilities. Adapt Design is made up of interdisciplinary individuals dedicated to working to promote independence for people facing various health challenges. Currently the team is focusing on designs for people who use wheelchairs. Adapt Design works at the intersection of art, design, and engineering to create beautiful and productive designs.

    LSA optiMize Social Innovation Partnership; Center for Entrepreneurship JumpStart grants, treks and advising; U-M Library Mini-grants; Zell Entrepreneurship and Law Clinic;  Daly Design and Engineering Education research; Barger Leadership Institute; Center for Positive Organizations


    Team:

  • Pyriscence LLC
    SLG

    Pyriscence LLC is a revolutionary antimicrobial catheter that aims to reduce catheter-associated UTIs, one of healthcare’s largest and most expensive problems.

    Pyriscence LLC close

    “This whole process has been a wild ride. Every time we meet with someone new, the word ‘excited’ gets thrown out. It keeps us pushing forward to know that someday our technology may someday save a patient’s life.”

    More than 30% of hospital-acquired infections are related to catheter use. Pyriscence LLC aims to change that with a revolutionary antimicrobial catheter that aims to reduce catheter-associated UTIs, one of healthcare’s largest and most expensive problems. Pyriscence founders discovered this problem as first-year medical students, but it wasn’t until the team began working in the hospital and saw firsthand how these infections negatively impact patients’ lives that they decided to tackle it. Through research and collaboration with faculty across the university, the Pyriscence team has developed a novel catheter, which produces reactive oxygen capable of destroying bacteria, one of the same weapons used by white blood cells in the body to battle invading organisms.

    Zell Entrepreneurship and Law ClinicMedical School, Path of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Fast Forward Medical Innovation, Medical School Shark Tank


    Team:

  • proteinbits
    SLG

    proteinbits™ is an on-the- go bite-size protein snack made with the highest quality all-natural ingredients.

    proteinbits close

    "Every day there are new steps to take, more changes to make, and exciting connections to pursue. Some days are really hard when you don’t receive the email you want. But new meetings and new opportunities keep me progressing.” -Ellis Fried

    proteinbits™ is an on-the- go bite-size protein snack made with the highest quality all-natural ingredients. proteinbits™ are served fresh in a handheld resealable package, making for the healthiest, tastiest, and most convenient high-protein snack on the market. proteinbits™ is the true essence of the phrase “healthy snacking”.  Made with a pure blend of wholesome almond butter and organic coconut milk, you will not believe that these are actually great for you! As the population becomes increasingly health-conscious, proteinbits™ has the opportunity to grow into one of the largest nutrition brands in the world. We recently launched in a dozen retailers across Metro Detroit and are looking to expand into larger retail accounts who share our passion for healthy living.

    Zell Lurie Institute Zell Entrepreneur Program, Dare to Dream grants, Zell Lurie Institute Michigan Business Challenge, workshops and advising; TechArb Student Venture Accelerator; Center for Entrepreneurship Jump Start grantsZell Entrepreneurship and Law Clinic


    Team:

  • Spade LLC
    SLG

    Spade is an ad exchange that connects businesses that want to advertise with brick and mortars who are looking to monetize in real time.

    Spade LLC close

    Businesses who are a few doors down to each other aren't connecting. We aim to build a platform to connect these businesses and help them communicate and connect with each other to drive more hyperlocal initiatives and traffic.

    Spade is an ad exchange that connects businesses that want to advertise with brick and mortars who are looking to monetize in real time. Businesses can use the platform to search for and partner with local, non-competing businesses who share the same consumer base.

    The Spade Mobile app, the B2C aspect of the business, brings these partnerships to life. As partnerships are closed online, consumers can engage with the promos as they “hit the town”, enabling the messages as soon as they enter these locales.

    Spade encourages small businesses to offer deals through its platform. In addition, the small business owners who are offering the deals benefit by expanding their customer base as well as foot traffic.

    Zell Lurie Institute advising and Dare to Dream grants


    Team:

  • Small World
    SLG

    Small World strengthens communities facilitating high quality connections among community members. Connected communities are happier, more inclusive, more innovative, and more productive.

    Small World close

    We've connected with an incredible number of communities that feel disconnectedness: local governments, police departments, faith communities, student and faculty groups... It's surprising that the solution is so simple.

    What we do is simple: smallworld takes a list of community members and makes random pairings at a regular interval (every week, every two weeks,  every month, etc.). The paired members reach out to each other to set up a time for coffee, lunch, or another low-commitment one-on-one interaction.

    When a community forms, members tend to connect more easily with other members who are similar to themselves. This is a natural tendency called homophily in sociology and leads to silos or cliques forming within communities. smallworld disrupts homophily and silos by facilitating random connections between community members. We’re currently operating in ten communities including student groups, faculty groups, faith communities, and a health clinic.  

    Small World strengthens communities facilitating high-quality connections among community members. Connected communities are happier, more inclusive, more innovative, and more productive.  

    Center for Entrepreneurship Jump Start grants, The Startup competition, treks, and advising; Zell Lurie Institute Michigan Business Challenge, Dare to Dream grants and advising; TechArb Student Startup Accelerator; CHISL Design; Innovation in Action; Medical School Shark Tank and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Path of ExcellenceZell Entrepreneurship and Law Clinic


    Team:

    • Rob Cesaro, Medical School, MD 2019, Advisor
    • Whit Froehlich,  Medical School, MD 2019, Advisor
    • Max Froehlich,  Green Hills High School, 2017, Software Developer
    • Jared Leibowich, University of Chicago, MPA 2016, COO
    • Elliott Brannon, Medical School, MD/PhD; 2023, CEO
  • Sanguis Diagnostics
    SLG

    Sanguis Diagnostics introduces the HemoRetractoMeteris, or HeRM, a fast and inexpensive alternative to the currently existing blood coagulation diagnostic devices on the market.

    Sanguis Diagnostics close

    A unique device like this has many different applications for emergency rooms, hospitals, NGOs, Doctors Without Borders and even the military.

    Sanguis Diagnostics introduces the HemoRetractoMeteris, or HeRM, a fast and inexpensive alternative to the currently existing blood coagulation diagnostic devices on the market. The ability to maintain hemostasis is crucial for normal life function, as clotting too much or not enough could have serious implications for a patient’s health. Recent prototype development by these students has recognized the current demand for a low-cost, fast-paced, technologically savvy and informative device for diagnostic blood testing. The device can give the same data as a $30,000 machine in one-fifth of the time. Additionally, the device could be used for providing high-tech medical care to those who do not have access to it, reducing workload and patient overload in hospitals and saving time in emergency situations following mismanagement of medications, much more so than what is currently available in the medical field.

    Zell Lurie Institute advising; Zell Entrepreneurship and Law Clinic; Center for Integrative Research and Clinical Care (MCIRCC); Office Technology Transfer


    Team:

  • GoLocal
    SLG

    GoLocal is a two-sided mobile platform that connects travelers with trusted locals, matching travel interests and personalities.

    GoLocal close

    GoLocal is a two-sided mobile platform that connects travelers with trusted locals, matching travel interests and personalities. GoLocal enables customized, peer-to-peer experiences while saving time and reducing frustration for users.

    Zell Lurie Institute Dare to Dream grant; Center for Entrepreneurship The Startup


    Team:

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