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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 2007 Eugene Applebaum Dare to Dream Grant Program, where students apply for funding to advance their innovative, high-potential business concepts toward launch. Grant recipients were awarded funding and resources totaling $51,000 based on business concepts and plans submitted to panels of judges made up of faculty and members of the entrepreneurial and venture capital communities from across the United States. In addition to the financial awards, grant recipients will receive counsel from leading business experts on business plan development and funding strategies.
The Dare to Dream program, a hallmark of the Zell Lurie Institute, has been aiding student-run high growth business concepts since 2002. The program distributes up to $100,000 per academic year to Ross School of Business students. The program benefits students, as well as the local and university community, by stimulating entrepreneurial efforts and starting new businesses. Grants are administered at three funding levels: opportunity grants at $500, assessment grants at $1,500, and up to $10,000 for integration grants.
Bob Mazur, president of B.A. Maze, Inc. and a University of Michigan MBA alumnus, was one of the first recipients of a Dare to Dream grant in 2002. Since that time, his company has brought four products to market, secured 18 pieces of intellectual property, and designed a roadmap for B.A. Maze to become a leading provider of healthcare brands for independent living.
"Participating in Dare to Dream pushed us to compress our ideas, research and business concepts into a clear, concise business plan," stated Mazur. "When announced as a recipient in 2002, our plan became a reality. The grant accelerated our idea-to-market timeline and the counsel we received helped us get our first unit sold in 2002."
Todd Sullivan, another University of Michigan MBA alumnus, credits his company's successful growth and development with early stage guidance and funding from Dare to Dream. Sullivan's business, Spirit Shop, received a grant in 2004. The funds were used to commission a corporate logo for Spirit Shop and to compensate the business plan development team.
"The feedback we received from faculty, venture capitalists and business experts through Dare to Dream helped us focus our customer service and business development efforts," stated Sullivan. "Being part of this grant competition accelerated my business and as a result I was able to get five customers to sign on to Spirit Shop before I graduated."
These are just two examples of the success Dare to Dream spawns among Ross student entrepreneurs. "While the financial awards provide a much needed funding catalyst to student entrepreneurs for further research and business development, the feedback, expert counsel and advice from our esteemed judging panels are invaluable resources for all program participants, and a shining example of the University and Zell Lurie Institute's commitment to commercializing student business ideas and opportunities," stated Zell Lurie Institute Executive Director Thomas Kinnear.
The following student teams received grants in October 2007:
Integration Grants ($5,000 - 10,000 each)
-- ArmyProperty.com -- Online inventory management system to organize and account for military equipment
-- ePack Corp -- Packaging for MEMS devices
-- MSignS -- English to sign language portable device
-- Slow Kitchen Post -- Ships artisan food to customers' doors
Assessment Grants ($1,500 each)
-- Audiallo -- Designs and develops hearing instruments around a new audio processing microprocessor
-- GIDEON -- CAD software for the design simulation and visualization of nanosystems made from structural DNA nanotechnology
-- Home Counting -- Offers quantitatively accurate male fertility testing at home
-- Indian Medical Group -- Overseas medical tourism -- Innovet -- Medical devices and service for veterinary orthopedic applications -- Neupharma Microdevices -- Manufactures and sells neural probes -- Productive Kitchens -- Innovative restaurant equipment to provide increased kitchen productivity in industrial kitchens
-- Sustainable Food Service -- Distributes environmentally-friendly food products and services
Opportunity Grants ($500 each)
-- General Aerodynamics -- Analyzes performance of helicopter rotors and propellers
-- Haniwa Raptor Security Systems -- Digital recording system triggered by RFID hits for security firms
-- Hearing Protection Indicator -- Safety glasses that indicate when hearing protection is needed
-- i2 -- Mass market architectural services
-- Maxim Investments -- Investment funds that get maximum tax efficiency
-- Modern Portfolio Auctions -- Auction for individual or combination bid lots
-- Second Eye -- CAD highlight of areas on CT scans that radiologists should focus on
-- SensoWear -- Fabric that senses change in temperature, pH, etc. for sportswear and military uniforms
About University of Michigan
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 organization and events that serve to provide viable networks and engage the business community. The School's two student-led investment funds, with over $3M in management, immerse students in the business assessment and investment process. Members of the Advisory Board include Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments; Michael Hallman, former COO of Microsoft Corporation; and Eugene Applebaum, Founder of Arbor Drugs, Inc.
For more information, please click here
Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute
for Entrepreneurial Studies
Ross School of Business
University of Michigan
701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
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