The Startup Competition

 

The Startup is CFE’s cornerstone competition for undergraduate and graduate students looking to turn a startup idea into a real company. It’s a winner-take-all opportunity for ventures to get visibility, direct one-on-one mentorship with local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, funding, and bragging rights to be called the next, best startup at Michigan.

The winning startup last year walked away with a total of $18,000 to launch their venture.

This is NOT another pitch competition. We aren’t looking for students who think they are the best right now, we are looking for startup teams with the highest potential to become the best. The Startup makes real entrepreneurs, in real time, by giving teams direct access to mentors who will help them reach important milestones in moving their company forward. On top of close mentorship from local entrepreneurial leaders, students will also receive increased funding as they make it past each round of the competition, and will present in front of CFE’s largest seminar class, Entrepreneurship Hour. That’s over 300 potential customers who will learn about, and, potentially test out your venture idea.

Important Details and Dates

2017 Auditions: January 10th & 17th. If selected, CFE contacts your team with an audition date and time slot.

2017 Startup Competition Rounds will be held on U-M’s North Campus, Stamps Auditorium, 12:30 -1:30P, as part of Entrepreneurship Hour on…

Round 1: Friday, January 27
Round 2: Friday, February 10
Round 3: Friday, March 10
Finale: Friday, April 7

How does CFE’s The Startup work?

  • Selected applicants are asked to participate in an audition, where teams pitch their startup idea and answer a few questions on the direction of their idea. This is the time to show why you deserve to be in the running, and why you think a successful mentor will want to chose you to mentor during the competition. Once auditions have wrapped, CFE reps will select participants to advance to Round 1. Progressing through Rounds 1, 2, 3, and the Finale will be done, in-person, on stage, at Stamps Auditorium as a part of Entrepreneurship Hour.
  • Round 1, Friday January 27th: Four successful mentors will select students to become a part of their “team.” The teams the mentors pick will be a direct reflection of their reputation too, so they’ll be picking teams or individuals they believe have true potential. Mentors have serious skin in the game, and might even be looking for their next investment…!

2017 Mentors are: Jake Cohen of Detroit Venture Partners, Sonali Vijayavargiya of Augment Ventures, Bill Mayer of Ann Arbor SPARK, and Scott Taylor of SBDC Tech Team

  • Each following Round: Startup Teams will work closely with their mentor to prepare for upcoming challenges that are designed to help meet important venture milestones. After each Round, teams will be eliminated through a process of voting by the mentors and audience of Entrepreneurship Hour students … until only one startup is left standing.

Why should you participate?
Work one-on-one with investors and experts to move your idea forward. Making it past each Round gets you increased funding as you go, to use as operating capital. With one big final funding for the winner. Rounds take place in front of CFE’s Entrepreneurship Hour class (300+ students, plus alumni and AA locals), giving your idea tons of visibility. The structure keeps you moving forward throughout the entire semester.

What do you win?
Besides lots of cash, mentorship, networking, working space, and PR? You will be Michigan’s next best startup, walking away with an actual venture ready to launch. This could be YOUR big break.

Are there requirements? Applicants must be enrolled in a U-M degree-granting program and  in good academic standing (GPA of at least 2.0 for undergraduate students, or 5.0 for graduate students). In order to receive a Jump Start Grant, an award recipient must be actively enrolled in a U-M degree-granting program at the time of disbursement of funds. Funding for this Round does not count against the Jump Start Grant maximum funding of $1000 per student per year and $2000 per team per year.

2017 Ventures:

COMPANY DETAILS
Grassroots  

Grassroots is an app which makes it easy to figure out who to vote for. It sends election notifications for local, state and federal elections, so you can check out a sample ballot with side-by-side comparisons of all the candidates.

 

Edible  

Whether you’re is gluten-free, vegan, or has some sort of food allergies, Edible let’s you find restaurants near you that the community loves.

 

AIM Tech  

AIM Tech develops high quality, affordable, user-friendly and low-power medical equipment to sustainably provide excellent medical care around the world.

 

Kulisha  

Kulisha is a for profit biotechnology company that is developing a proprietary system that enables wastewater treatment plants to integrate black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) into the waste byproduct sludge at the end of the treatment process, removing the need for disposal, which is 15-50% of total operational costs.

 

GoLocal  

GoLocal will operate through a two-sided mobile platform (app) that connects travelers with locals, who act as guides. The key differentiator is an algorithm that matches users through an assessment of travel interests and personalities. Once matched, travelers and locals can create a completely custom itinerary.

 

Cheruvu  

Cheruvu employs crop science, machine learning, and crowd analytics to increase crop yields of small-farmers. We mitigate risk for farmers in developing countries by increasing informational access for agricultural decisions.

 

Morning Brew  

Morning Brew is a business news and educational content company with the purpose of connecting college students with the business world in a way that engages, educates and inspires. Currently, we provide a daily e-mail newsletter that provides 85,000 business-interested college students with a concise and conversational four-minute read about all things business.

 

Kraken Foods  

We here at Kraken, aim to end edible food waste through our three part process. It starts with our unique software system that helps farmers track their rejected produce and prevent future food waste. Our dynamic routing system diverts rejected produce from landfills to our facilities. We use these “ugly” fruits and vegetables to make healthy, affordable juice.

 

 

The Startup Competition 2016 on CFE TV

The Startup Competition 2015 on CFE TV

Entrepreneurship Hour Speaker Series on CFE TV