By Kate Toporski, CFE Content Development Intern
Last night, students, faculty, and community members gathered in the Ross School of Business to celebrate a summer of successes for student entrepreneurs in the 2016 TechArb Summer Cohort. TechArb, the brainchild of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, is the university’s premier student venture accelerator.
Supporting seven teams, totaling to 16 individuals, TechArb was booming this summer. From long hours of customer discovery to presentations, competitions, and applications, this accelerator pushes ventures to make moves. But besides successes in business models and customer discovery, it was evident that this summer’s cohort was something extraordinary.
They were a community; not just students coming together to grow their ventures, but more so students working hard to better each other and their surrounding communities. The spirit of social entrepreneurship shined through each team and individual.
Each team involved in this summer’s cohort revolved around strengthening different groups of people, whether it was gym-lovers or community health workers. “Our big theme was connections,” says TechArb Director, Ryan Gourley. “These ventures are connecting people to life sustaining devices, communities, and resources.”
TechArb’s reach was far and wide this summer, as its fellows dipped their hands into various different fields, aiming to solve big problems within each. Meet this summer’s TechArb teams who are changing the way we connect, the way we thrive, the way we live::
Confluent Care– Dedicated to keeping people healthy through online communities and gamification
ElectriFit- Allows users to track their workout information during strength training
LifeNote– Alleviates the stress and frustration of acquiring online monetary accounts after a loved one passes
MichaelAngelo Robotics– Stabilizes the view and orientation of a surgeon’s field to perform minimally invasive procedures
PreDxion Bio– Measures the severity of an ICU patient within 30 minutes, using a single drop of blood
SmallWorld– Disrupts social norms to create high quality connections within communities
It’s easy to see, students are solving problems and innovating fields that have been long standing. Confluent Care will save many trips to the doctor’s office, as well as keep community health workers on top of their patients’ statuses, while LifeNote will turn a 12-month process into 12 minutes for grieving families.
Tom Brady, long time donor and supporter of U-M’s entrepreneurial community said this, “All of this- it’s not just about starting a company, it’s about the innovative mindset that moves us forward as a nation.”
This summer’s cohort was recognized by its fellows as “the breeding grounds of great ideas, brilliant structure, and the motivation needed to succeed.”
“It takes a village to launch a venture,” said Gourley, thanking those that have supported TechArb over the past year.
And it’s as simple as that- victors start the venture, the venture take a village, and that village is created of victors within and beyond.
If you’re interested in becoming part of our village, being a victor, or starting a venture, check out TechArb on CFE’s website today.