Ann Arbor, MI — University of Michigan venture Cheruvu was one of four $25,000 grand prize winners through the National Geographic competition Chasing Genius.


The inaugural competition was comprised of idea submissions for three categories surrounding global issues: sustainability, global health and increasing food demand.


Members of the Chasing Genius council chose three winners with a final fourth winner chosen by the community for the idea receiving the highest online engagement.


With an astounding 5,973 votes, the team won the People’s Choice category for its solution toward decreasing risks for farmers in developing countries with 21st century data science technology.


Competition participants were asked to submit one-minute videos describing their idea and a solution behind it. Submissions were evaluated on innovation, creativity, viability and inspiration.


Cheruvu began its journey at the University of Michigan as a research project in the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program. They received seed funding for the project through the Dow Distinguished Award for Interdisciplinary Sustainability.


Last fall, as the project developed into a venture, Cheruvu was accepted into TechArb, the University of Michigan student venture accelerator sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.


Cheruvu received additional support through TechArb, and then went on to win $1,500 in CFE’s “The Startup” competition last spring.


Cheruvu also participated in the student-led innovation challenge program optiMize throughout the 2016-2017 academic year and was named an optiMize fellow for Summer 2017.


To learn more about Cheruvu, visit





U-M’s Center for Entrepreneurship is an innovation hub where the ideas, people, resources and technology meet and create the future. The mission of CFE is to inspire and transform the Michigan community into entrepreneurial thinkers and doers. To learn more about our programs, visit or email us at


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