ECE Students: Michigan Business Challenge

This competition sponsored by the Michigan Ross School of Business allows students from across the University to propose business plans for a consumer or an industrial product or service. The business may be for-profit or non-profit, though most competitive businesses demonstrate high growth and/or large market potential.

Team Ambiq Micro, 2010

ECE Members: Scott Hanson (PhD EE 2009), David Landman and Philip O'Niel. Ambiq Micro (co-founded by Hanson, along with Profs. David Blaauw and Dennis Sylvester) plans to sell low-power microprocessors that could substantially extend the battery life of a range of tiny wireless devices. The start-up's technology could be used in smart credit cards, computers, sensors that control temperature or detect motion in smart homes and buildings, and a variety of medical and mobile devices.

Pryor-Hale Award for Best Business ($20,000) - This grand prize is awarded to the team that the judges feel is most likely to succeed, most likely to have the largest success, and has the most viable business.

Williamson Award for Outstanding Business and Engineering Team ($5,000) - This award is for the most successful team with at least one currently enrolled Ross School of Business student and one currently enrolled College of Engineering student.

Outstanding Presentation Award ($2,000) - This award recognizes that the skills needed to sway a skeptical audience of potential business partners are invaluable when an entrepreneur moves the business forward. One team from each semi-final track will receive this award.

Dare to Dream Student Startup Grant - The Dare to Dream Grant Program funds students looking to test their business idea, formulate a plan, and work toward launching their business while earning their degree. The program is co-sponsored with the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Team Enertia, 2010

ECE Members: Ethem Aktakka, Tzeno Galchev (both EE PhD students) and Adam Carver. Enertia's microchip-battery recharging technology generates power from vibrations in its environment and is strong enough to run wireless sensors and other devices.

Runner Up: Pryor-Hale Award for Best Business ($10,000) - This prize is awarded to the runner up team that the judges feel is most likely to succeed, most likely to have the largest success, and has the most viable business.

Outstanding Presentation Award ($2,000) - This award recognizes that the skills needed to sway a skeptical audience of potential business partners are invaluable when an entrepreneur moves the business forward. One team from each semi-final track will receive this award.

Team Potentia, 2008

ECE Members of Team Potentia: Ruba Borno and Tzeno Galchev (EE graduate students) developed a business plan for energy-scavenging battery replacement technology for wireless sensors. These sensors would monitor the environmental conditions and adjust for optimal performance. The Team Potentia plan also won the Colorado Cleantech Venture Challenge and the U-M Quick Pitch Competition.

Williamson Award for Outstanding Business and Engineering Team ($5,000) - This award is for the most successful team with at least one currently enrolled Ross School of Business student and one currently enrolled College of Engineering student.

Erb Award for Environmental Sustainability ($5,000) - Co-sponsored by the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, the goal of this award is to stimulate the creation of new businesses, products or services that harmonize economic and environmental considerations. The award recognizes the business plan that best integrates sustainability principles within the product/service offerings and underlying operations of the firm. Selection of the winner of the award will be based on the following elements: Clarity and viability of the business plan; environmental benefits of the business enterprise, its products or services; and ability of the management team to implement the plan.


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