Ann Arbor, February 26, 2021 – The winner of the 2021 Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track is Great Quality Developments (click to learn more) – (Hattie McKinney, BA ’16, JD ’22) a community focused, mixed-use development company that specializes in integrative developments that increase affordable housing, homeownership, and community resources in Detroit, MI. The Seigle Impact Track competition, co-sponsored by the Zell Lurie Institute and Business+Impact, began in November with 40 teams. Eight semi-finalists competed on Fri, Jan. 21 for the four finalist spots in the Seigle finals competition.
Other finalists included:
Clear Computing (click to learn more): Private tech lessons and in-home tech support to help older adults use their devices independently and confidently. James Giordani, MSW ’22
Seconds Labs (click to learn more): A novel, performance-boosting whole-food beverage, leveraging an underutilized “superfood” as our key ingredient – the fruit surrounding coffee beans, for an offering that promotes a healthy lifestyle and environmental sustainability. Matt Baker, WMBA ’22; Claire Bissa, WMBA ’22; Austin Clowes, WMBA ’22
WILD (click to learn more): The funeral industry is highly fragmented, outdated, and offers little to no transparency. WILD is an all-in-one digital platform that combines technology and human support to save people time, money, and stress when experiencing or preparing for the loss of a loved one. Maura McInerney-Rowley, MBA ’22
Great Quality Developments received $15,000 for first place in the Seigle Impact Track. Clear Computing was the second place winner of the Seigle Impact Track, and received $7,500 as well as $500 in the Elevator Pitch Competition. Seconds Labs and Wild were the 3rd and fourth place finishers in the Seigle Impact Track and won $1500 each, and both won $250 each in the Elevator Pitch competition. All participants in the Seigle Impact Track finals received at least $250 for pitching in the finals.
BotNot won the $15k first prize in the Innovation Track, while Medvision won the $15k first prize in the Invention Track. BotNot also won the $2k MIC Investment Award and the $5k OneMagnify Best in Business Award.
In Great Quality Developments’ presentation, they drew attention to the affordable housing crisis in Detroit and their desire to provide residents with a pathway to actively participate in the development of their neighborhoods. Housing is a highly determinative aspect in a person’s life; it influences a person’s financial, medical, and educational outcomes. To that end, Great Quality Developments was inspired to increase opportunities for Detroit residents to engage in placemaking and neighborhood development.
An expert judging panel of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial specialists were brought on by Zell Lurie Institute for the Michigan Business Challenge. The Challenge is a campus-wide, multi-round business plan competition, of which the Seigle Impact Track is a subset focused on entrepreneurial student ventures focused on social and/or environmental impact. The competition is open to all students of the University of Michigan, and multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.