Ann Arbor, February 13, 2023 – The winner of the 2023 Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track is SeaSpider – (Joe Huang, CS ’22; Adam Zhang, BS Environment ’23) a student run company aiming to improve the identification of abandoned fishing nets in sensitive coral reefs in order to allow conservation organizations to remove these hazards that kill wildlife and destroy coral. The Seigle Impact Track competition, sponsored by the Mark and Robin Seigle Entrepreneurial Innovation Fund and co-managed by Zell Lurie Institute and Business+Impact, began in November with 40 teams. Eight semi-finalists competed on Fri, Jan. 20 for the four finalist spots in the Seigle finals competition, held Fri, Feb. 10 at the Ross School of Business.
Other finalists included:
e3 – a holistic chrome extension that bridges the information gap to allow consumers to conveniently identify more sustainable choices by scanning and scoring clothing product pages on their environmental impact and providing recommendations for alternative eco-friendly items. Joshua Glynn, BBA ’24; Manal Shaikh, BBA ’24; Alexander Bower, BBA ’24; Saavan Kaneria, BBA ’24; Sena Kaddurah, BBA ’24; Lucas Coman, BBA ’24
International Footprint – a global comprehensive toolkit that provides access to mindfully translated information about legal policies, including visas, taxes, and healthcare, for international students and workers. Yeonkyoung No, BBA & BA PPE ’25; Dan Atlman, BSE Mechanical Eng ’24; Gyu Been Moon, BA Political Science & BA Korean Literature and Culture ’24; Justin Park, BA Cognitive Science ’22
- Solar Fridge – working to develop an inexpensive, solar-powered energy independent, and low-maintenance vaccine refrigerator to ensure vaccine availability and viability in low-resource communities. Thomas Chen, BS ’23; Ryan Fang, BS ’25; Avani Govindswamy, BSE ’24; Gabriel Ferriero, BSE ’25; Alan Shi, BSE ’24; Cara Gallagher, BSE ’25; Aham Lee, BSE ’23; Ryan Hamby, BSE ’22; Carina Gallagher, BSE ’23; Nancy Chen, BSE ’23; Allison Lee, BSI ’24; Thiago Reis, BSE ’24; Paola Zavala, BSE ’25; Eldon Xu, BSE ’23
SeaSpider received $15,000 for first place in the Seigle Impact Track. International Footprint was the second place winner of the Seigle Impact Track, and received $7,500 as well as $500 in the Elevator Pitch Competition. Solar Fridge and e3 rounded out the results in the Seigle Impact Track, with Solar Fridge and SeaSpider winning $500 each in the Showcase competition. All participants in the Seigle Impact Track finals received at least $250 for pitching in the finals. SeaSpider also won a $5,000 Undergraduate team award, sponsored by Daniel Sillman.
Other winners in the Michigan Business Challenge competition are as follows:
Protein Pints won the $15k first prize in the Innovation Track, sponsored by Pryor Hale, while Medvision won the $15k first prize in the Invention Track, also sponsored by Pryor-Hale. The Innovation track runner up was BeatNami ($7500), while the Invention Track runner up was TAP ($7500): both prizes are sponsored by Pryor-Hale. A OneMagnify Best in Business prize of $5000, a Michigan Investment Challenge Investment Committee prize of $2000, and an Elevator Pitch prize of $500 all went to a student business called Citrimer. The Williamson Award for Outstanding Business and Engineering Team ($5000) went to BeatNami.
In SeaSpider’s presentation, they drew attention to the fact that conserving Earth’s most sensitive and biodiverse environments protects human health as well as our oceans. Joe started this venture as an idea formed from his experiences growing up in coastal communities. Adam joined after hearing about the project from Joe, and wanted to join SeaSpider’s mission. As a result of the competition, the money will allow them to jumpstart their business, and fund research and development to optimize their algorithm and test it with hardware.
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 aimed at social and/or environmental impact. The competition is open to all students of the University of Michigan, and multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.