TechArb Graduates Class of Tech Entreprenerus

By Amanda Lewan on September 13th, 2016 / Comments

TechArb, the student venture accelerator out of the Zell Lurie Institute and the Center for Entrepreneurship at U-M, graduated another class of student tech startups.

The program helps aspiring student entrepreneurs learn how to bring their ideas to life.

Below is the list of this year’s 2016 TechArb class that presented earlier this month:

  • ElectriFit creates electromechanical systems to harvest electrical energy from strength training workouts.
  • CARt coordinates convenient, affordable, reliable transportation to quality supermarkets.
  • Confluent Care helps community health workers do their job better, enhancing the connection to their clients and their employer.
  • LifeNote centralizes one’s valuable digital accounts and simplifies ownership transfer from decedents to beneficiaries.
  • SmallWorld strengthens communities by facilitating high-quality connections within communities.
  • PreDxion Bioenables, for the first time, life-saving precision medicine in intensive care units.

We also caught up with Ryan Gourley, director of the TechArb Student Venture Accelerator who share more information on this great student startup program.

How does the TechArb program work? How does it help startups get off the ground?

TechArb, the University of Michigan’s student venture accelerator, works with the top student entrepreneurs from across campus and empowers them to bring their ideas to life through an intensive hands-on experience.  Portfolio companies receive exclusive access to expert mentors, tailored programming, material support, dedicated workspace and a community of like-minded, high-achieving peers. These resources comprise a critical component of entrepreneurial education, challenging students to take their classroom learning and put it into practice for real-world impact.

What are you most excited about with this class?

The community they built within, and their commitment to giving back to the community at large.  As I alluded to on the evening of the showcase, what I think is most remarkable about this class is their embracing of the fact that their success – both as individuals and organizations – is wholly dependent on the connections they build for one another and the populations they serve.  Through their companies, they’re connecting people to life-sustaining and live-saving resources – food, money, healthcare, and even companionship – the human connection.  And they’re doing this for those who need it most; the isolated, the impoverished, the bereaved and the sick.  In some cases, they’ve already demonstrated real impact, and that will only continue to grow as they continue to build these connections.

How do you hope to see Michigan and Ann Arbor’s startup community continue to grow?

As our TechArb Fellows have rightly recognized, growth is all about the connections we build for one another.  We have an increasing number of success stories coming out of the region and the state as a whole, so we’re certainly on the right path, and success breeds more success. As people increasingly recognize that Michigan is a viable place to launch and grow a company, I’m confident that we’ll increasingly attract the financial and intellectual capital necessary to build a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Our primary job now and always will be to continue to nurture the connections that make up that network.

On a practical level, beyond making introductions and sharing resources for optimal efficiency, this means (re)investing in the region and providing the incentives (i.e., founder-friendly investment, cultural amenities, public infrastructure) that will attract and retain a critical mass of talent.  If we as a community don’t make this investment, I don’t think we can be too surprised if we end up losing many of our best and brightest to the coasts.

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.