U-M Students are Seizing the Summer by Working on StartUps

Follow students as they to turn their passions into ventures over the summer.

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By Patrick Baumhart

For students, summer is the ideal time to pursue audacious goals. While some may be focused on selling their old textbooks and trying to have some fun in the sun before internships, many Michigan students are taking the opportunity to turn their passion into a startup. Here at Innovate Blue we take pride in promoting our student ventures and throughout our Seize the Summer blog series we will be highlighting some of the great work our students are doing over the next few months.

Helping Detroiters Find Fresh Food

The prevalence of food deserts in the United States has gotten a lot of media coverage over the last few years. This summer CARt is trying to make our local food desert in Detroit a little less barren. CARt is a service that coordinates rides to local supermarkets for people who want better access to healthy, affordable food. Until May 31st they are running a pilot program to bring the people of Detroit to their local Meijer. If you want to know more about their service, or want to follow the success of their pilot you can follow them on Facebook.

Powering Homes with Full-Service Renewable Energy

Going green has gained popularity among homeowners over the last several years, but the costs of bringing green technology into the home are still too high for most homeowners. This summer our friends at InFusion Technologies will continue to design and manufacture hydrogen storage in collaboration from the University of Michigan and community partners. In addition, InFusion aims to jumpstart a movement for renewable energy in Michigan by connecting homeowners with solar providers in the new “go green movement.”

Bringing Positivity to People Living with HIV

The LivPoz team took home the top prize at the School of Public Health and Center for Entrepreneurship’s Innovation in Action competition. This summer they are working to launch their mobile app with the help of the U-M’s Master of Entrepreneurship program. LivPoz helps those living with HIV to manage their healthcare and maintain a positive mindset throughout their treatment. The work that they are doing this summer to launch their company could help the 35 million people worldwide that are currently living with HIV / AIDS. You can follow their progress here.

LivPoz is not our only student venture working to disrupt the healthcare industry; Mplement is spending the summer working to provide 3D-printed bionic limbs to children. The costs associated with traditional medical prostheses can be upwards of $50,000, and as a child grows they quickly outgrow the devices that they are outfitted with. To allow children to control their limbs, Mplement’s designs will utilize a non-invasive method called surface electromyography. Mplement is another U-M contribution to Ann Arbor’s continued progress in becoming a cradle for medical innovation. To keep up with the team’s progress, find more information here.

Pedaling for Progress

Every year the student organization optiMize holds their social innovation challenge. This year a pair of semi-finalists, the founders of Pedaling for Progress, are biking from San Francisco to Ann Arbor with the goal of showcasing humanitarian work and positive human interaction across the country. Along the way they will be interviewing people that are making a positive impact in their communities, and sharing these stories on their blog. At the end of their trip they will be making donations to the organization that inspired them to start Pedaling for Progress. If you’d like to follow their progress, or donate to their cause you can find their Indiegogo campaign here.

Contributing to Campus Safety

Team Bounce, another optiMize finalist, is working to make the late-night campus community safer. Walking alone late at night can be intimidating, and the mobile-app Bounce helps to make it a little less scary. Users plug in their home address and are connected to others with similar addresses to walk home in a pair or group. The app hasn’t been released yet, but they have plans to hit distribution soon. Follow their progress over the coming months on their website.

This summer is already off to a roaring start, and our students are taking full advantage of these next few months to start their companies. These are just a few of the student ventures that Innovate Blue is watching this summer. Follow the rest of the Seize the Summer series to hear about our student’s hard work, and how to stay engaged in entrepreneurship this summer!


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