Once an opportunity has been identified and validated, students need to determine: who their customers are and why those customers will buy what they are selling; who their business will collaborate with and why these other organizations will cooperate with them; and how theywill make money.
|Developing the Skill||Multidisciplinary Graduate-Level Courses
Distinguished Speakers Innovators Seminar
Dare to Dream $500 Venture Shaping Grants
Vimal Bhalodia, MBA ’11, Co-founder, Reveal Design Automation
Vimal Bhalodia, MBA ’11, left the corporate world in search of entrepreneurial opportunity. He found it at the University of Michigan. “I wanted to work with a start-up company on the leading edge of technology,” says Bhalodia, a former software engineer at a hedge fund. In 2009, he met Zaher Andraus, a recent Ph.D. graduate in the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who was intent on commercializing his research and launching a new company, Reveal Design Automation. Bhalodia joined the founding team and conducted market research to identify the business opportunity around Reveal’s unique software tool for verifying the integrity of semiconductor-chip design. “Finance Professor David Brophy’s Financing Research Commercialization course took me through the process of working with an entrepreneur who has innovative technology and wants to create a business,” Bhalodia explains. “I applied this experience to my actual work at Reveal.” He and Andraus entered three rounds of the Michigan Business Challenge where they received constructive feedback about their company from experienced venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Afterward, they competed in the Rice University Business Plan Competition. “These competitions helped us learn how to articulate our business to potential investors and explain succinctly what we do,” Bhalodia says. Reveal is now conducting advanced trials of its software tool with chip designer ARM, recruiting software engineers and cultivating additional customers. The U-M Office of Technology Transfer has assisted the company with patent applications and licensing.