Skill in business planning is essential for a successful company launch. Students are taught how to “operationalize” a business, not just create a document.
|Developing the Skill||Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurial Management & New Venture Creation Courses
Dare to Dream Integration Grants up to $10,000
Michigan Business Challenge (final rounds)
Michigan Growth Capital Symposium
Chad Stark, BBA '12, and David Spiro, BBA '12, Co-founders, Thru.im
A keen observation on campus sparked the idea for a new Web-based communication business that Chad Stark, BBA '12, and David Spiro, BBA '12, are currently piloting with Straight2YourDoor, a third-party food-delivery service. "At the library, we saw everyone texting friends and family from their phone and IMing them from their computer, but we realized they couldn't text or IM their favorite businesses," Stark recounts. "We took that problem and started crafting a business." The two undergrads unlocked entrepreneurial resources across campus to design, assess, and plan the business model for Thru.im. The start-up provides businesses with "live chat" capabilities that increase sales and enhance customer engagement through instant messaging (IM) and text conversations with customers in real time. Spiro and Stark leveraged entrepreneurial-studies courses at the Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering to write a full business plan and conduct customer discovery that helped validate and shape their business concept. "We learned how to take a new idea and test it with potential customers and users," Spiro says. They received office space, coaching and a $10,000 grant through the TechArb business accelerator and gained access to local entrepreneurs and angel investors at the Ann Arbor SPARK Entrepreneur Boot Camp. "Since May, we've been going full-steam ahead," Stark reports.