Published: March 26, 2012

Social media concept wins inaugural business plan competition

Contact(s): Andy Henion Media Communications office: (517) 355-3294 cell: (517) 281-6949

A social media company that aims to improve the lives of its users was the winning concept in the inaugural Broad MBA Business Plan Competition held March 24 at the Henry Center for Executive Development.

The winning concept, called MeTrak, collects data across many sources about a person’s fitness, health, mood, sleep patterns and productivity, and offers previously unknown insights and connections to improve the user's life.

As the winning team of five students wrote in their business plan:

“Currently, there is no product on the market that allows a person to see all of the data they collect about their life in one place. Additionally, there is no product on the market that provides a comprehensive analysis of this data. MeTrak answers the question ‘How can I make my life better?’”

The competition was directed by Zsuzsanna Fluck, professor of finance, and organized by MSU's Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance in collaboration with the Institute of Entrepreneurship and the MBA program in the Broad College of Business.

The objective: inspire students to come up with an original business idea, teach them how to develop a successful business plan and pitch for venture capital financing.

The winning team consisted of Emily Dickinson, Suyash Jain, Robert McElmurry, Shelley Szalay, and Xin Zhou. The team won $3,000 and travel support to next-level competition on a state, regional or national level.

The winning concept was chosen by a panel of distinguished MSU alum entrepreneurs and venture capital investors from around the nation: Matthew Growney, managing director of Rudyard Partners and CEO of Isabella Products in Boston; Anne Hiller, senior director of Ipswitch in San Francisco; Chris Sugden, managing director of Edison Venture in New Jersey; John Webb, principal of JAM–Just Add Marketing in New York; and Peter Woodford, administrator of alternative investments for the State of Michigan Retirement System.

There were seven finalists in the competition, which was geared toward putting business students on the path to becoming successful entrepreneurs. All told, the contest drew 74 MSU students in 19 teams. At the final event, Stefanie Lenway, dean of the Broad College of Business, welcomed the participants and gave the awards. 

The second prize winner was Spartan Green Technologies and the third prize winner was Electronic Dog Leash. Spartan Green is a business plan around a new green adhesive bonding technology for automobile parts and Electronic Release is a company concept for  electronic leashes that provide a new and humane way of training dogs. 

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