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May 7, 2014

MSU student start-ups shine in national, international business competitions

MSU student start-up teams, Swaddle-mi-Bili and Nordhouse Medical, LLC, both recently brought home prizes and honors from international business competitions.

“Michigan State University’s student start-up teams have ideas and talent that can compete on a global scale,” said director of student and community engagement at Spartan Innovations Paul Jaques. “We’re proud of their innovative ideas, their dedication to making a difference and the perseverance it takes to tackle complex medical challenges and bring life-changing solutions to the world.”

Swaddle-mi-Bili, the MSU undergrad team of three Biosystems Engineering seniors Oliver Bloom, Vu Hoang and Alexa Jones, competed in the International Business Model Competition on May 1-3 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Forty international teams competed and the Spartans took 4th place overall, winning an $8,000 prize.

Swaddle-mi-Bili is a start-up biotech company out of East Lansing. Their product is a wearable treatment for infant jaundice that promotes maternal-infant bonding and breastfeeding during treatment. This type of treatment provides a less stressful, faster and more cost-effective experience for both mother and infant.

The International Business Model Competition represents the first competition of its kind in the world and is part of a novel approach to entrepreneurship that focuses on the process of improving the inputs into entrepreneurship rather than the outputs. The IBMC is open to all students enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education anywhere in the world. Thousands of student teams from hundreds of schools around the world participate. The competition is sponsored by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at Brigham Young University and is co-hosted by Harvard and Stanford.

On June 4, members of Swaddle-mi-Bili were finalists in the Project Startup Live contest in Detroit. The contest was a unique entrepreneur forum. Swaddle-mi-Bili pitched their idea and won $2,500 and consulting with the CEO of Rockethub.

Learn more about Swaddle-mi-Bili at

Nordhouse Medical, LLC participated in the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition on May 1-3 in Austin, Texas. Global VLIC is often regarded as the Super Bowl of Investment Competitions, a premier world-wide investment competition. It's hosted each May at The University of Texas at Austin by Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs. Teams from around the world compete annually for cash and prizes. Nordhouse Medical won $1,500 in the Elevator Pitch Challenge for their technology, the Ventricular Tube Manager. The team is composed of Leslie Garrison, MSU JD MBA 2015 candidate; Robin Hannum, MSU MBA 2014 graduate and Jonathan DeLauter, a graduate of Wayne State University.

Nordhouse Medical also won the $25,000 first prize in the Greenlight Business Model Competition March 26, in East Lansing.

Each year in the U.S., more than 400,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed, and more than 2,500 patients are added to the national heart transplant wait list. CPR patients and many other heart patients utilize an extracorporeal Ventricular Assist Device which assists the heart in pumping blood, replacing the function of the right, left, or both ventricles. Nordhouse Medical’s Ventricular Tube Manager™ System helps organize and support the tubes on the connection points, which improves patient healing time and quality of life while utilizing the VAD. Patients can begin to ambulate during recovery, leading to faster and fuller recovery.

Learn more about Nordhouse Medical LLC at