The student-led start-ups that have the best chance of success are those that become fixtures in the local startup scene.
The co-founders of the likes of Are You a Human
(both started by University of Michigan students and winners of multiple business plan competitions) became regulars in the local business plan scene. They are now landing big seed capital rounds and preparing for growth. The latest U-M start-up to make begin making that impression is Yo Mama Packed It!
The five-month-old start-up is the brainchild of Jessica Lai (a masters of public health student) and Emily Potter (a recent graduate with a masters degree in space systems engineering), which was inspired while the two were hustling to study at U-M. The start-up provides fresh, healthy and affordable meals for students who are too rushed to cook and keep up with class.
"It's mostly from personal experience of rushing from class to class every day and not having the time to make food or the resources to go out for food," Lai says.
Yo Mama Packed It! recently won the Michigan Business Model Competition
, created by U-M's School of Information's SI-Create organization and held at a recent A2 New Tech Meetup
. It also won an award at Entrepalooza Symposium
and was a semi-finalist in the student portion of last fall's Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition
Yo Mama Packed It! is still developing its business model, using friends and fellow students as test subjects. It hopes to roll out its business later this year while partnering with other local craft-food businesses.
"If someone makes really good cookies, I would love to have them in our lunch," Lai says.
Source: Jessica Lai, co-founder of Yo Mama Packed It!
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.