Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, December 16, 2011

Meals on bike wheels service wins business model competition

A healthy meal delivery service targeted to students in between classes won first place in a new U-M business model competition.

  Emily Potter (left) and Jessica Lai won the Michigan Business Model Competition with their idea for a meal delivery service. (Photo by Peter Smith Photography)

Click here to view a video about the winning business model.

Click here for information on other winners.

Yo Mama Packed It!, submitted by public health master's student Jessica Lai and space systems engineering master's student Emily Potter, will represent U-M in the International Business Model Competition at Brigham Young University in February.

The idea won the top $2,500 prize in the Michigan Business Model Competition this week. The competition was organized by SI Create, a student group that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship at the School of Information.

"We are thrilled to have Yo Mama Packed It! validated," Lai said. "Having judges who are established in entrepreneurship say your idea is great is definitely exciting. But after our presentation, students came up to us who are as excited about the idea as we are. That inspires us to push further."

Lai came up with the concept during the September Entrepalooza 72-hour brainstorming and seminar event for aspiring entrepreneurs. In the months since, the students have been refining it through various business idea competitions.

The service would use bike runners to deliver inexpensive, complete meals to predetermined campus locations on the hour. Students would order online.

Lydia Muwanga, a master's student in the School of Information, spearheaded the contest. Its sponsors include SI Create, the School of Information, the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, the Center for Entrepreneurship, Intel Corp., A2New Tech, and YouNoodle Podium.