The TechArb program empowers University of Michigan students to bring their ideas to life and build viable ventures in an intensive hands-on entrepreneurial education experience.
Based at the 505 E. Liberty building in downtown Ann Arbor, early stage companies can apply to gain access to this space if they are designing a new technology, have an idea for a product or service, or have identified a market need but are not sure if a business can be created around it.
Students accepted into the program also have the opportunity to connect with experienced mentors and the U-M alumni network and to showcase their venture to funders. Within the program, students meet deadlines and produce outlined deliverables to move their businesses forward.
TechArb is supported by the Center for Entrepreneurship, the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, and the Office of Vice President Research.
The following is a sampling of the perks generally available to participating TechArb Venture companies.
1. Community: A major strength of TechArb is its student community. We have found that teams learn as much from one another as they do from the TechArb staff and mentors. Each month, TechArb holds dinners to catalyze students to connect with each other and fostering deeper working relationships.
2. Mentoring: Techarb staff and local entrepreneurs/funders hold regular office hours to help student entrepreneurs learn and succeed. We also connect students to UM alumni who are experienced entrepreneurs and funders. In addition, at the end of each month, we hold pseudo-board meetings with teams, providing team-specific advice, coaching, and accountability.
3. Networking: We prepare student teams to connect with the local and national UM entrepreneurial ecosystem, which includes angel investors, venture capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, accountants, and lawyers. The UM network is especially keen on helping TechArb teams build and grow viable companies.
4. Training: Each week TechArb holds an all-hands meeting where various topics are covered that relate to startups or entrepreneurs come to share their stories and lessons learned.
5. Grants: During the summer session, select teams can apply for grants (up to $10,000) allowing them to work full time on their venture. In addition, student teams are connected to all grant programs across campus.
6. Space: Teams gain access to a shared facility where they have Wi-Fi, unlimited coffee, conference rooms, lots of white boards, and 24 hour access.