Zell Lurie Founders Fund Invests in Brain-Computer Interface Startup


The Zell Lurie Founders Fund at the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan today announced an investment in Neurable, a student-founded brain-computer interface technology startup. The company is based on breakthrough neuroscience research by Ramses Alcaide and was co-founded with Michael Thompson, who earned his master’s of business administration at the Ross School of Business this year.

The investment builds on a $2 million round of seed funding Neurable announced in Dec. 2016, and will support the company’s continued success and growth. Over the weekend, the company unveiled its brain-computer interface product with virtual reality capabilities.

“Neurable represents an amazing example of cross-university collaboration, where business and science came together perfectly to form a very promising venture,” says Stewart Thornhill, executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute and manager of the Founders Fund. “It is a great addition to the portfolio, which continues to highlight the depth and breadth of entrepreneurial activity across the university that we work to inspire and enable every day at the Institute.”

Neurable’s brain-computer interface allows people to control software and devices using only their brain activity. It has also utilized several of Zell Lurie programs to achieve its standing, including the 2015 class of TechArb, the university’s student venture accelerator, the 2016 Michigan Business Challenge business plan competition, and the Rice Business Plan Competition.

“Ramses and I have benefited tremendously from a University of Michigan education and all of the supporting resources that come with that, especially at the Zell Lurie Institute,” says Thompson. “As we transition the company from student research project into a growth-oriented business venture, it’s wonderful to have the continued support of the Institute through the Founders Fund investment and the guidance of both Stewart and the student team.”

The Zell Fund has a mission to help advance the ventures of university students and alumni. More information can be found here.