Who are the team members?
Brandon Keelean (MDes, ’18)
Ann Duong (MHI, ’18)
Elisabeth Michel (MPH, ’17)
How did you decide your team name?
The process was much like any ideation session, we wrote down a bunch of names (many of them bad) and then selected our favorite. Canopy stuck out to us because of its alignment to the idea of coverage and protection and it passed the receptionist test. (If we picked up the phone and said, “Hello, this is Canopy, so-and-so speaking…” would it sound good?)
Tell us briefly about your business idea.
At Canopy, we’re building digital tools to help families talk about and make end-of-life healthcare decisions in order to better prepare for the challenges that may come their way. We started working on it in response to real-world events—Brandon watched a friend struggle to make medical decisions on behalf of her uncle one night in the emergency room. As a team, we saw the potential to help people like her navigate the complexity of modern medicine better.
How has the MBC experience helped transform your approach to business strategy?
The competition provided a wonderful springboard and testing ground to change our business model and structure our thinking about how to bring Canopy to market. We’ve been able to learn from some of the wonderful mentors here at University of Michigan about best practices in business to move Canopy from an idea to reality.
What do you think will be the long-term impact of the implementation of this idea?
We hope Canopy can help reduce the barriers to talking about healthcare planning to help empower individuals and families from all walks of life to advocate for their loved ones with more information and less anxiety as they journey through healthcare.
What been your biggest takeaway from this experience?
We’ve learned a lot about ourselves as innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders. We’ve stumbled and pivoted along the way, but being part of the entrepreneurship community here at the University of Michigan, we’ve been amazed at the support and collaboration we’ve received.
If you win, what will you do immediately following the competition?
Celebrate the win with the people who have helped make it possible and then keep moving. We’re building our minimum viable product right now and continue to talk to people about how to bring Canopy to life. We’re excited for what’s ahead.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
You can learn more about Canopy by visiting our website canopy.tools, following us on Twitter @canopytools or emailing us email@example.com. We’d love to hear your stories about navigating modern medicine and talking to family and friends about your healthcare wishes.