Tag Archives: International Business Ventures Enterprise

MTU Team Makes Final Cut of MCIP

The Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize is a six month program that enables teams to go from an idea to venture launch.

A new statewide entrepreneurial contest aims to arm students with the resources and skills necessary to launch a successful tech start-up in the state of Michigan. In addition to more than $100,000 in award money, the Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize (MCIP) offered participants intensive start-up training based on the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program.

Michigan Tech fielded a team out of a project for the Business Development Experience course — one of four required for the Entrepreneurship Concentration.

"Our low cost ventilator which encompasses a robust and simple design, is used to provide life saving care for infants suffering from respiratory ailments in developing countries," said Smith.

The Michigan Tech students who participated were:

  • Cole SmithManagement major
  • Brock TreanklerManagement major
  • Colin PuttersMarketing major
  • Carolynn MagnusonMarketing major
  • Derek MazurBiomedical Engineering major

The challenge kicked off in late October with a two-day workshop and culminated in February with a final showcase and awards ceremony. During the intervening four months, participants attended biweekly online progress meetings and received pitch training, mentorship and up to $2,000 in prototype funding. Teams were encouraged to brainstorm and innovate on their business model and position in the market.

90 teams participated in the first round and 29 made it on to the finals. Applicants were evaluated based on:

  • The viability and impact of their technology
  • How their business differentiates itself in the marketplace
  • The skill and experience level of the team members.

The Michigan Tech Team mentored by Professor Entrepreneurship and Innovation Dr. Saurav Pathak, Instructor Jonathan Leinonen, and Senior Lecturer in Accounting Anne Warrington was one of the teams selected to advance to the finals. Their project was to develop a low cost ventilator for infants in Ghana. This is an International Business Venture project out of the Enterprise program. The Michigan Tech team went on to win a $2,000 grant to further develop their product.

Event coordinators say the statewide venture challenge will help both the state and its students by keeping Michigan relevant in the knowledge economy and creating different career paths for college graduates.

International Business Ventures Continues Success!

UP Health Care Network helps mobile wellness systems with International Business Ventures Enterprise.

The Upper Peninsula Health Care Network (UPHCN) agreed to match donations received for the student-run Mobile Wellness Systems project, which is converting a 15-passenger van into a mobile health clinic for Ghana. The UPHCN gave their matching donation to the team on Wednesday at an event held in the Rozsa Lobby. Administrators from UPHCN, Aspirus Keweenaw, Baraga County Memorial and Portage Health Systems were in attendance.

Students from Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership, in collaboration with the International Business Ventures (IBV) Enterprise and a School of Technology Senior Design team, have joined forces on the project. In addition to van reconfiguration, students are coordinating with area hospitals to secure donations of working, quality, used medical equipment for incorporation into the van.

The team also accepts monetary donations to purchase other supplies for the project and cover shipping costs associated with transporting the van to Ghana later this spring. Michigan Tech’s Superior Ideas crowd-sourcing website was contacted and helped solicit project funds.

Mobile Wellness Systems seeks to provide diagnostic, preventative and treatment services to Ghanaians who live in villages without easy access to larger medical facilities due to their remote location and who are not serviced by international aid organizations such as Doctors Without Borders. The team’s mission is to equip doctors from larger city hospitals with the tools needed to provide healthcare to these disadvantaged populations living in villages located outside of city centers.

The prototype this year’s students are developing will be used for testing in Ghana this summer by local doctors who will be treating and caring for many people who previously had limited access to adequate healthcare. These doctors will provide invaluable feedback concerning the mobile clinic allowing this sustainable project to expand to more villages in the future.

This story was originally published by Paige Hackney in Tech Today.

Tidwell Outstanding Man and Woman in Business Selected

Sam B. Tidwell is a legend with former accounting students. Gifts given in his memory support the Outstanding Man and Woman of Business award.

Craig Storm and Megan Plis are the 2011-12 recipients of the Sam B. Tidwell Outstanding Man and Woman in Business.  This award is given to students who bring honor and pride to the School of Business and Economics through high scholastic achievement and involvement.  Students eligible for this honor went through an intense interview process that included an essay and interview with faculty.

Anne Warrington of the Undergraduate Scholarship Committee added, “Megan and Craig are two of the most competent, talented, and totally amazing students in the School of Business and Economics. They have everything it takes for professional success after graduation.  It has been a pleasure meeting and working with them in classes and student organizations.”

Outstanding Man in Business

Craig Storm is a senior in the School of Business and Economics who will graduate with his degree in Accounting this spring.  In his time on campus he has been affiliated with Kappa Sigma Iota Accounting Organization (KSI) and an International Business Ventures Enterprise team member while currently holding an internship with Lake Accounting.  Craig has a level of professionalism and maturity that he brings to the community and the classroom which made him a strong candidate and the recipient of this award.

When asked about receiving the award, Craig said, “I enjoy studying how companies function from an accounting and financial perspective. This was the biggest factor in choosing my major and where I want to go professionally. It is an honor to be selected for this award, and I look forward to representing the School of Business and Economics as I advance my career,”

Outstanding Woman in Business

Megan Plis is a senior, Business Management major and Spanish minor who will graduate this spring.  An extremely involved student, Megan makes time for a variety of extracurricular and leadership activities outside of the school environment.  She volunteers at her church leading the music at worship services and singing in the choir.  With three years of diverse sales and marketing experience at a Lolita’s Bridal Boutique, the Wooden Nickel, and River Valley Bank she has been able to put her education into action.

About the Award

The Outstanding Man and Women in Business is awarded annually and the School of Business and Economics is confident that this year’s selections represent the student body well with their efforts in leadership and extracurricular activities.  Undergraduate Scholarship Committee members Anne Warrington, Mari Buche, and William Breffle were heavily involved in the selection of this award.

“The Scholarship Committee has a challenging task to select these award recipients,” said Darrell Radson, Dean of the School of business.  “We, as a school, thank them for their continued commitment to recognizing students who excel in and outside of the classroom.”

When asked about the selection process, Buche noted “the selection process was very difficult this year.  All of the finalists were exceptional candidates: strong academic GPAs, demonstrated leadership skills, and clear commitment to the improvement of the school and Michigan Tech.” Other finalists for this year’s award included: Caitlin Pionke, Rhea-Ann Moses, Jordan Baker, Andrew Loucks, and Spencer Shandonay.

Networking Equals Career Fair Success for 2011 Woman of Promise

Caitlin Pionke networks to receive job offer at DOW Chemical in Midland, Mich.

Caitlin Pionke jokingly refers to herself as a “business management major who got a job in the IT department at a chemical company.”

Pionke was named the 2011 Woman of Promise for Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics and has taken full advantage of the honor.  She is a senior in Management and an active student across campus belonging to Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society and the International Business Ventures Enterprise among other commitments.  For her, being selected as the Woman of Promise by the School of Business and Economics, opened up possibilities for networking with the Presidential Council of Alumnae (PCA) and landed her a job at DOW Chemical.

Immediately upon receiving the award this spring, Pionke began attending PCA events and developing relationships. The time she spent networking allowed her to identify helpful people who would best assist her in finding employment. Almost immediately Caitlin noticed how important networking was to her job search. She made contacts with DOW Chemical prior to the Michigan Tech Fall Career Fair and was then able to secure follow up interviews—both on campus and on site in Midland.

When thinking about her job hunt, Pionke recalls, “It was a great feeling walking up to the DOW Chemical booth at the Career Fair and having the recruiter already know me. Not only did they know my name but they had also already reviewed my resume which had been sent directly to them by my contacts in the company.”

Networking undoubtedly played a large role in her success at the Career Fair.  Pionke noted that for her it wasn’t just the day of the Career Fair that was important, but rather Career Fair month.  Prior to the event she sent out resumes to targeted companies and followed up with thank-yous after the fair.  Even though DOW Chemical did not list that they were looking for Business Management majors, Pionke’s networking had allowed her to stand apart from the crowd and prove herself worthy of an interview.

Pionke will begin her new job at DOW Chemical in Midland, MI as an Information Systems Analyst on June 18th.  Our School is happy to report that she is living up to her name as the 2011 Woman of Promise.