Category Archives: Innovation

Michigan Small Business Development Center

Marketing Your Business
Wednesday, August 23rd 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
This webinar presents practical applications of marketing concepts designed to grow small businesses such as market analysis and research, target marketing, assessing competitors, and key marketing implementation tools. A strategic, well planned approach to marketing is demonstrated, with several examples of effective hands-on marketing techniques.
Business Legal Issues
Wednesday, August 30th 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Business Legal Issues is an introduction to the different types of legal entities that are appropriate for structuring and starting a new business. Tax and liability issues are covered, along with basic elements of a contract, collections, licenses, registrations, employment and property issues, leasing and insurance. It is designed to guide business owners in setting up the organizational structure that will help protect them from unnecessary legal challenges.
Small Business, Big Threat
 

How protected is your small business from cyber security threats? Small Business, Big Threat can assist your small business in reducing the chance of encountering a cyber attack by providing helpful resources and in-depth trainings.

Seminar on translational research in human health: August 25, 2017, 3:00 PM, GLRC

Dear colleagues,
I would like to invite you to the upcoming seminar on translational research in human health, sponsored by an endowment from the Portage Health Foundation for Technological Innovations in Health. The speaker is Prof. Robert E. Guldberg, Parker H. Petit Chair and Executive Director of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Institute of Technology.
The seminar will be held on August 25, 2017, 3:00 PM, at 201 Great Lakes Research Center. More information about this seminar is on mtu.edu/phf-tih
Please distribute this information and the attached pdf within your department and faculty. Feel free to contact me for further information.

Best regards,

Keat Ghee Ong, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Portage Health Foundation Endowed Professor of Technological Innovations in Health

Ag/Bio Funding Opportunity

The Michigan State University MTRAC Innovation Hub for Ag/Bio is open to receive proposals from Michigan research universities including Michigan Tech.

A video conference with MSU Program Manager Karen Studer-Rabeler has been scheduled for Michigan Tech researchers and faculty to review the technical scope of the program, eligibility, the application process and determining the appropriateness of applying for a starter award (up to $25,000) vs. the larger full award program (up to $100,000).

Proposal eligibility requires the submission of an invention disclosure to Michigan Tech and a 1:1 match. The MSU Innovation Hub currently has open solicitations with applications for the starter grants due Sept. 11 and full awards due Nov. 7.

The video conference will be hosted at Michigan Tech by MTRAC Commercialization Program Director John Diebel at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 28 in Room 724 of the M&M Building.

Commercialization program directors from all five MTRAC programs will be on campus Oct. 11 to discuss funding opportunities in applied advanced materials, life science, medical devices, advanced transportation and Ag/Bio.

More information on the MSU Innovation is available here.


SBIR and STTR funding opportunities from the Small Business Association

Topics for the Department of Energy (DOE) FY18 Phase I Release I Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) were released on Monday, July 17th. For the list of topics and other relevant information, please visit: https://science.energy.gov/sbir/funding-opportunities/

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Agency Tutorial

The tutorial will help you understand the goals and missions of NASA’s SBIR and STTR programs. NASA’s combined annual SBIR/STTR budget is between $160 and $190 million dollars a year. The topics and subtopics support the needs of the four NASA Mission Directorates (MD) – these are the Aeronautics Research; the Human Exploration and Operations; the Science; and the Space Technology Mission Directorates.

Access the tutorial now: www.sbir.gov/tutorials/individual-agency-requirements/NASA

Innovation Summit

The SBIR/STTR Innovation Summit will take place October 3-5 at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Florida.  Attendees will learn from and network with SBIR/STTR leaders and program experts on how to gain access to the $2.5 billion of non-dilutive annual capital, the largest early stage seed funding in the world.

Summit Highlights Include:

  • 1-1 Meetings with 15+ SBIR Agencies
  • Sessions featuring Agency Leadership, Industry Partners, and Investment Leaders
  • Pre-Conference Training Sessions on Small Business Basics for SBIR/STTR Applicants and Awardee, including SBIR 101, Phase I, Phase II, and Accounting
  • Showcase Hall featuring SBIR/STTR Agencies, SBIR/STTR-Funded Companies, Leading Universities, and Federal Labs

defenseinnovation.us/sbir/html 

Future Innovation in the DOD Marketplace: Chicago, August 14 – 17

The Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) will host the 2017 Department of Defense (DOD) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Beyond Phase II (BPII) and Mentor Protégé Training Week (MPTW) “Future Innovation in the DOD Marketplace,” at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, August 14 – 17, 2017.

Registration and more information here.

This collaborative event is designed to strengthen DOD’s commitment to the Small Business community by equipping the Defense Industrial Base and Government representatives with innovative solutions, cutting edge acquisition practices, and new SBIR, Mentor Protégé Program (MPP), and Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) policies and procedures.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • JOINT PLENARY SESSIONS: Get caught up on the latest policies, procedures, and practices within the Defense acquisition community
  • MATCHMAKING: Sign-up for prearranged meetings between company representatives and acquisition professionals and/or prime contractors and large businesses
  • TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE: Explore technologies developed by Phase II companies, large businesses, SBIR support companies, and industry service providers
  • NUNN PERRY AWARDS: Take part in the prestigious Nunn Perry Awards as the Mentor Protégé Program recognizes the exceptional accomplishments of their mentors and Protégés
  • BREAKOUT SESSIONS: Separate program tracks with sessions tailored to address program specific topics and issues

NIH

NIH Multi-Institute (NIAID/NCI/NIBIB/ NIGMS/NIEHS) Small Business Workshop 2017

Please join us for the 2017 NIH Multi-Institute Small Business Workshop, September 7th & 8th at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center.

This event will inform attendees about the NIH SBIR/STTR Programs and unique career opportunities in biomedical entrepreneurship. It will provide detailed guidance for applying to our funding programs and successfully managing an award. Attendees will interact with SBIR/STTR Program Staff, Investors, Commercialization Experts, and Successful Entrepreneurs.

The workshop is designed for biotechnology entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, new faculty, post-doctoral fellows, students and any other innovators who are interested in starting new biomedical- or life-science-focused venture.

For more information and to register, visit: www.cvent.com/d/y5qmpr.

Launch Nordic

LAUNCH Design and Manufacturing is a call for…

  • Products that are designed to be reused and to last
  • Products that have no negative impact on nature, from factory to end of life
  • Products that can be manufactured locally across a variety of regions and contexts
  • Technologies that enable us to more effectively steward our limited global resources

Selected innovators will join a coalition of companies, government institutions, innovators, and system players committed to galvanizing the shift to a circular economy. We’ll work with you to disrupt the status quo, grow your innovation, and create a positive impact on planet and people.

Applications are open until September 1, 2017

For more on the innovation challenge, visit: www.launch.org/challenges/design-manufacturing


Small Business Development Center: Workshops

Entrepreneur Operating System: Hitting the Ceiling 
and Moving on Quickly
Tuesday, August 8th 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Have you “Hit the Ceiling”? Every system that grows encounters times where what used to work, no longer does. Learn the leadership skills required to survive these barriers and move through them as quickly as possible.
Starting a Business
Thursday, August 24th 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
This webinar is for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. This introductory seminar covers the process of starting and operating a business, evaluating market potential for products/services, costs and financing options, business planning for products/services, and more!
Writing a Business Plan
Thursday, August 31st 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
This webinar covers business planning in detail and is designed for individuals who want to launch or grow their business, for which a carefully considered plan and course of action will increase the probability of success. Real business plan examples are used to illustrate effective planning and tools and information for the steps and process of creating a business plan draft are provided.

Participate in Stakeholder Group for new Startup Technology Business Accelerator

Michigan Tech is collaborating with MTEC SmartZone and the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) on assessing the feasibility of establishing a Startup Technology Business Accelerator and affiliated equity-investment-based Seed Fund to be located in the local area.  The Accelerator is expected to assist startup and early growth stage advanced materials and manufacturing companies, and to forge new or expanded strategic partnerships with established large companies searching for technologies and/or growth companies to acquire.  The topical theme of Advanced Materials and Manufacturing was chosen because it represents a large cross-section of capabilities and infrastructure represented at Michigan Tech in across multiple academic units and research centers.
While some portion of the companies in the Accelerator will come through the University startup business pipeline, the majority are expected to be companies recruited from outside the local area or built up from within the local area by entrepreneurs outside of the University.  Among the value propositions for companies to relocate to this area is the ability to leverage the expertise and technical laboratory infrastructure within the University in conducting these de-risking activities through sponsored research projects.
A Seed Fund affiliated with the Accelerator will provide funding to Accelerator graduates to advance their business development through critical technical or business de-risking activities.  Funding through the Seed Fund as well as other sources including private investment and grant funding through Federal programs such as SBIR/STTR and State of Michigan Programs such as the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Program (MTRAC), the Small Company Innovation Program (SCIP), and the Business Acceleration Fund (BAF).
The team has received a small grant from the Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP) to hire an external consultant to assist in assessing feasibility for the Accelerator and Seed Fund as well as to provide direction on strategic opportunities and direction.  We expect that the consultant will make a trip to Houghton in September to meet with key stakeholders including researchers on campus who are interested in working with companies in the Accelerator or that may be a source of technologies for University startup companies to go into the Accelerator.
We are reaching out to identify researchers interested in meeting with the consultants and participating in a stakeholder group to help set the direction for the Accelerator and ensure efficient connections between companies in the Accelerator and relevant research interests and capabilities on campus.
The team working on the Accelerator is led by Patrick Visser, Chief Commercialization Officer for MTEC SmartZone, and includes Jim Baker, Executive Director of Innovation and Industry Engagement and Jim Desrochers, Associate Director of Industry Relations from Michigan Tech.
Jim Desrochers will be taking the lead on the team in facilitating connections between campus researchers and companies in the Accelerator. Please follow up with Jim D. ( jtdesroc@mtu.edu 487-3461) if you are interested in participating in the stakeholder group.

VentureWell: Early-Stage Opportunities for Students

Encourage your students to apply for our E-Team Grant Program to receive:
  • Hands-on workshops to move innovations forward
  • The opportunity to take a step back from the lab and think critically about the commercial potential of their innovation
  • National recognition and access to a network of fellow innovators
  • Small group expert coaching from peers and our experienced instructors

Want to learn more? Sign up for an informational webinar.
August 17 at 12-1pm EST or September 6 at 12-1pm EST

Applications are due October 4.

VentureWell is also seeking science and engineering startups in the cleantech and sustainability sector to participate in ASPIRE, an intensive 5-day workshop to prepare for the investments and partnerships that are necessary to launch. Our program emphasizes the following:

  • In-depth mentoring and network building
  • Work product including clear milestones & ask plus due diligence deal room
  • Real world stress tests
Session Dates: September 11-15
Location: NextEnergy; Detroit, Michigan

Applications are due August 6.


VentureWell: Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Welcome to the July events and opportunities newsletter! Enjoy!

Open 2018 Conference– Have you attended our Open annual conference? We invite you to submit a proposal. Save the date, call for proposals will open August 21.

ASPIRE (Accelerating Startup Partnership and Investment Readiness)
We are seeking science and engineering startups in the cleantech and sustainability sector to participate in an intensive 5-day workshop to prepare for the investments and partnerships that are necessary to launch. This program is an opportunity to decelerate, focus, and deliver on work product created alongside a group of dedicated mentors. The ASPIRE program is not about the 5-minute pitch or the “startup shuffle.” Startups leave with a clear investment ask or next steps in order to get there. The request for proposals is open, deadline to apply is August 6.

E-Team Program
Our E-Team program provides early-stage funding of up to $25,000 and cultivates opportunities for student STEM inventors and innovators to move ideas out of the lab and into the market. Applications are due October 4. Informational webinars are August 17 and September 6

Other Community Events and Funding Opportunities

MD5 Hacking Emergency Response
Developers. Designers. Engineers. Come to a three-day hackathon to build product prototypes that incorporate functional fabrics as part of a system that addresses emergency response in challenging environments. Winning teams will be awarded up to $15,000 to further develop their ideas. Free and open to the public. The event takes place July 28-30, 2017.

National Geographic Chasing Genius Challenge
A new initiative built on the premise that transformational ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. National Geographic is currently soliciting ideas—big and small—around three critical issues: sustainable planet, global health, and feeding 9 billion. Four winners will each receive $25,000 to develop their ideas further. Submissions close July 31

Ocean Exchange Call for Solutions
Ocean Exchange welcomes registration from innovators with Solutions (with working prototypes) in materials, devices, processes, and systems with the ability to: Have Impact Though Sustainability—innovations that generate economic growth and increased productivity, while reducing the use of nature’s resources and waste. Submissions close July 31.

ISAM 2017
The International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces joins the people, knowledge, and inspiration that fuse to catalyze higher education makerspaces and maximize their impact on student learning experiences and alumni success. ISAM fosters community, networking, interaction and learning between people who are passionate about making. The event takes place September 24-27, 2017.

Other News 

We’re excited to announce our Spring 2017 Faculty Grant awardees! We’ve given $254k in total to 25 university staff and faculty across the country. Our faculty grants help fund and support their innovative ideas to develop or transform courses and programs that help students develop inventions and gain the necessary skills to bring them to market.

Did you know that we are on Snapchat and Instagram?
Follow us to see daily stories and posts. For Snapchat, follow @VentureWell and for Instagram, follow @idea2impact.

Please visit our website to learn about other VentureWell events and opportunities, and subscribe to our newsletter to receive announcements in your inbox each month.


Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Workshop

The Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program and the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship will host its next National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Workshop in August over a 4-week period, with the first session starting on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

The I-Corps Site program is a team-based program structure that was developed through a partnership between the NSF and successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The workshop provides an introduction to the Lean Start-up business development methodology which focuses on getting out of the lab and using the proven tools of Customer Discovery and the Business Model Canvas to evaluate the commercial potential of innovative technologies.

This is a great opportunity to work with an experienced team of workshop leaders to determine, document and fully realize the commercial potential of your technology. Michigan Tech affiliated teams which successfully complete the program requirements are eligible for $2,500 to advance their technology-focused start-up ideas through customer discovery and prototyping. Teams also become eligible for NSF’s National I-Corps program which includes $50,000 in funding.

Participants of I-Corps Site programs and NSF’s National I-Corps have demonstrated significantly higher funding rates from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs which offer Phase I awards up to $225,000 and Phase II awards up to $750,000. Past participants also report that the I-Corps program had a positive impact on their careers, as well as their approach to research, teaching and mentoring.

Apply today for this great experience. For more information on the Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program or to apply for the August workshop, visit mtu.edu/honors/ice/icorps/.


MI Small Business Development Center: Set Yourself Up For Business Success

Are You On Track For A Successful 2017?
Thursday, July 27th 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Are you on pace to reach your goals, or do you need to adjust your strategy to ensure you hit your mark? Join us to learn about the benefits of goal setting, knowing your numbers and evaluating your progress to take your business to the next level.
Starting a Business
Thursday, August 24th 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
“Starting a Business” is for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. This introductory seminar covers the process of starting and operating a business, evaluating market potential for products/services, costs and financing options, business planning for products/services, and more!
Writing a Business Plan
Thursday, August 31st 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
This webinar covers business planning in detail and is designed for individuals who want to launch or grow their business, for which a carefully considered plan and course of action will increase the probability of success. Real business plan examples are used to illustrate effective planning and tools and information for the steps and process of creating a business plan draft are provided.