Author: Lynn Makela

“Savvy Entrepreneur” Series Offers Cash Flow Session

The “Savvy Entrepreneur” Series will host a panel discussion about cash flow management for entrepreneurs from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 10, in the conference room of the ATDC, 1402 E. Sharon Ave. Networking begins at 5:30 pm.

The free session, hosted by the Office of Innovation and Industry Development, the School of Business and Economics and the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, is free and open to the public.

Every financier, venture capitalist, investor, consultant, banker and successful entrepreneur must manage cash flow, the lifeblood of any old and new enterprise. In this discussion, panelists will offer tricks and tips on understanding and managing cash flow to maximize the effectiveness of a company.

The panel includes:

  • Pavan Muzumdar, managing director of Pieris Capital and the CEO of MV Software Company
  • Grace Lee, founder of Logic Solutions
  • Carolyn Cassin, cofounder and managing partner, BELLE Capital Management.
  • Debra Christien, partner, B2BCFO®

For more information, contact John Diebel at 487-1082 or at .

Mark Roberts Fit for Award

Mark Roberts, Professor of Economics

“I am pleased to announce that Professor of Economics, Mark Roberts, has been chosen as this year’s Intramural Sports Distinguished Faculty Athlete,” said by Doug Oppliger, faculty advisor for Intramural Sports.

“Mark gets out on his skis, his feet or his bike almost everyday. It’s really important to him.

“When I talk to him and say I have been too busy to get out on the trails because of work, he gently reminds me of the importance of taking the time to do those things we love.

“Mark has competed in cross country ski races and mountain biking races. Although I am not to sure how much he competes, I think he epitomizes what we want student athletes to do–incorporate healthy exercise into their everyday lives for the rest of their lives.

Mark will receive the award at this year’s Intramural Sports banquet at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 19.

“My deepest thanks to the committee (past five award recipients) who participated in the selection process,” said Oppliger.

2006-07–Bob Baillod (CEE)
2007-08–John Gershenson (ME-EM)
2008-09–Norma Veurink (Engineering Fundamentals)
2009-10–Tim Schulz (College of Engineering)
2010-11–Neil Hutzler (CEE)

Originally posted in Tech Today.

Michigan Tech Students Compete for $60,000

Michigan Tech students, Ben Mitchell and Wade Aitken-Palmer practice in the last few hours before pitching at the New Venture Competition and their chance at $60,000 to fund Baisikeli Ugunduzi, a bicycle components business for rural Africa.

On March 30, 2012, six Michigan Tech teams will compete for $60,000 as part of the New Venture Competition. A joint partnership between Michigan Tech and Central Michigan University, the competition aims to support and promote Michigan entrepreneurship by showcasing talents and the passion of students.

Since September 2011, students have been developing and honing their entrepreneurial savvy through educational broadcasts, meetings, and mentor support to arrive at the competition in Mount Pleasant.

“Working with students to develop and push their ideas into the marketplace is one of the most innovative educations one can receive,” said Darrell Radson, dean of the School of Business and Economics. “We’re excited and thankful for the opportunity to partner with Central Michigan University and push entrepreneurial innovation for our state and our country.”

The competition includes three rounds of single elimination presentations and is punctuated by a luncheon panel featuring entrepreneurial experts from the state of Michigan. A business pitch competition will round out the day’s events and end with an awards banquet and reception.

Teams will be judged on key criteria including: quality of an idea, strength of the management team, clarity and persuasiveness of the written plan, and the oral presentation.

The competition includes a first place prize of $30,000 followed by $10,000 second place and $5,000 third place finish. Other awards also include Best Social Venture, Best Technology, Venture Shaping and a first and second place for Best Business Pitch.

Representing Michigan Tech

AsfalisMed: Travis Beaulieu and Joel Florek
Develop a medical record platform for individuals to store emergency medical information and medical history in an online profile that can be accessed by any EMS, clinic, or hospital.

Baisikeli Ugunduzi: Ben Mitchell and Wade Aitken-Palmer
Designs and produces high quality, non-puncturing bicycle components for rural people in Kitale, Kenya and serves sub-Saharan Africa.

G&A’s Farmer’s Market: Amber Campbell and Jeffrey Squires
A production, distribution, and retail facility for fresh produce, organic foods, and garden center products to be located in Houghton, Michigan.

Picket Books: Kyle Johnston and David Shull
A rental company that connects students around the world to facilitate peer-to-peer rental transactions for college textbooks.

Two Bows, LLC: Jessica Tompkins, Walker Derby, Shawn Peterson, and Christina Ruth
Provide women hunters with fit and functional apparel that is warm, quiet, and minimizes bulk.

Unoja Engineering: Bailey Gamble and Benjamin Savonen
Produces fluoride filitration systems that eliminate harmful pathogens by using bone char technology in Tanzania.

Stay informed of the competition progress by following #nvc2012 on Twitter or by visiting the School of Business and Economics facebook page:

MBA Students Help Guide Portage Hospital Decisions

Students provide guidance for local healthcare provider.

MBA students from Michigan Tech have assisted in optimizing the schedule for Portage Health’s Dialysis Center as published in the Daily Mining Gazette weekend edition.

“The change in hours will increase patient safety, patient satisfaction and efficiency,” said Karen Kelley, dialysis director.

The decision to add new software, Schedule Wise, was suggested by an MBA team including Karen Giddings, Emmett Golde, Heather Richards, and Birong Tao in the spring of 2010.

“The students did a learn project where they examined patient flow, eventually concluding that new software would help,” Kelley said.

For more information about the Portage Health Dialysis Center, visit

This was originally published by the Daily Mining Gazette March 17/18 weekend edition.

Michigan Tech Students Break for Silicon Valley

While many college students spent their spring break on sandy beaches, Michigan Tech students escaped 130 inches of snow (a mild winter) to tour high-tech companies in Silicon Valley.

Thanks to Brocade, which sponsored the trip, the Michigan Tech students immersed themselves in all things tech as they toured several leading companies. A Michigan Tech alumnus, Dave House, is on the board of directors at Brocade. The students arrived Monday and began with a tour of Kyocera and Autodesk.

“The trip has been eye-opening for the types of industries that are really booming,” said Kelsey Waugh, a materials science and engineering major. “It’s giving us a picture of where corporate America is heading.

Eli Karttunen, an economics major, agreed. “We saw a diverse array of successful companies with different management styles. It showed us what is possible for our future career opportunities.”

Touring google with Michigan Tech alumnae, Danielle VanDyke.

Cisco Systems and Plug and Play were toured before a meeting with another alum, Danielle VanDyke ’06 at Google and a visit to Brocade in San Jose, finishing the high-tech portion of their whirlwind tour.

“Seeing the different atmospheres and productivity showed me what companies do to support creative, productive engineers and employees in their working environment,” said electrical engineering major Josh Lehman. “This trip gave us the opportunity to see and network with west coast companies.

As the trip’s exclusive sponsor, Brocade wrapped up the students’ week-long Silicon Valley Spring Break Experience with an executive panel discussion, data center tour, and hosted a networking social where students were able to interact with Brocade employees, including reps from human resources, some with immediate opportunities for these top students.

The students also toured the Computer History Museum in Mountain View before flying back to the snow banks of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on a redeye at midnight Friday, to continue preparing to make a little high-tech history of their own some day.

Their California adventure wasn’t all tech-related—another Michigan Tech alumnus, Tom Porter, arranged a tour of his Porter Creek Vineyard led by his son, Tim, in the Napa Valley, Cal. area. The 17,000 square foot underground wine cave is unusually sophisticated with an environment completely controllable by iPad. Tim Porter toured the students through the technological complex and hosted a social gathering in the cave itself.

At Porter Family Vineyards, owned by Tom Porter a Michigan Tech alumnus.

The late Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics Professor Bob Mark started the Silicon Valley trip last year. The 2012 trip was organized by the School of Business and Economics and the Office of Innovation and Industry Engagement. View more photos from the trip on Facebook.