Category: Entrepreneurship

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.

Entrepreneurs’ Club Presents: A Dialogue with Patricia Henderson

From Ms. Henderson's visit with the Entrepreneurs Club in 2010.

Funding Startups and the Entrepreneurial Experience

Ms. Henderson is an esteemed alum of MTU.  She is an entrepreneur and president of Cygani, Inc. in Chicago.

Please join us on Friday, February 8th, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm in Fisher Room 126.
All majors are welcome!

Ms. Henderson visited the Entrepreneurs Club in 2010. Read the article from that event.

Tour Silicon Valley during Spring Break 2013

2012 Michigan Tech Tour of Autodesk in San Francisco, California.

Looking for a life and career changing experience? On December 6th at 5pm, you can interview for the chance to go on the best Spring Break trip of your life. The Silicon Valley Experience 2013 will take 15 lucky students to visit California’s technology and innovation hub from March 10 – 15.  To win a spot at the significantly reduced cost of $300, all you have to do is answer one question in 90-seconds: “Why would I like to work and live in Silicon Valley?”

Your answer will be given verbally to the trip coordinators and final trip participants will be selected and notified before the end of the semester. This year, the participants will tour of some of the most innovative companies on the west coast. Last year the group visited Google, Brocade, Cisco, Kyocera, Plug and Play, and other companies.

The Details:

This opportunity is available to current undergraduate and graduate students of all majors at Michigan Tech.

  • Email Russ Louks, your name, major, and year by 5pm on December 5th to participate. A schedule will be sent out early on December 6th with the time you will be interviewed in the Academic Office Building conference room 101.
  • Practice your pitch and deliver it to the panel of judges.
  • If you are selected, you will be expected to:

o   Pay a deposit of  $300 (which includes airfare, transportation around California, and lodging but not food for the trip) prior to leaving for winter break.

o   Work in small groups to review companies we will be attending and present to group before departure to Silicon Valley. (This is to ensure that all trip attendees have an understanding and basic knowledge of the companies we will be visiting).

o   Create a list of thoughtful questions to ask each company in person.

o   Create and bring a resume.

If you have questions about the trip or the interview selection process, please email Russ Louks, or Andre Laplume,

Read about the 2012 Silicon Valley Experience.

View photos on Facebook.

Savvy Entrepreneur Workshop Announced

Having problems starting your business but don’t know where to turn?  Others who have discovered how to get past the same road blocks will be there to explain how to find the resources you need at next Tuesday’s Savvy Entrepreneur forum.  The series features best practices sharing via 2-Way Interactive Web Conferencing.   This event will take place Tuesday November 13 in the conference room of Michigan Tech’s Advanced Technology and Development Center at 1402 E. Sharon Avenue, Houghton, Michigan. Social networking with refreshments begins at 5:30 pm with panel discussion from 6-7:30 pm. The public is welcome to attend.  For more information on the Houghton site contact John Diebel 906-487-1082 or

Essential as it may be, it is unlikely that the MIT Forum is the only resource that an entrepreneur will need along the way. This Tuesday’s event was created by successful entrepreneurs for earlier stage entrepreneurs to guide them to resources that turned out to be valuable finds along their path to success. This panel will share their insights on how to go about finding new resources and how to use them.   Chances are the panel has overcome problems you are about to face as you grow your company. Please bring questions as this will be an interactive event.  The forum will include insights from the panelists followed by a moderated question and answer session to address your specific startup commercialization or growth questions.

The Houghton Host Site is sponsored by MTU’s Innovation and Industry Engagement, School of Business and Economics, the Houghton SmartZone and the Keweenaw Alliance For Economic Development.

Michigan Tech Entrepreneur, Jess Tompkins, featured in UP’s Second Wave

Jess Tompkins, a fifth-year student in business management, was recently featured in the Upper Peninsula’s Second Wave. The publication tells the story of the new economy in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula — a narrative of creative people and businesses, new development, cool places to live, and the best places to work and play.

Tompkins was touted for her business Two Bows, which she started in 2010 under the tutelage of the late Professor of Practice in the School of Business and Economics Bob Mark. The article mentions:

To begin the networking process and get the ball rolling, Tompkins joined Tech’s entrepreneurship support center. During this time she incorporated her business plan, sketches and her prize money from the competition to get sample products made. She later joined the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance. Soon, her idea was starting to look a lot like a real company.

Read the complete article at UP’s Second Wave.