Category: Events

2023 Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition Winners

Three students stand with certificates

By Eugene Brown Agyei (Husky Innovate), Shannon Rinkinen (COB)

On Jan. 19, eleven Michigan Technological University students across disciplines pitched their business models to a panel of judges comprised of faculty and business professionals. In it’s sixteenth year, the business pitch competition is a tribute to the late College of Business Professor of Practice Bob Mark and helps nurture Michigan Tech’s entrepreneurial spirit. The tradition is a highlight of Innovation Week activities.

In the end, Bayle Golden (master’s in engineering management) emerged as the top award winner with SafeROW, a startup focused on solving child abductions. Golden also earned the Social Impact Award, sponsored by Elham Asgari, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship in the College of Business.

Presenting Tall and Small Designs, an innovation for finding the right clothing fit, was Jordan Craven (management information systems), who earned second prize as well as Audience Favorite and Breakout Innovation Award, sponsored by the MTEC SmartZone and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Third prize went to Asia Motta (engineering management) with the Droplet, a device to keep houseplants alive.

Ideas spanning health, education, and sustainable power generation were also pitched by Huskies.

Business Model Awards

Presented by the College of Business with thanks to sponsors Rick and Jo Berquist, and Dan and Jane Green for sponsoring the Audience Favorite award.

  • First Prize—Bayle Golden with SafeROW ($2,000)
  • Second Prize—Jordan Craven with Tall and Small Designs ($1,000)
  • Third Prize—Asia Motta with The Droplet ($500)
  • Honorable Mention—Rehab (Ruby) Alhajjar with The Water Solution ($250)
  • Audience Favorite—Jordan Craven with Tall and Small Designs ($250)

Social Impact Award

Sponsored and presented by Gates Professor Elham Asgari, College of Business.

  • Winner—Bayle Golden with SafeROW ($1,000)

Breakout Innovation Award

Presented by Patrick Visser, chief commercial officer, MTEC SmartZone.
Sponsored by MTEC SmartZone and Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

  • Winner—Jordan Craven with Tall and Small Designs ($1,000)

Special Thanks

Special thanks to those who dedicated time and resources to make the competition a success.

Sponsors:

  • Dean Johnson, dean, College of Business
  • Elham Asgari, Gates Professor, College of Business
  • Rick and Jo Berquist
  • Dan and Jane Green
  • MTEC SmartZone and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Judges:

  • Jay Meldrum, executive director, Keweenaw Research Center; MTU liaison to the Grand Traverse Area
  • Eric Roberts, MTU alumnus; executive director, 20Fathoms
  • Elham Asgari, Gates Professor, College of Business
  • Dan Green, MTU alumnus and entrepreneur; principal, BlackFin Group
  • Adrienne Minerick, professor of chemical engineering; affiliated professor of biomedical engineering; president, American Society for Engineering Education
  • Patrick Visser, chief commercialization officer, MTEC SmartZone
  • Michael Cleveland, P.E. and MTU alumnus; mentor in residence at Michigan Tech
  • Lawrence W. Staley, MTU alumnus; director of engineering (retired 2019), Parker Hannifin Corporation

Visit the Husky Innovate Events page for upcoming opportunities.

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accountingbusiness analyticsconstruction managementeconomicsengineering managementfinancemanagementmanagement information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.

Huskies Win at Michigan Collegiate Startup Challenge

Winners of the Michigan Collegiate Startup Challenge pose with their checks
Jordan Craven (bottom, center) and Rourke (top, left)

By Jessie Stapleton, Shannon Rinkinen

On Friday, November 11, four Huskies representing three teams pitched their business ideas at Michigan State University during the Michigan Collegiate Startup Challenge (MCSC), competing for more than $12,000 in cash prizes. MCSC is Michigan’s university-level business model competition specifically designed for student entrepreneurs across the state. The second-annual MCSC, sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, fosters entrepreneurship by encouraging commercialization of ideas.

Twenty semifinalists representing nine schools pitched their ideas, including the following Michigan Tech teams:

Craven took first place, winning $5,000, for Tall and Small Designs, a retailer software service providing form-fitting mockups of online clothing products for consumers. Sylvain, of Integrated Molecular Innovations, an electrochemical biosensor for at-home detection of T4 thyroid levels, earned fourth place, netting $1,000.

Students spent the first portion of the day pitching their ideas to judges. Ten startups were selected to move to the finalist showcase round.

Hosted by Michigan State, the pitch competition was a collaboration between Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Mid-Michigan College, Northern Michigan University, and Wayne State University.

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accountingbusiness analyticsconstruction managementeconomicsengineering managementfinancemanagementmanagement information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.

College of Business Inducts Four into Academy of Business

Photo of Dean Johnson and President Koubek with Academy of Business inductees
From left to right: Dean Johnson, Mary Mahaney, Brenda Ryan, Steve Hicks, President Richard Koubek
This was the first Academy of Business induction since 2019.

Michigan Tech’s Academy of Business honors outstanding leaders in business and civic affairs, as well those who have contributed significantly to the growth and development of the College of Business (COB). On October 7, 2022, in the Alumni Lounge of the Memorial Union Building, COB welcomed four new members to this esteemed group.

Business Students Earn First, Third, and Audience Favorite in Idea Pitch Competition

Students winners of the Idea Pitch Competition pose with certificates.
Winners of the Idea Pitch Competition representing the Michigan Tech College of Business—Alex Bos (second from left); Asia Motta (third from left); and Noel Kamdem-Tegue (third from right)

Congratulations to Idea Pitch Competition winners representing the Michigan Tech College of Business (COB): In first place—Anastasia (Asia) Motta with The Droplet; in third place—Alex Bos with The SELF Couch; and the audience-favorite—Noel Kamdem-Tegue with Black Earth Rising, a food truck.

Huskies Engage at Traverse City during Innovation Week


As part of Michigan Tech’s Grand Traverse region initiative, Huskies will be active in Traverse City this week (May 9-15) during a series of events to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship.

Husky Innovate students Bayle Golden (master’s in engineering management) and Rourke Sylvain (biomedical engineering) will pitch their ideas during the TCNewTech University Idea Showcase tomorrow (May 12). On Sunday evening they will pitch again, competing for prizes.

College of Business alumnus and local business owner David McBride ‘82 will serve as a judge of the showcase. This event will be livestreamed via TCNewTech’s Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn channels beginning at 6 p.m. Register to attend virtually or in person.

Golden and Sylvain have engaged in Husky Innovate events including the Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition and the New Venture Competition (NVC), where both took top prizes. At NVC, Golden won first place in the Social Mission category and received $10,000 pitching “SafeRow,” an innovative wearable device designed to keep children safe when every second counts. Together, Sylvain and Ali Dabas (biomedical engineering) won second place in the High Tech High Growth category, receiving $5,000. Their pitch, “imi (integrated molecular innovations),” is an electrochemical biosensor for T4 detection.

Husky Innovate is a collaboration between the Pavlis Honors College, the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, and the College of Business. 

About the College of Business

The Michigan Tech College of Business offers undergraduate majors in accounting, business analytics, construction management, economics, engineering management, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing, as well as a general business option. Graduate degrees include the TechMBA®, a Master of Engineering Management, a Master of Science in Accounting, and a Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics.