Category: Student Organizations

Tech Students win $20,500 at New Venture Competition

Last weekend Michigan Tech and Central Michigan University students competed for a total of $45,000 in this year's New Venture Competition.

Two teams of Michigan Tech students won more than $20,000 in the annual New Venture Competition held at Central Michigan University recently.

Northern Aquaponics won $10,000 in the Best Technology category, and Upland Nanotech won $10,000 for Highest Growth Potential and $500 for second-place pitch.

“We had five strong teams competing in a field of 2Y,” said School of Business and Economics Dean Gene Klippel. “All the teams benefited greatly from the experience of presenting their ideas and receiving valuable feedback from the outstanding panel of judges who participated.”

First place and $30,000 went to Solar Cycle Lights LLC, a student team from Central Michigan.

Upland Nanotech was founded by Thomas Daunais, an electrical engineering major, whose company developed a rapid-sensing technology used for food pathogen detection and drug-level concentration that has the ability to yield results within 20 minutes.

“The first thing we’re going to do is going to take the winnings and leverage another $55,000 out of it,” he said. “We’ll use the $65,000 we’ll have to make an E. coli sensor prototype.”

He said the competition, attended by many business and industry professionals, helped his group network and convince others to believe in their idea.

“We got feedback from the judges that we have an interesting concept, a solid business plan and an overall very intriguing technology,” Daunais said.

Northern Aquaponics, specializing in growing plants and raising fish in indoor environments, won the $10,000 award for Best Technology.

“I think we have done a lot of work to pinpoint our target market and refine our business model to make it more viable,” said Josh Krugh, an economics major and the company’s cofounder. He also thought the judges at Central gave good feedback, not just to his team, but to all of the teams.

“There were so many people there willing and able to help all of us,” Krugh said. “I can’t tell you how many people stopped me throughout the day to give us suggestions and talk about our business. It was definitely a rare opportunity to be in a room full of so many successful businessmen and women.”

He said Northern Aquaponics will use their prize money to build partnerships and company business models.

Twenty-seven teams from Central Michigan and Michigan Tech competed in the daylong event for awards ranging from $500 to $30,000. Panels of 60 judges representing business leaders and entrepreneurs from throughout Michigan and the region evaluated the team presentations based on several factors, including the quality of the idea, strength of the management team and the business plan.

Upland Nanotech and Northern Aquaponics also won second and third place, respectively, at the Fourth Annual Bob Mark Memorial Elevator Pitch Competition on the Michigan Tech campus in November 2012.

This story was originally written by by Dennis Walikainen, University Marketing Communications senior editor, and published in Tech Today.


Get help with your income tax return – – For Free!

Accounting and Finance students are trained to help you with your taxes!

Accounting and Finance students are trained to help you with your taxes!

Tax crunch time is upon us and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is here to help! This program provides FREE income tax preparation assistance at no cost for US students and members of the community who could not otherwise afford the services of a CPA tax professional.

The Volunteer Income Tax Program has been offered on the Michigan Tech’s campus for over 20 years. Tax forms are prepared by accounting and finance students who have complete a semester tax course and a special training seminar. Students volunteer their time and talent for this community service program. Last year over 50 students and community members benefited from this service.

Attend a Session

No appointment is necessary to receive assistance just go to the Academic Office Building, room G010-D the Tidwell Center Conference Room, during one of the session times listed below.

Wednesday: 12 – 4 pm

Tuesday and Thursday: 10 – 2 pm

Bring your W-2′s, form 1099’s, 1098T’s, etc., to one of our sessions. Also bring a copy of last year’s tax return, if possible.

Volunteer sessions will be offered each week from now until, Thursday April 11, 2013.

For more information contact:

Joel Tuoriniemi, jctuorin@mtu.edu, 487-1877 or

Anne Warrington, acwarrin@mtu.edu, 487-1733


Common Sense Investing Event Benefits Business Students

Last Thursday evening, Vice President of Trust Investments at Superior National Bank, Chris Gariepy, spoke to a full room of Michigan Tech students as he shared his knowledge on common sense investing.  Chris discussed highlights from his career on investing and money management.  This event was supported by the Finance Club which promotes interest and knowledge in the field of Finance. The objectives of the Club are to increase interest in finance among Michigan Tech business students by relating the experiences of students, professors and alumni and to provide business students a comprehensive understanding of the finance industry.

Superior National Bank Vice President of Trust Investments addresses students at Finance Club event.

Chris also provided valuable insight into what it takes as a new college graduate to start investing.  Senior, finance major Walker Derby, said “I really enjoyed hearing from someone local who had pertinent advice for people going into the field as well as for individuals who are looking for a greater grasp on financial knowledge.”  Derby also noted that having someone with extensive experience in the financial industry address questions was enlightening, especially for students who are new to the field.

Students in attendance from all School of Business and Economics majors benefited from the event.  The information that Chris brought was insightful on real world applications and interactions of finance, management, economics, and accounting concepts.


School of Business and Economics to compete in All-Nighter!

All Nighter Competition kicks off at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, February 6th!

Calling all School of Business and Economics students, faculty, staff and friends…  Winter Carnival is just around the corner and we want to invite you to join in on the fun!!  We have entered the School of Business and Economics in the all-nighter competition again this year.  We have done well in the past and hope to continue that streak this year!

The theme for Winter Carnival 2013 is “Heroes and Villians Find Their Powers, In These Frozen Winter Hours!”  For more Winter Carnival information and events check out the official website.  Our statue will include a superman symbol with the “S” being replaced with a “$”.  The quote we have selected is: Super students have the power to double your money in an hour.

The all-nighter is next Wednesday, February 6th starting at 4:00 pm. As the name suggests, we will be building all night long (or at least until we are satisfied with our design).  We will be providing  pizzas, coffee, hot cocoa, and some baked goods for all statue builders!

We hope to see you all next Wednesday even if it is just to socialize and kick off the event!


What happened this semester? Fall 2012 Student Project Round-up.

It seemed like just yesterday that campus was green and the sun was shining–wait, that was yesterday. Even with a relatively mild fall as a distraction, the students in the School of Business and Economics have been busy making significant advances in their own professional development, marketing savvy, and knowledge conquests. Reflect back with us as we review a few of the best class projects from the Fall 2012 semester at Michigan Tech.

APMP students, Anna Paul, Jessica Zaiki, Mike Harry, and Justin Wilson met with Perrigo's CFO to discuss corporate financial decision making.

On-Site Company Research for Finance Competition at Perrigo

In late November, four students in the Applied Portfolio Management Program traveled to Perrigo, the largest manufacturer of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals in the United States, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan as part of the CFA Institute Research Challenge. This competition brings students, publicly traded companies, and industry investment professionals together to promote hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills.

Anna Paul, Jessica Zaiki, Mike Harry, and Justin Wilson took part in the investor relations meeting and talked to Perrigo’s CFO, Judy Brown, about financial decision making and analysis within the company. The students will now take the information and compile financial forecasting to present at a competition against five other schools at Western Michigan in February.

“This trip made learning about the actual company so much easier than pulling information from the website,” said Paul. “It’s nice to see that a world leader in the pharmaceutical industry cares about the local community and not about cutting corners.”

This is the first year that Michigan Tech was able to take part in this competition thanks to the support given to APMP by Jim and Dolores Trethewey.

Management Information Systems Students Team Up with Blue Terra Energy

Dave Camps, CEO of Blue Terra Energy, LLC, pictured with Emily Jensen, Rachel Plafchan, and Seth Stever, students in MIS 4100.

Emily Jensen, Rachel Plafchan, and Seth Stever worked closely with Blue Terra Energy LLC, a local energy company in Hancock, to develop a usable database system as part of an upper-division management and information systems class. Assistant Professor in Management Information Systems (MIS), Haiyan Huang, orchestrated the curriculum to include this experiential learning opportunity.

“The goal was to streamline the data collection, organization, updating, reporting, and analysis processes for the company,” she added.

Working closely with client Dave Camps, CEO of Blue Terra Energy and ’93 Mechanical Engineering alum, students were able to create a workable database with customized customer fields, inputs, and sorting that will keep projects running smoothly.

“I have been very uneasy about our data and the cost to maintain it. I am very excited about the system the students developed and it has great potential,” said Camps. “This system is really going to help us a lot to track customers, schedules and orders. It will allow us to move forward more aggressively. I am eager to get this implemented on our server.”

Finance U: Educates Michigan Tech Students about Financial Literacy

First FinanceU Event hosted at Michigan Tech. A partnership between the Finance Club and the Office of Financial Aid.

During December, the Michigan Tech Finance Club, in partnership with the Michigan Tech Office of Financial Aid, held the first FinanceU educational event at the J.R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library. Aimed at fostering financial literacy on campus, the event was specifically tailored to students, regardless of class and major. Finance Club members offered personal consultations and information related to personal finance, financial aid opportunities, the upcoming FAFSA for 2013-14, and useful tips on how to benefit from CashCourse – a free online personal finance program sponsored by the Alumni Association.

“Since last May, this fantastic group of students and financial aid representatives have been working together on organizing and developing content to make FinanceU as effective and fun as possible for everyone, regardless of class and major,” said Finance Club Advisor, Dr. Emanuel Oliveira. “Now it is time to learn from this first experience and the 69 questionnaires we were able to collect from students concerning their demographics and financial habits. Ultimately, the goal is to make FinanceU an annual financial literacy event on campus though we are also seriously considering the feasibility of holding it every semester. We sincerely believe that all participants have something to win from this.”

A Leaner Meaner Brand: Students Report on Subway’s Marketing

Amber Campbell, Michael Bennet, Joel Vertin, and Qin Xu developed a marketing plan to improve the brand of Subway in both America and China.  As part of the MBA Marketing, Technology, and Globalization course taught by Assistant Professor of Marketing Soonkwan Hong, the team worked together to present a compelling case for change. The final presentation is available on the School of Business and Economics YouTube channel.

Marketing for Local Businesses: Gitzen Company

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yupfjG_s1CU[/youtube]

Students in Assistant Professor of Marketing Jun Min’s Business-to-Business marketing course provide marketing consulting for local companies. This student consulting project was designed to apply knowledge of marketing theories in a real business context, evaluate the practices of the client company, and develop an advertising strategy for potential customers.

A team of students including Angela Barr, Kaylee Betzinger, Chyanne Knudsen, Samantha Robbins, Christina Ruth, and Sarah Vadnais put together a strategy that included a commercial (above) for Gitzens Company that provides food products such as candy and snacks and operates out of Houghton, Michigan.

Digital Marketing for ShareBliss.com

ShareBliss.com is a new website that combines features from popular social sites, such as Pinterest and Sharethis, and integrates online advertising by using Googles Ad Sense. While ShareBliss.com is a live site, the founders are completing beta testing and needed digital marketing advice for their formal launch.  Instructor Cindy McColley’s Digital Marketing class completed projects and sent them to the ShareBliss.com founders who were thrilled to obtain thoughts and insights from the Michigan Tech students; and they were impressed with the quality and detail of the work.

View the ShareBliss.com digital marketing projects from Lindsee Willis and Alexander Alsobrooks.