Category: Student Organizations

MTU Team Makes Final Cut of MCIP

The Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize is a six month program that enables teams to go from an idea to venture launch.

A new statewide entrepreneurial contest aims to arm students with the resources and skills necessary to launch a successful tech start-up in the state of Michigan. In addition to more than $100,000 in award money, the Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize (MCIP) offered participants intensive start-up training based on the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program.

Michigan Tech fielded a team out of a project for the Business Development Experience course — one of four required for the Entrepreneurship Concentration.

"Our low cost ventilator which encompasses a robust and simple design, is used to provide life saving care for infants suffering from respiratory ailments in developing countries," said Smith.

The Michigan Tech students who participated were:

  • Cole SmithManagement major
  • Brock TreanklerManagement major
  • Colin PuttersMarketing major
  • Carolynn MagnusonMarketing major
  • Derek MazurBiomedical Engineering major

The challenge kicked off in late October with a two-day workshop and culminated in February with a final showcase and awards ceremony. During the intervening four months, participants attended biweekly online progress meetings and received pitch training, mentorship and up to $2,000 in prototype funding. Teams were encouraged to brainstorm and innovate on their business model and position in the market.

90 teams participated in the first round and 29 made it on to the finals. Applicants were evaluated based on:

  • The viability and impact of their technology
  • How their business differentiates itself in the marketplace
  • The skill and experience level of the team members.

The Michigan Tech Team mentored by Professor Entrepreneurship and Innovation Dr. Saurav Pathak, Instructor Jonathan Leinonen, and Senior Lecturer in Accounting Anne Warrington was one of the teams selected to advance to the finals. Their project was to develop a low cost ventilator for infants in Ghana. This is an International Business Venture project out of the Enterprise program. The Michigan Tech team went on to win a $2,000 grant to further develop their product.

Event coordinators say the statewide venture challenge will help both the state and its students by keeping Michigan relevant in the knowledge economy and creating different career paths for college graduates.


Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is back for 2014!

KSI will be doing their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program again this year. VITA is designed for students that have been through Foundations of Taxation to assist with simple income tax returns for low-income families and students who couldn’t otherwise afford to hire a CPA. KSI will be starting the program  today & will go through Tuesday, April 15th.
VITA is available February 24th - April 15th. No appointment needed!
All sessions will take place in G010D of the AOB, and there is no need to make an appointment. Just stop on in & see them! No sessions will be held over spring break, but otherwise the schedule is as follows:
  • Monday: 3-5pm
  • Wednesday: 12-2pm
  • Thursday: 12-5pm
Please pass this along to anyone you may think may be in need of this service!

Finance Club Fosters Financial Literacy on Campus

On November 20th, the Michigan Tech Finance Club in partnership with the Michigan Tech Office of Financial Aid and Wells Fargo held the second edition of FinanceU at the R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library. In line with the 2012 edition, this event aimed at fostering financial literacy on campus and was specifically tailored to students, regardless of class and major. It offered advising and information related to personal finance, financial aid opportunities (e.g. grants & scholarships), the relevance of starting  a retirement plan as early as possible, and useful tips on how to benefit from several online tools such as CashCourse – a free online personal finance program sponsored by the Alumni Association.

Students were asked to complete a short survey covering areas such as their current method of budgeting, Federal Direct Student Loan knowledge and any additional areas that they may have questions in. Financial Aid Advisor, Cindy Cowell noted “as a piece of our financial literacy initiative on campus, the financial aid office is pleased to partner with the Finance Club to implement programming designed to increase the financial literacy of Michigan Tech’s student body.” The club does an effective job of promoting the message to students that topics such as  budgeting, credit, responsible borrowing and retirement are critical to know in order to remain on a financially stable path.  Financial education now will enable students to make sound financial decisions and enable them to live the life that they desire later.

Well Fargo Store Manager Ellie Freeman also participated in Finance U noting that it is a great opportunity for students to ask questions, because it is a casual environment without any pressure. Freeman also added, “it’s important to know while you are in school the importance of building credit in a positive manner.” She also recommended that students have a minimum of three savings accounts: long term, short term, and 3 months salary. This event is great because it brings together people who have a great deal of knowledge about financial planning into one place that is easily accessible by students.

Financial Aid Advisor Cindy Cowell talks with a student about personal financial management.

The partnership between Financial Aid and the Finance Club is effective in delivering a critical financial message to Michigan Tech students. For example, hearing about a topic such as retirement and the need to start saving at a young age, is received by students much more readily when the message is coming from a peer. Michigan Tech students often have the opportunity to contribute to a retirement plan as part of their co-op job benefits. We hope to educate students to take advantage of these kinds of financial opportunities at as young an age as possible.

The Finance Club and partners collected 165 surveys this year-- double what they collected the previous year!

This event is the outcome of the continued efforts by the Finance Club and the Office of Financial Aid to foster financial literacy on campus. Dr. Oliveira said “our fantastic Finance Club members put significant effort to disseminate to their fellow students, knowledge and resources available either at MTU or in the world wide web that can significantly impact the betterment of personal financial management.” This year the Finance Club has also invited the local Wells Fargo manager to share her experience with tailoring retirement plans according to each individual’s life stage and goals. Oliveira also noted that the students’ interest and participation has been outstanding this year.  The Finance Club collected 165 surveys on finance-related practices and demographics this year –  an increase of 100 relatively to the prior year. Besides disseminating information our club members get a chance to practice their communication skills and ability to test their know-how with real world questions. We are looking forward to learn from this year’s experience and continuously improve this annual event.


Experience Silicon Valley over Spring Break!

Sign-up by December 5th for the 2014 Silicon Valley Experience!

The Experience of a Lifetime

Each spring 15 students travel from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, to the world hub of start-ups and entrepreneurs- Silicon Valley. This eye-opening experience focuses on immersing students in real companies, with real players, and the current challenges they face.

This year, you can to go Silicon Valley during Spring Break (March 8-14). Visits with entrepreneurs, inventors, managers and companies including Brocade, Cisco, and Google will provide you with a first-hand understanding of technology built enterprises that are revolutionizing global business.

Take Advantage of This Opportunity

Brocade is once again sponsoring the trip bringing the cost to $300 per person including airfare, hotel accommodations with breakfast each morning and transportation throughout the duration of the trip.

This trip is open to all Michigan Tech students. Please pass the information along. Student participation is based on a two minute interview on “Why you want to work and live on Silicon Valley.” If you are interested in participating, please email Karen Foltz at ksfoltz@mtu.edu. You will be assigned interview time starting at 4:00 pm on December 5, 2013.

Click here to view the PDF Brochure:  SiliconValley2014


All Majors invited to Elevator Pitch Competition!

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is a short speech that outlines a business idea.

Come Pitch your idea for a chance to win $1000 in 90 seconds!

When: Thursday, November 7th at 6:00 pm

Where: Fisher Hall, Room 135

Why: $1000 First Place Prize…$500 Second Place Prize…$250 Third Place Prize…$200 Audience Favorite

Even if you’re not interested in competing, please join us for what is sure to be a fun and entertaining event! We look forward to see you in the audience!

Please contact Nikoli Wiens with any questions at nrwiens@mtu.edu

www.mtuentrepreneurs.com