Husky Innovate Week 2022: January 24-28

Husky Innovate

Husky Innovate Week 2022 takes place the week of January 24, 2022. Hosted by Husky Innovate, Innovation Week is a celebration of innovation both on and off-campus. Events include talks with alumni entrepreneurs, a showcase campus innovation, and interactive events. Connect with alumni, students, and faculty. Drop-in for one event or several.  For more information, contact Lisa Casper (

Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion

January 24, 2022, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Zoom
Registration required, register by January 20th:

Interested in learning more about Northern Michigan startup resources? We’ve lined up leaders and experts from the region to kick-off innovation week and share what their organizations have to offer innovators and entrepreneurs. All will share resources that are available through their respective organizations and roles. Topics will include programming, commercialization resources, the strategic mission of each organization, and how they might be able to help Tech innovators both before and after graduation.


  • David Rowe, CEO of the MTEC SmartZone, our local Houghton business incubator
  • Patrick Visser, Chief Commercialization Office, MTEC SmartZone
  • Jason Mack, Vice President of Business Development, MTEC SmartZone
  • Eric Roberts, Executive Director of 20Fathoms, the Traverse City business incubator
  • Jay Meldrum, Executive Director of Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center and Liaison to the Grand Traverse Area for Michigan Technological University 

Unboxed Challenge: Treasure Hunt with Jannah Tumey

January 25, 2022, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Wadsworth Hall
Registration required, register by January 21st at 5:00 pm:

Michigan Tech Innovator, Jannah Tumey, Assistant Director of the Center for Educational Outreach, developed Unboxed Challenges™, an innovative approach to the escape room during Covid-19. Unboxed Challenges are fun, interactive, scenario-based activities. Students will draw on technical, creative, and interpersonal skills to solve challenges. Come join the treasure hunt, prizes will be awarded. See flyer for more details.

Husky Innovate Talk with Dr. Colin Brooks: Developing the Cross-I System for Inspecting Railgrade Crossings

January 26, 2022, 12:00- 1:00 p.m., via Zoom
Registration required, register by January 22nd:

Senior Research Scientist with Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), Colin will discuss an innovative I system for inspecting rail-grade crossings that he and his team are developing and the steps they are taking to make it available nationwide on a commercial basis. MTRI Inc. facilitates the commercialization of intellectual property of Michigan Tech and the Michigan Tech Research Institute. Brooks has developed Crossing-i, an automated, drone-enabled grade crossing inspection system. The Crossing-i system can determine whether vertical approach grades create a risk for vehicles to get stuck on tracks, assess the adequacy of visual sightlines at the crossing, and locate relevant assets such as gates, lights, signage, etc. It uses high-resolution images collected via drone / uncrewed aerial system (UAS) that are then processed into 3D data for analysis. See flyer for more details.

Reverse Pitch Event with the Office of Innovation and Commercialization

January 26, 2022, 4:00 p.m., via Zoom
Registration required by January 22:

Nate Yenor, Director of Tech Business Incubation with the Office of Innovation and Commercialization at Michigan Tech will report out about their applied research top teams who are poised to launch their innovation into a startup. Teams may be looking for talent, champions, and industry-specific advice during this reverse pitch event. Innovators, entrepreneurs, and Michigan Tech community members interested in what’s new and innovative at Tech will find this presentation interesting. Join us to make connections and support our innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Generation Zoom with Cassy Tefft de Muno

January 27, 2022, 12:15- 1:15 p.m., MUB Ballroom A and Zoom
Zoom registration required, register by January 21st:

When Summer Youth Programs resumed in 2021, the Center for Educational Outreach documented surprising observations about participants compared to pre-pandemic. After surveying other colleagues involved in outreach, we confirmed widespread trends apparent in today’s youth that together indicate the delineation of a new generation: Gen Zoom. Join us online or in-person for an interactive discussion on this topic. Light refreshments provided; please bring your lunch, or grab C-Cubed to-go! See flyer for more details.

Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition

January 27, 2022, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. (pre-event mixer), 5:00 to 7:00 pm (competition), MUB Ballroom A or Zoom
Contestants registration required by January 21:
Audience registration:

All faculty, staff, and students, and community members are invited to the annual Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition taking place on January 27th from 5:00 – 7:00 pm in the MUB Ballroom A. A pre-event social mixer will be held for attendees and contestants starting at 4:00 pm. The Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition to be hosted by Husky Innovate, Pavlis Honors College, and the College of Business.

  • Audience members and contestants also have the option to join virtually over Zoom, pre-registration required:
  • Graduate and undergraduate students across campus disciplines are invited to pitch their business model in 4 minutes to a panel of judges. Contestants are required to register by January 21st:
  • The Business Model Boot Camp will help contestants to prepare their business models. All contestants are encouraged to attend. It will be held on January 19th. Register for the Bootcamp by January 18th:

Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition prize categories:  

  • First Prize: $2,000 
  • Second Prize: $1,000 
  • Third Prize: $500
  • Honorable Mention (1 prizes): $250 each 
  • Audience Favorite: $250 sponsored by Dan Green, Entrepreneur and Principal at the BlackFin Group  
  • Breakout Innovation Award sponsored by the MTEC SmartZone- $1,000
  • Social Impact Award sponsored by Dr. Elham Asgari, CoB – $1000

About the Competition
A follow-up to our Idea Pitch Competition, the Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition assesses the potential of an idea through the product-market fit of a team’s value proposition with its proposed customer segment(s). The competition is a great way to come together as a campus and community to support our students and their innovations. Prizes will be awarded to the most scalable and actionable business model pitches.
This event is a tribute to the late Bob Mark, Professor of Practice within the College of Business. Mark started the Elevator Pitch Competition at Michigan Tech. The Bob Mark Pitch Business Model Competition recognizes his entrepreneurial spirit and its continuation at Michigan Tech. The 2022 Bob Mark Business Model Competition is hosted by Husky Innovate, PHC, and the College of Business. Husky Innovate is Michigan Tech’s resource hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. We host free workshops, competitions, NSF I-Corps lean startup training, innovation talks, internships, mentorship and we cohost the Silicon Valley Experience with the College of Business. See flyer for more details.

Husky Innovate Talk with David Shull

January 28, 2022, 12:00 – 1:00 .p.m, Zoom
Registration required, register by January 25th:

During Innovation Week, join Husky Innovate for a talk with Michigan Tech alumnus, David Shull, who is one of the founding team members of the popular career platform, Handshake. Launched from Michigan Tech, Handshake is the largest early career network in the United States, connecting over 1,300 universities, 600,000 employers, and over 10M students. Handshake was designed to democratize access to opportunity. Today, Handshake is valued at over $1.5B and operates in the United States and the United Kingdom. In this talk, David will share stories and learnings from scaling a startup from 5 to 500 people, and the journey from Houghton to Silicon Valley and then London. See flyer for more details.

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