Grad Student Viraj Mane, Data Science, Wins 2024 Bob Mark Competiton and MTEC Breakout Award

Viraj Mane
Husky Innovate

Michigan Tech graduate student Viraj Mane, Data Science, has won the 2024 Michigan Tech Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition and the MTEC SmartZone Breakout Innovation Award.

“This achievement is a testament to the dedication and hard work of my phenomenal team, including Vimalesh Raja Ramachandran and Ram Veeranki (both MTU Data Science grad students),” says Mane in a LinkedIn post. “Together, we turned ideas into reality and showcased the power of collaborative innovation.”

“Heartfelt thanks to Michigan Technological University, Pavlis Honors College, MTEC SmartZone, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation for orchestrating this incredible event that celebrates innovation and entrepreneurial spirit,” says Mane.

Mane also sends a shout-out of appreciation to Debra Charlesworth (Grad School), Mike Morley (Innovation and Commercialization), Jim Baker (Industry and Corporate Relations), Joe Corso (Startup Pitch Mentor), Lisa Casper (Pavlis Honors College), and Julie Baker (Innovation and Commercialization) for their constant and invaluable support and mentorship.

“Thanks to the judges, organizers, and everyone involved for providing a platform that encourages and recognizes groundbreaking ideas,” says Mane. “The total winnings will play a crucial role in further prototyping and customer discovery, propelling us closer to turning our vision into a reality.”

View the LinkedIn post.

View Viraj Mane’s LinkedIn profile.

The Bob Mark Business Model Competition provides a venue for students of all majors to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas before an audience and a panel of judges. This Husky Innovate event is a tribute to the late College of Business Professor of Practice, Bob Mark, and a recognition of students’ entrepreneurial spirit.

In the competition, students have four minutes to sell a concept to someone who doesn’t have previous knowledge about their business. Winners receive prizes to help them start their businesses and attract attention to their ideas. Before the competition, students receive coaching from business professionals to hone their ideas and improve their pitches.