Category: Entrepreneurship

NSF I-Corps Program Registration Now Open at Michigan Tech

Are you interested in taking your idea, technology or process commercial? Entrepreneurially minded faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni and local community teams are invited to attend the Great Lakes Region Hub National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Program hosted by Husky Innovate at Michigan Tech.

Course Description
The NSF I-Corps lean startup program spans six weeks. Using the scientific process, customer discovery and the business model canvas, teams will work to validate key business hypotheses and develop a scalable business model.

Course Benefits
Upon completion of the workshop and the customer discovery interviews (30), you or your team may be eligible for a mini grant of up to $1,000 for continued customer discovery.

Teams who complete the program may become eligible for the NSF I-Corps National Team Program and a $50,000 grant. Participation in the workshop can lead to qualification for research and other funding from several granting agencies, including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and various state and regional programs.

Past participants have reported that they saved time and money by better understanding potential applications of their technology and improved their ability to receive add-on funding.

Our spring cohort will meet online via Zoom on the following dates:

  • Monday, Jan. 23 — Workshop No. 1: Kickoff, 4-7 p.m.
  • Monday, Jan. 30 — Workshop No. 2, 4-6 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 6 — No meeting, continue customer discovery, meet with your mentor
  • Monday, Feb. 13 — Workshop  No. 3, 4-6 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 20 — No meeting, continue customer discovery, meet with your mentor
  • Monday, Feb. 27 — Workshop No. 4: Wrap-Up, 4-7 p.m.

Register using the Spring 2023 Michigan Tech I-Corps 

By Husky Innovate, Pavlis Honors College.

Register for the Michigan Tech Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition

Husky Innovate collaborators, Pavlis Honors College, the College of Business and the Office of Innovation and Commercialization invite Michigan Tech graduate and undergraduate students from across campus disciplines to pitch their business model to a panel of judges for a chance to win cash prizes in the Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition.

Our judges represent Michigan Tech’s innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) ecosystem — their expertise will provide helpful feedback for students to move their ideas forward. 

This legacy event recognizing student entrepreneurial spirit and paying tribute to the late Professor of Practice Bob Mark will be held Jan. 19 from 5-7:30 p.m. in MUB Ballroom A. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community are invited to attend in person or virtually. Refreshments will be served. In addition, a pre-event mixer will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition prize categories:

  • First Prize: $2,000 — sponsored by Rick and Jo Berquist
  • Second Prize: $1,000
  • Third Prize: $500
  • Honorable Mention: $250
  • Audience Favorite: $250 — sponsored by Dan Green (MTU alum and principal, BlackFin Group)
  • Breakthrough Innovation Award: $1,000 — sponsored by MTEC SmartZone and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Social Impact Award: $1,000 — sponsored by Gates Professor Elham Asgari (COB)

Student contestants can register to pitch their business model through Friday (Jan. 13).

Virtual attendees, please register to watch the event remotely.

By Husky Innovate, Pavlis Honors College.

Michigan Tech Innovation Week 2023 Talks and Events: Registration Is Open!

Husky Innovate is hosting five innovation-themed events during Week 2 (Jan. 17-20) of the spring semester. Innovation Week celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship by hosting speakers and events to inspire and support innovation and entrepreneurship. These events are a great way to connect with alumni, students, faculty and the community.

Check the Innovation Week webpage for full event descriptions. Pre-registration is required for each event. Join us for one event or several!

  • Keynote Speaker: Leading Innovation with Charles Nwatu
    Tuesday, Jan. 17, 4-5 p.m. via Zoom
    Our keynote speaker, Charles Nwatu, head of security technology assurance and risk at Netflix, will kick off Innovation Week by discussing how diverse perspectives lead to innovation. He will share his journey as an intrapreneur developing innovative solutions within a company, and how his mindset has led to an impactful Silicon Valley career at LinkedIn, Twilio, Stitch Fix and now Netflix. 
    Register now — Deadline: Jan. 13
  • New Venture Creation with Eric Roberts
    Wednesday, Jan. 18, noon to 1 p.m., MUB Ballroom A 
    Eric Roberts, MTU alum and executive director of Traverse City business incubator 20Fathoms, has spent a long, diverse career innovating in spaces from Silicon Valley tech start-ups to mobile giants like Motorola and Blackberry. He will talk entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, and share experiences with launching new ventures (both successful and unsuccessful). Tips and strategies will be offered for all types of innovators. 
    Register now — Deadline: Jan. 15
  • Reverse Pitch Presentation with Nate Yenor
    Thursday, Jan. 19, noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom 
    Nate Yenor, director of tech business incubation with the Office of Innovation and Commercialization at Michigan Tech, will report on applied research’s top teams poised to launch their innovation into a start-up. Teams may be looking for talent, champions and industry-specific advice during this reverse-pitch event. Interesting and valuable for innovators, entrepreneurs and MTU community members who want to know what’s new and innovative at Tech. Make connections and support our innovation and entrepreneurship community!
    Register now — Deadline: Jan. 17
  • 15th Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition
    Thursday, Jan. 19, 5-7:30 p.m., MUB Ballroom A 

    Michigan Tech graduate and undergraduate students will pitch their business model for a chance to win cash prizes. This legacy event is a tribute to late Professor of Practice Bob Mark. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community are invited to attend in person or virtually. Refreshments will be served and a pre-event mixer will begin at 4:30 p.m.
    Student contestants: Register now — Deadline: Jan. 13
    Virtual attendees: Register now to attend remotely
  • Financing Your Venture Panel Discussion
    Friday, Jan. 20, noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom
    Hear what investors look for when deciding whether to invest in your company — during both early-stage commercialization and late-stage buy-outs. Experts will share real-world experiences and insight into how investment decisions are made. This talk is helpful for anyone interested in commercializing their venture or for investors who want to hone their skills. Panelists John Rockwell (CEO and president, Accelergy Corporation) and Jeff Helminski (co-founder and managing partner, Auxo Investment Partners) are both Tech alumni and successful venture capitalists, and they 

By Husky Innovate, Pavlis Honors College.

2023 Innovation Week Call for Presenters at Michigan Tech

Husky Innovate is organizing Innovation Week, a series of innovation-themed events the week of Jan. 17-20. We invite the campus community to participate.

Innovation Week celebrates entrepreneurship, new ventures and innovative projects both on campus and within our extended Tech community. We will provide opportunities for students, the campus and the community to meet and engage around the topic of innovation. A highlight will be the Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition on Jan. 19 from 5-7 p.m., in which students pitch their business models.

If you are interested in leading a workshop, being part of a panel discussion, sharing innovative research, hosting a virtual innovation tour or something else, please let us know using our Innovation Week 2023 interest form.

By Husky Innovate, Pavlis Honors College.

Registration Is Open for ‘Prototype Your Innovation’ Workshop at Michigan Tech

How do you communicate an innovative idea with stakeholders? The more you can demonstrate how your innovation works, the better your understanding of the solution and the more informative feedback will be.

Join Husky Innovate for an interactive workshop to learn how to prototype your innovation and test it for customer feedback. Prototyping can range from simple to complex. This workshop focuses on building a mockup of your idea, so that you may present it and gather feedback. This feedback will inform your next design iteration and help you to tailor your solution to your end-users’ needs. 

The workshop is Oct. 26 from 4-6 p.m. in the Alley Makerspace. Register to participate by next Monday (Oct. 24).

By Husky Innovate, Pavlis Honors College.

Michigan Tech 3MT Registration Open

Participating in the 3MT (Three Minute Thesis) can be a way for graduate students to develop important communication and research skills, and to participate in the building of research culture at Michigan Tech. Cash prizes are also available to the top competitors and the people’s choice.

In addition, the winners of the local 3MT competition are given a chance to represent Michigan Tech at the next level of competition, and potentially even national and international 3MT competitions, which provides an excellent networking and professional development opportunity.

Michigan Tech’s 2022 3MT competition will be held Oct. 13 at the MUB Ballroom. For more information on the competition, please see the 3MT page on the Graduate Student Government (GSG) website.

To present in this year’s competition, please fill out and submit the 3MT 2022 Registration form.

3MT 2022 Cash Prizes:

  • First Place — $300
  • Second Place — $150
  • People’s Choice — $100

By Graduate Student Government.

Michigan Tech Idea Pitch Competition – Registration Open

Students who have an innovative idea that could disrupt the status quo and “business as usual” are welcome to pitch their ideas at Idea Pitch Competition. Graduate and undergraduate students from all disciplines are welcome to pitch their ideas. Each contestant will have two minutes to share their idea in an interactive community setting.

Student contestants should register online by Oct. 2.

Audience guests are encouraged to attend in person but may also attend remotely. If you wish to attend remotely, please register via Zoom.

Contact huskyinnovate@mtu.edu with any questions. This event will be hosted in the GLRC from 5-7 p.m. Snacks will be available.

Judges will vote to select top pitches and award cash prizes to the top contestants:

  • First place: $200
  • Second place: $100
  • Third place: $50
  • Honorable mention: $25 (two prizes offered)
  • Audience favorite: $25

By Husky Innovate, Pavlis Honors College.