Congratulations to the Bob Mark Business Model Competition Winners

By Amy Karagiannakis

Pavlis Honors student, Deanna Springgay, presenting her business model for Little Trainer.
Pavlis Honors student, Deanna Springgay, presenting her business model for Little Trainer.

The 2018 Bob Mark Business Model Competition took place Wednesday, December 5 in the Opie Library. The Competition was hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, a collaboration between Pavlis Honors College, School of Business and Economics, and Vice President for Research Office.

Lavanya Ajexh Kumar presenting on her web-based stress management program, AlzWell
Lavanya Ajexh Kumar presenting on her web-based stress management program, AlzWell

There were more than 20 participants that made up 15 teams from various majors and disciplines who pitched to a panel of judges comprised of President Koubek, faculty, and community members. Ideas ranged from hypothermia preventing life jackets to a web-based stress management program. Participants had five minutes to pitch their ideas and present their business model. The judging panel then had time following the presentation to ask questions and provide valuable feedback to our young entrepreneurs.

Pavlis Honors student, Gary Tropp accepts the First Place award from Dean Johnson. Tropp also won the MTEC SmartZone Game Changer award.
Pavlis Honors student, Gary Tropp accepts the First Place award from Dean Johnson. Tropp also won the MTEC SmartZone Game Changer award.

The winners of the 2018 Bob Mark Business Model Competition were:

  • First Place and MTEC SmartZone Game Changer Award – Gary Tropp (Computer Network & System Administration) for VARS (Virtual Advising Registering and Scheduling)
  • Second and Third Place – Tie between Mayank Bagaria (Mechanical Engineering) for Vakya and Karuna Rana (Environmental and Energy Policy) for Reality Check
  • Audience Favorite – Nate LaJoie (Finance) and Michael Betz (Management) for Backpack Keg
  • Honorable Mention – Deanna Springgay (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) for Little Trainer
  • Honorable Mention – Russ Crofton (Mechanical Engineering Technology) for Moonlight Cycles

Congratulations to all of our winners and participants, and thank you to our panel of distinguished judges for donating their time and expertise. The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship would also like to thank MTEC SmartZone and Arroyo Networks for their support and prize contributions. Photos from the event can be viewed and downloaded here.

Karuna Rana presenting Reality Check, an app to verify product sustainability.
Karuna Rana presenting Reality Check, an app to verify product sustainability. Rana tied for second and third place.

The Bob Mark Competition is part of Husky Innovate, a series of workshops and competitions that guide students through key phases of business development while emphasizing strategies for success. More information on upcoming Spring Husky Innovate events can be found at mtu.edu/husky-innovate.


Science Fair Mentoring Program

Volunteer for the Science Fair Mentoring Program held at Houghton Elementary School during the Spring 2019 semester. As a volunteer in this program you will:

  • Serve as a one-on-one mentor to a 4th grade student and guide them through the process of creating their science fair project
  • Be part of a team of volunteers and be provided with all of the necessary resources and training you will need
  • Have additional opportunities to conduct experiments and demos with 4th grade classes

This program will run from early February to mid-March and will involve an approximately 2 hour per week commitment for the duration of the program. This is a great volunteer opportunity for anyone interested in:

  • Pursuing graduate school in any discipline
  • Improving your science communication skills and sharing your enthusiasm for STEM
  • Inspiring young students
  • Fulfilling your Leadership/Mentorship component

If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out this form by December 14th.

If you have any questions or would like additional information contact Elise Cheney-Makens at eacheney@mtu.edu.


Bob Mark Business Model Competition is December 5

The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship is hosting the 2018 Bob Mark Business Model Competition on Wednesday, December 5 from 7-9 p.m. in the Opie Library. Students can apply to compete here.

The 2018 Bob Mark competition includes an idea pitch and a business model description. This event takes place later in the year so that contestants will have had the opportunity to develop their business model through participation in Husky Innovate workshops. Using Lean Launchpad methods and the Business Model Canvas, students will share insights from customer interviews that inform their business model.

Prizes will be awarded to the most scalable and actionable business model pitches. Using prize money, students have a chance to take their entrepreneurial idea to the next stage of development further preparing them for additional opportunities such as competing at the New Venture Competition held this April at Central Michigan University.

President Koubek will serve as a distinguished judge alongside other entrepreneurially minded faculty, staff, and community members.

Prizes for the Bob Mark Business Model Competition include:

First Prize – $2,000 + $100 services from MTEC SmartZone

Second Prize – $1,000 + $100 services from MTEC SmartZone

Third Prize – $500 + $100 services from MTEC SmartZone

Honorable Mention (2 prizes) – $250 each

Audience Favorite – $250

MTEC SmartZone prize – $1000

This event is a tribute to the late Bob Mark, professor of practice in the School of Business and Economics. Mark founded the Elevator Pitch Competition and brought the Business Plan Competition to Michigan Tech. The Bob Mark Elevator Pitch Competition and other efforts support his entrepreneurial spirit and that continues to live on in students, faculty, and staff.

Students who participated in the Idea Pitch Competition on October 17 are strongly encouraged to apply to compete in the Bob Mark Business Model Competition. Students should apply by submitting this form no later than midnight on Wednesday, November 21st (before Thanksgiving break). The top 15 applicants will be selected to participate in the Bob Mark Business Model Competition. Students who upload a business model canvas to their application will be given priority consideration. Student guidelines, scoring criteria, and a blank Business Model Canvas can be found at mtu.edu/honors/ice/husky-innovate.

Erica Austin and Kyle Schuhknecht presenting their idea, Mr. Green Tips, an eco-friendly informational application at the Idea Pitch Competition in October.

The 2018 Bob Mark Business Model Competition is part of Husky Innovate, a series of workshops and events that build on each other with the intention of guiding students through key phases of innovation or business development while emphasizing evidence-based strategies for success. Bob Mark Business Model Competition is hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, which is a collaboration between the Pavlis Honors College, the School of Business and Economics, and the Vice President for Research Office.

 


Lear Student Innovation Challenge Now Accepting Applications

Lear is now accepting applications for its 2019 Student Innovation Challenge in Detroit. The competition brings together students from local universities with varied disciplines to compete in teams for cash prizes. The Challenge will kick off with a two-day workshop on February 9 and 10, followed by a two-week incubation period, and ending with a group solution pitch on February 23 to Lear executives and subject matter experts. Winning participants may be offered the opportunity to be a Lear Innovation intern summer 2019.

The competition is designed to teach an innovative mindset and prepare students to create ideas for the future of mobility and vehicle connectivity. Participants will work with innovation coaches and Lear technology development experts to learn how to develop solutions that advance technology and manufacturing. The 2018 Lear Student Innovation Challenge involved increasing vehicle occupant safety. Out of the five Michigan Tech students that competed earlier this year, four took home awards. Tech student, Shawn Badanjek was on the grand prize team and received the coveted summer internship position.

2018 Lear Open Innovation Challenge grand prize winning team: (from left) Michigan Tech student Shawn Badanjek, Janelle Newman, Shivam Bajaj, Nicole Goldi and Adrian Maloy.

Applications must be submitted by November 30 at 7 pm. Keep in mind that this is a very competitive selection process, so applicants may want to include a video or other supplemental materials to bolster their application. Any questions can be directed to the Lear Innovation team at innovate.elevate@lear.com.

 


Michigan Tech Students Named University Innovation Fellows

Congratulations to Cara Hardin, Lexi Steve, Gi West, and Cameron Philo for being named University Innovation Fellows (UIF) by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). This global program trains student leaders to create new opportunities for their peers to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity.

The University Innovation Fellows Program empowers students to become agents of change at Michigan Tech. Fellows work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to make a positive impact on the world.

“During training, Fellows gain skills, mindsets and knowledge to face ever-more complex challenges at their schools and in the world,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “They learn frameworks like design thinking and lean startup, which help them analyze their campus ecosystems, understand the needs of others, and uncover opportunities for change. As a result, Fellows design learning experiences that better prepare peers for their careers.”

Cara Hardin is a third year student majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Steve, West, and Philo are all Pavlis Honors Pathway Program students. Lexi Steve serves as an Honors Ambassador and is currently studying abroad in Spain this Fall semester. Gi West is the Student Director for The Alley makerspace. Cameron Philo recently competed and won first prize and audience favorite in the Husky Innovate Idea Pitch Competition.

Hardin, Steve, West, and Philo were sponsored by Pavlis Honors College Assistant Dean, Mary Raber. Michigan Tech’s Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship funded the Fellows’ six week online training. These students will have the opportunity to travel to the University Innovation Fellows Silicon Valley Meetup in California this coming Spring 2019. During the meetup, Fellows will take part in immersive experiences at Stanford’s d.school and Google, and work with leaders in education and industry. They will participate in experiential workshops and exercises focused on topics including movement building, innovation spaces, design of learning experiences, and new models for change in higher education.

“In traditional education systems, students have to wait until they graduate to make a difference. We don’t believe that,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “Students are uniquely equipped to make a difference while they’re in school; they know best what other students want and need. Our Fellows are working with their peers, faculty and administrators to co-design a different educational experience and bring about change where it’s needed most.”

Tech’s new Fellows will advocate for lasting change by creating opportunities for students across campus to engage in more activities and events that inspire innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity.

 


Industry Speaker to Visit from Altair

The Enterprise Program will be hosting Altair’s Training and EDU Technical Relations Manager, Erik Larson, November 14 and 15 for a two part industry speaker series event. On Wednesday, November 14 from 1-3pm in the Active Learning Center (MEEM120) Erik Larson will provide an overview of Altair’s revolutionary, easy to use structural, optimization and motion analysis tool, Inspire.  Inspire offers a simple interface that will allow the user to quickly and easily prepare and solve Finite Element Analysis problems to aid in the engineering and light weighting of static and motion based systems. Inspire leads Altair’s suite of software that promotes their philosophy of simulation driven design. Attend this seminar and start creating intelligent designs for your senior design and enterprise projects. This session is open to all levels of student and no prior FEA experience is necessary. Instructions for downloading the FREE, fully functional student edition of Inspire will be provided at the seminar as well.

On Thursday, November 15 from 10am-12pm and 2-4pm in M&M 718A students will have the ability to meet with Erik to get support and guidance on the application of the Altair software suite to current projects.

Erik Larson (’91 BSME) is Altair’s Training and EDU Technical Relations Manager. He is responsible for managing and conducting both online and instructor-led trainings for the United States. Additionally, Erik acts as a technical liaison for the Altair EDU outreach program, helping universities discover how the Altair suite of tools can enrich their curriculum and training faculty and students in the tools. Erik has over 25 years of experience conducting FEA structural, optimization and crash analysis.


Business Model Canvas Bootcamp

The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship will be hosting Business Model Canvas Bootcamp, a two-part workshop on November 14 and 28 from 7-9 pm in Rekhi 214. Using the Business Model Canvas, students will work with members of the Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program teaching team to develop a business model for their technology or idea.

The Business Model Canvas is a tool developed by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur. It emphasizes the relationships of the nine components of a business model:

  1. Customer Segments
  2. Value Propositions
  3. Channels
  4. Customer Relationships
  5. Revenue Streams
  6. Key Resources
  7. Key Activities
  8. Key Partnerships and
  9. Cost Structure.

Check out this short video for a brief overview of the Business Model Canvas. The idea is that business plans are static while a successful business model needs to be dynamic. A successful business venture requires a tool that allows one to quickly assess the impact of changes and adjust accordingly.

The I-Corps teaching team will guide students through the process of developing their unique business model. In this workshop, you will map out your canvas with specific focus on the value proposition and the customer segments. After developing a hypothesis around your the nine components, focusing on the customer segment and its “pain points”.  From there you will then test your hypothesis through customer interviews or customer discovery.  Does your solution create value for your customer segment? Based on the customer discovery process you will understand if you need to adjust your value proposition and pivot.

Business Model Bootcamp is part of Husky Innovate, a series of workshops and events that build on each other with the intention of guiding students through key phases of innovation or business development to help them prepare for future competitions, as well as future intrapreneurial and/or entrepreneurial business ventures. Registration for this workshop is required.

Students who participated in the Idea Pitch Competition and/or plan to compete in the upcoming Bob Mark Business Model Competition, are strongly encouraged to register for Business Model Canvas Bootcamp. There is a cap of 25 contestants for our Bob Mark Business Model Competition. Priority will be given to those who have completed the Business Model Boot Camp. Husky Innovate is hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, a collaboration between the School of Business & Economics, Pavlis Honors College, and the Vice President for Research Office.

 


Idea Pitch Competition Winners

The first annual Husky Innovate Idea Pitch Competition took place Wednesday, October 17, 2018 in Fisher Hall. The Competition was hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, a collaboration between Pavlis Honors College, School of Business and Economics, and Vice President for Research Office.

Cameron Philo accepting First Prize in Idea Pitch Competition

There were more than 30 participants from various majors and disciplines who pitched to a panel of judges comprised of faculty, alumni, and community members. Ideas ranged from a Ride Share application to a Hydrogen Supplemental Fuel Generator. Participants had two minutes to pitch their innovative and disruptive ideas. Alumni from Michigan Tech’s 14 Floors initiative joined the judging panel to offer valuable feedback and expert advice to our young entrepreneurs.

Judging panel made up of faculty, alumni, and community members

The winners of the 2018 Idea Pitch Competition were:

Honorable Mention – Sarah Smyth, Business, for Post-op Bra for Breast Cancer Survivors

Honorable Mention – Christopher Codere and Joshua Hansen, MBA and Software Engineering, for Firearm Detection Technology for Police Officers

Honorable Mention – Marina Brusso and Maxx Fredrickson, Marketing/Management and Management, for Parking Improvement App

Third Place – Mayank Bagaria, Mechanical Engineering, for Wearable Translator

Second Place – Gary Tropp, Computer Network & System Administration, for A Better Way to Schedule Classes

First Place and Audience Favorite – Cameron Philo, Electrical Engineering, Pavlis Honors College, for Life Pro Jackets

From left to right: Mayank Bagaria, Gary Tropp, Cameron Philo, Christopher Codere, and Joshua Hansen. Not all winners are pictured.

Congratulations to all of our winners and participants, and thank you to our panel of distinguished judges for donating their time and expertise. Photos from the event can be viewed and downloaded here.

Erica Austin and Kyle Schuhknecht presenting their idea, Mr. Green Tips, an eco-friendly informational application.

The Idea Pitch Competition is part of Husky Innovate, a series of workshops and competitions that guide students through key phases of business development while emphasizing strategies for success. The next workshop in the series is Business Model Canvas Bootcamp. Identifying your value propositions and customer segments is a key part in developing a winning business model. This is a two-part workshop being held November 14 and 28 and registration is required. More information on upcoming Husky Innovate events can be found at mtu.edu/husky-innovate.


Critical Language Scholarship Application Now Open

By The USA Study Abroad Team

The USA Study Abroad Team announces that applications are now being accepted for the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program at clscholarship.org/apply. Applications are due November 27, 2018.

The CLS Program is a fully-funded intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 15 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.  Most CLS languages do not require previous study of the target language.

The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. The scholarship program includes international airfare, tuition, and all program costs, as well as meals and living accommodations (often with a host family).

The CLS Program seeks participants with diverse interests, and from a wide range of fields of study and career paths, with the purpose of representing the full diversity of the United States. Participants are selected based on their commitment to language learning and plans to apply their language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits.

CLS is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century’s globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness.

Questions? Email CLS@AmericanCouncils.org.


Innovation Week at Michigan Tech

Innovation Week

The University Innovation Fellows are hosting their 2nd annual Innovation Week to promote innovation and entrepreneurship on the Michigan Tech campus. There are a variety of events being held next week, October 14-20 with the final event being a regional meet-up for students from universities across the midwest with ties to the University Innovation Fellows program. The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. The Fellows are a global community of students leading a movement to ensure that all students gain the necessary attitudes, skills, and knowledge required to compete in the economy of the future.

Please share the following public events with faculty, staff, and students of the Michigan Tech entrepreneurial community.

“I have an idea that I think can make some money…now what?” | Oct. 14 | 1pm | Fisher 125

Idea Pitch Practice | Oct. 15 | 5pm | ICE House

Idea Pitch Competition | Oct. 17 | 7pm | M&M U113 | This competition is hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, a collaboration between the School of Business and Economics and the Pavlis Honors College.

Coffee Sprints | Oct. 18 | 6:30pm | Library 244

Teaching Design Thinkers: The Responsibilities of Empowering the Next Generation | Oct. 19 | 1pm | Rekhi G05 | Registration for this event is required, and it is sponsored by the Pavlis Honors College, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Visiting Professor Lecturer/Scholar Series (VPLSS) which is funded by a grant to the Provost’s Office from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.