Central Michigan University (CMU) and Michigan Tech collaborate each year to offer Michigan Tech students a chance to compete in CMU’s New Venture Challenge (NVC). This gala event provides an opportunity for students at both universities to present their new ventures and to network with prospective investors, mentors and partners. Student contestants compete for over $60,000 in prizes and in-kind services.
On Friday (April 21), two Michigan Tech teams — Bayle Golden, a graduate student in engineering management, and Rourke Sylvain, a graduate student in biomedical engineering — pitched their innovations in the seven-minute pitch category at NVC and won. Congrats go to both teams! NVC awards are as follows:
Bayle Golden won first place in the Social Mission category and received $10,000. Golden won an additional $10,000 for Best Overall Venture for a total of $20,000!
- “At STEMPOWER we are working to create an integrative STEM experience for young girls through a physical toy line and online STEM community. We believe that we can change the STEM landscape and empower an entire generation of youth.”
Rourke Sylvain won third place in the High Tech High Growth category, receiving $2,0000. Sylvain’s pitch was “imi (integrated molecular innovations),” an electrochemical biosensor for T4 detection.
- “imi revolutionizes health care by eliminating the need for centralized clinical testing. We develop bio wearable devices that provide patients the ability to monitor their hormone levels continuously.”
Congratulations to our Husky Innovate student teams for all their hard work! We are proud of your perseverance and determination to take your ideas to the next level. Your solutions have the potential to make a positive impact for so many.
In preparing for the NVC, the students participated in a number of Husky Innovate workshops and prep sessions. Thank you to the Husky Innovate Teaching Team and the MTEC SmartZone, specifically Jason Mack and Patrick Visser, for their guidance to our teams. A special thanks to Michigan Tech alum Joe Corso ’77 (B.S. Electrical Engineering) for coaching our students and sharing his time and entrepreneurial expertise.
Thanks go to Jim Baker, associate vice president for research administration, and Len Switzer, associate director of partnerships for Enterprise and Senior Design, who attended NVC to support teams, represent Tech and build connections. Thanks to our Husky Innovate sponsors: the Pavlis Honors College, the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, and the College of Business, for their commitment to our students. Lastly, thank you to CMU and our host Julie Messing, director of the Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship, for the warm welcome and continued partnership.