Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Cameron Philo Wins Best Technology and $10,000 at CMU New Venture Competition

Apurva Baruah pitching at CMU New Venture for Yooper Ag.

Five student teams from Michigan Technological University traveled to Central Michigan University (CMU) in Mount Pleasant, MI to compete in the ninth annual New Venture Competition held Friday, April 12. Student teams from Michigan Tech and CMU presented business plans and pitches to panels of experienced entrepreneurs. The Michigan Tech students that competed in the 2019 CMU New Venture Competition were:

  • Mayank Bagaria for Vakya
  • Apurva Baruah for Yooper Ag
  • Ahammad Basha Dudekula for AGTO Autonomous
  • Cameron Philo for Life Pro Jackets
  • Karuna Rana and Sid Premchandani for Reality Check
Cameron Philo pitching at CMU New Venture for Life Pro Jackets.

Michigan Tech students Cameron Philo and Mayank Bagaria advanced to the semifinals last Friday. Cameron Philo won Best Technology and was awarded $10,000. Philo participated in Michigan Tech’s I-Corps Site Program last Fall. I-Corps is a team-based program structure that was developed through a partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The workshop provides an introduction to the Lean Start-up business development methodology, which focuses on getting out of the lab and using the tools of customer discovery and the business model canvas to evaluate the commercial potential of innovative technologies.

Mayank Bagaria pitching at CMU New Venture for Vakya.

This is the ninth year of the New Venture competition and the eighth year of Michigan Tech’s partnership with CMU. Last year, four out of Michigan Tech’s six participants took home cash and in-kind awards.

Cameron Philo wins Best Technology and $10,000.

Michigan Tech’s Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (ICE), a collaboration between the Pavlis Honors College and the School of Business and Economics, continues to be an excellent resource for students looking to start their own business or bring new ideas and concepts to the next stage of development. Husky Innovate was introduced this academic year by ICE as a succession of workshops and events that build on each other leading up to the CMU New Venture Competition. The intention is to guide students through key phases of innovation or business development while emphasizing evidence based strategies for success. Many of the students that competed in this year’s New Venture Competition also participated in various Husky Innovate events and workshops throughout the academic year. Students interested in innovating, developing, and implementing their ideas and inventions are encouraged to visit the Pavlis Honors College (M&M 722) to learn more about ICE and the resources available to them.


Husky Innovate Speaker Series Event on April 26th

The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship will host its second Husky Innovate Speaker Series on Friday, April 26, from 12-1 PM in the Pavlis Honors College Collaboration Space (M&M 722). Faculty, students, and staff are invited to join us for a talk given by Michigan Tech’s Dr. Brad King. King is the Ron and Elaine Starr Professor in Space Systems in the department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. He also serves as the faculty advisor for Aerospace Enterprise, is Director of the Space Systems Research Group, and the CEO of Orbion Space Technology.

King will discuss the “small satellite revolution”, Orbion’s value proposition of affordable, reliable electric propulsion for your small satellite mission, how his team approaches innovation, and how advances in technology such as Orbion’s have disrupted the space industry.

If you are an innovator or entrepreneur working on an idea with the goal of launching your own business, you are highly encouraged to attend. Registration is required, and attendance will be capped at 30. Lunch will be provided to the first 30 people to register. Please register no later than Tuesday, April 23rd.

The Husky Innovate Speaker Series 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.


DTX Launch Detroit Deadline is April 4

Michigan Tech students from Detroit and the surrounding area have a unique summertime opportunity through incubator and accelerator, TechTown Detroit. TechTown, a partner of the Detroit Technology Exchange (DTX), connects entrepreneurs to resources, as well as learning and networking events in Detroit.

DTX Launch Detroit is a ten-week paid entrepreneurship program for college students and recent graduates who want to start their own business with an innovative idea. The program runs from May 21 to August 8.

Students can expand their entrepreneurship tool box, develop their resume, complete the groundwork for launching their own innovative idea, and receive a stipend in the process!

Participants will receive $2,500 upon completing the program (up to $7,500 per team).

The deadline to apply is April 4th. More information about DTX Launch Detroit and how to apply can be found here.


Congratulations to the 2019 Rekhi Innovation Challenge Winners

The 2019 Rekhi Innovation Challenge ended Thursday, February 28. This year there were seven teams competing. The Rekhi Challenge is a crowdfunding competition to help promote and support student innovation and entrepreneurship through Michigan Tech’s crowdfunding site, Superior Ideas. A total of $3,035 was raised between the projects. Congratulations to the Automated Beach Safety Flag project for raising the most at $2,245. This project team will receive a matching gift of $1,000.
Below are the results in the other prize categories:
Most Unique Visitors – 1st Place Wins $50 For Their Project
1st place – Audio to Visual Translator
2nd place – Automated Beach Safety Flag
3rd place – LifePro Jackets
Most Unique Funders – 1st Place Wins $50 For Their Project
1st place – Audio to Visual Translator
2nd place – Automated Beach Safety Flag
3rd place – LifePro Jackets
Social Media Engagement – 1st Place Wins $50 For Their Project
1st place – Automated Beach Safety Flag
2nd place – Audio to Visual Translator
3rd – LifePro Jackets
Most Creative Marketing Communications Strategy – 1st Place Wins $50 For Their Project
1st place – Automated Beach Safety Flag
The Audio to Visual project won a total of $100 in prize money and the Automated Beach Safety Flag project won a total of $1,150. Thank you to all of the donors that contributed to these projects. Your support for student innovation and entrepreneurship at Michigan Tech is greatly appreciated.
Superior Ideas was established in 2012 to help bring University research and public service projects to life. The site uses crowdfunding to raise money and awareness for University research and public service projects that may not qualify for grant funding.
The Rekhi Innovation Challenge was hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship and developed with support from Michigan Tech alumnus and longtime donor Kanwal Rekhi. The Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan Tech in 1969. The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship is a collaboration between the Pavlis Honors College and the School of Business and Economics.

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.

 


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.

 


Introducing Husky Innovate Workshops and Pitch Competitions

The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship at Michigan Tech, a collaboration between the Pavlis Honors College and the School of Business and Economics, announces a new series of workshops and events for students called Husky Innovate. Husky Innovate is a succession of workshops and competitions guiding students through key phases of innovation and business development, while emphasizing evidence-based strategies for success.

Semi Final Presentation for CMU New Venture Competition

Students are encouraged to participate in any/all events of their choosing, whether they’re interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and innovation to distinguish their résumé, or they want to start their own business and build knowledge, expertise and confidence through participation.

Ideate and create

Students who challenge themselves to pitch their idea at a national, state or regional competition will find the Husky Innovate track provides a solid foundation for their goals. The workshops and events emphasize experiential learning and provide the opportunity to get valuable feedback from peers and mentors.

IMG_5458

The Idea Pitch Competition will be held 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 17 in Fisher 138. During the two-minute pitch competition students will share their favorite innovative and disruptive idea in an interactive, community setting. Cash prizes will be awarded. Students should register early;  participation is limited to the first 30 registrants.

See more events and upcoming workshops at mtu.edu/husky-innovate.


Michigan Tech Among 12 College Teams to Compete in Make 48 TV Series

Michigan Tech is one of twelve U.S. college teams Make48 recently announced to compete in Season 3 of the national invention TV series. Make48 is a nationwide invention competition documentary series that gives teams exactly 48 hours to come up with an idea, create a prototype and promotional video and then present their idea to a panel of judges. Three winning teams are chosen and the remainder of the series highlights the process of trying to get the products to market.

Other schools that will be competing along side Tech include Georgetown, Rice, Tulane, University of Nevada-Reno, University of Miami, University of Connecticut, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Illinois-Champaign, K-State Polytech, and Kansas City Art Institute. The Michigan Tech team consists of Mike Gazdecki (material science and engineering), Patrick Guyon (mechanical and electrical engineering), Rachel Kolb (mechanical engineering), and Ryan Thompson (mechanical engineering). The team took fourth place in Michigan Tech’s 2018 Consumer Products Challenge for their single serve Margarita Machine. Twenty-six teams consisting of 3-5 Tech students received a Challenge Box filled with products supplied by corporate sponsors — Amway, 3M, and Kimberly-Clark. When asked about being selected to compete in Make48, Kolb shared, “I think I’m most looking forward to working with the team again. When we made our team for Consumer Products Day, none of us had worked together before, but we ended up having a blast. This will be the perfect opportunity to use the skills I learned in the UIF program to help the team!”

From left to right: Patrick, Michael, Rachel, Ryan
From left to right: Patrick, Michael, Rachel, Ryan

Filming will take place August 10th-12th at the Stanley Black and Decker Innovation Lab in Towson, MD, where the teams will compete in a 48-hour competition.

Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace in Towson, MD
Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace in Towson, MD

“Season three of Make48 is really exciting for us,” says Tim Perra, Vice President, Public Affairs for Stanley Black and Decker. “These students are in the midst of learning the skills needed to become innovators and entrepreneurs, and they’re going to be put to the test like never before in a 48-hour competition. We’re excited to welcome these students to our Makerspace and hopefully provide an atmosphere where they feel inspired to create the best products possible.”

Backed by industry giants like Stanley Black and Decker, Ace Hardware and QVC, Make48, which has now been picked up by 92% of American public television markets, is excited to turn the spotlight on students this time. “It will be intriguing to see what these young creative minds will invent in 48 hours. By bringing the collaboration of the Make48 tool technicians and Stanley’s state of the art innovation lab will no doubt leave this seasons judges with a hard task,” Make48 CEO, Tom Gray says.

Season 2 will premiere in September on local PBS/APT (American Public Television) stations across the country. You can catch season 1 by going to Amazon Prime Video, PBS.org or Make48.com. You can also find out more about Make48 by following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Tech’s Frozen Engineers to Compete in Make48 Competition this Summer

By Amy Karagiannakis

Michigan Tech’s Frozen Engineers were selected to represent Tech at the Make48: College vs. College competition this August in Baltimore, MD. Teams are given 48 hours to plan, prototype, and pitch an idea for prizes and licensing potential. The top three teams may have an opportunity to license their designs and take their products to market. The entire competition will be filmed in a documentary style TV series. The goal is to foster imagination, creativity, problem solving and an entrepreneurial mindset. Make48 captures the process of invention through a hands-on competition that challenges individuals of various ages and backgrounds to take product ideas from conception to physical prototype in just 48 hours.

From left to right: Patrick, Michael, Rachel, Ryan
From left to right: Guyon, Gazdecki, Kolb, and Thompson

The Michigan Tech team consists of Mike Gazdecki (material science and engineering), Patrick Guyon (mechanical and electrical engineering), Rachel Kolb (mechanical engineering), and Ryan Thompson (mechanical engineering). The Frozen Engineers took fourth place in Michigan Tech’s 2018 Consumer Products Challenge for their single serve Margarita Machine. Twenty-six teams consisting of 3-5 Tech students received a Challenge Box filled with products supplied by corporate sponsors — Amway, 3M, and Kimberly-Clark. When asked about being selected to compete in Make48, Kolb shared, “I think I’m most looking forward to working with the team again. When we made our team for Consumer Products Day, none of us had worked together before, but we ended up having a blast. This will be the perfect opportunity to use the skills I learned in the UIF program to help the team!”

Judges at Make48 are looking for highly marketable ideas that appeal to a large market and are able to be manufactured. The upcoming 48-hour invent-a-thon will take place August 10-12 in Baltimore, MD at the Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace and the Baltimore Museum of Industry. You can learn more about the other university teams competing in this year’s competition here.


Four Michigan Tech Teams Take Home Awards from the Central Michigan University New Venture Competition

By Amy Karagiannakis

Six undergraduate student teams from Michigan Technological University traveled to Central Michigan University (CMU) to compete in the eighth annual New Venture Competition held Friday, April 13. The event was co-sponsored by Michigan Tech’s Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (ICE). Student teams from Michigan Tech and CMU presented business plans and pitches to panels of experienced entrepreneurs. Four of Michigan Tech’s six competing teams took home cash and in-kind awards.

Weber presenting for Makerhub to a panel of entrepreneurs
Weber presenting for Makerhub to a panel of entrepreneurs

Team Makerhub led by Cedric Kennedy (business administration and management ’16) and Adam Weber (computer network and system administration) won the Korson Family Highest Growth Potential award and $10,000. Makerhub crowdsources 3-D printers in order to fulfill the need for 3-D printed parts. When asked what’s next for Makerhub, Weber shared, “Right now, Makerhub is being tested in a private beta with a large handful of users. The prize money will be used to accelerate the development process and release it to the general public very soon.”

Weber (left) and Kennedy (right) with award check
Weber (left) and Kennedy (right) with award check

 

Team Fitstop took first place in the pitch competition and was awarded $1,000. Fitstop founders, Gabe Giddings (computer science) and Jacob Carley (electrical engineering), participated in Michigan Tech’s I-Corps Site Program in January. Directed by Mary Raber, assistant dean of Pavlis Honors College, I-Corps is a team-based program structure that was developed through a partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The workshop provides an introduction to the Lean Start-up business development methodology, which focuses on getting out of the lab and using the tools of customer discovery and the business model canvas to evaluate the commercial potential of innovative technologies. Jim Baker, executive director of innovation and industry engagement at Michigan Tech served as mentor for Fitstop’s participation in the competition. “Gabe and Jake have worked hard on engagement with customers, including gym owners and travelers seeking a better workout experience on the road. Understanding the needs of both customer segments has been very helpful in presenting a compelling value proposition that translates into a very effective pitch, as shown by this award,” noted Baker.

Giddings presenting for Fitstop in the pitch competition
Giddings presenting for Fitstop in the pitch competition

 

The core themes of CMU’s New Venture Competition are the hands-on approach to proving that a product works and providing a business model that demonstrates an understanding of concepts that attract investors and customers. Pavlis Honors College student Kyle Ludwig won the $250 Audience Choice Award in the pitch component of the competition for his startup Looma. In addition, Looma was also awarded $1,500 in legal assistance from Foster Swift. Ludwig also participated in Michigan Tech’s I-Corps Site Workshop and found it to be very helpful in developing Looma’s business plan. “The I-Corp Site Program at Michigan Tech helped me realize the direction for my business by introducing me to processes which inspire product development around the customer,” shared Ludwig.

Ludwig wins Audience Choice pitch award
Ludwig wins Audience Choice pitch award

 

Michigan Tech’s Hinge was awarded second runner up in the pitch component of the competition and $250. Isaiah Pfund (mechanical engineering), Jack Horrigan (electrical engineering), and Tanner Sheahan (chemical engineering), of Hinge, participated in the Michigan Tech Consumer Products Challenge last January and are working on a self-sanitizing toilet as well as other consumer and industrial product ideas. Horrigan and Pfund were also winners of best elevator pitch at the Bob Mark competition last fall.

From left to right, Sheahan, Pfund, Baker (mentor), and Horrigan accept award check
From left to right, Sheahan, Pfund, Baker (mentor), and Horrigan accept award check

 

This is the eighth year of the New Venture competition and the seventh year of Michigan Tech’s partnership with CMU. Last year, Michigan Tech students Nick Dubiel and Morgan Crocker won Best Overall Venture, which came with $30,000 and a year of mentoring support from Blue Water Angels in Midland for their product The Metaloid.

Michigan Tech’s Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (ICE) within the Pavlis Honors College continues to be an excellent resource for students looking to start their own business or bring new ideas and concepts to the next stage of development. The mission of the center is to harness the potential of the Michigan Tech campus community to innovate, develop, and implement ideas and inventions by building and maintaining a strong and integrated ecosystem with a cohesive set of entrepreneurial and innovation resources to enable success. Students interested in innovating, developing, and implementing their ideas and inventions are encouraged to visit the Pavlis Honors College (M&M 722) to learn more about ICE and the resources available to them. A schedule of upcoming student innovator and entrepreneur competitions, in order of registration deadlines, can be found on our website.