During the summer of 2012, we issued a request for proposals (RFP) to student groups, colleges, universities, and organizations across Michigan. Through the RFP, we hoped to locate and support events that connected college students with local entrepreneurial resources.

After receiving multiple RFPs from several exciting projects and partners, we selected to provide stipends to help fund the following events:  

Lansing Startup Weekend: Friday, October 5th – 7th, Lansing

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can determine if startup ideas are viable. For this particular Startup Weekend, the organizers partnered with Michigan State University's Office for International Students and Scholars to engage international students in the activities. Steve Bennett from PCF served as a judge for the event.

Northwood University: TOMS Shoes University Chapter and Entrepreneurship Society at Northwood – October through December, Midland

TOMS is a national company that has social entrepreneurship at its core. For every pair of TOMS shoes sold, a new pair is given to a child in need. The TOMS movement was started by students and continues to be a driving force. Northwood launched a TOMS chapter last year. The stipend will support a Fashion Design Workshop Series in Downtown Midland. The workshop events will allow students interested in fashion design and entrepreneurship to participate in workshops that will teach the basics of design, sewing, and prototyping. Events and workshops will occur October 10th, 19th, 20th, and November 2nd, 3rd, 12th, and 14th.

The Entrepreneurship Society (ETR) at Northwood is a formally recognized student organization on the Michigan, Texas, and Florida Campuses. Moving Ideas to Market has supported the ETR Society in 2010 with a stipend to help grow student awareness and host events. Since that time, the membership increased to 60 students. The ETR plans to use this round of funding to become a sponsoring member of the Blue Water Angel Network. The sponsorship will allow students in the organization to co-host and participate in all Blue Water Angel events. The goal is to expose students to the understanding and requirements of an Angel investment and to follow the impact that Angel investment will have on startup companies and the local economy.

  • Blue Water Pitch Night – October 10th (6-9 pm)
  • Blue Water Monthly Screening committee meetings October 17th (12-2 pm), and November (TBD)
  • Commercialization Workshops and BOOST! Midland – December 5 (6 – 9 pm)

BOOST! Muskegon & BOOST! West Shore – November 7th and November 13th

BOOST! programs are successful spinouts of the Moving Ideas to Market network. During BOOST! events, participants have 2 minutes to present their business ideas before a team of judges and audience members. The top three finishers in the student competition will receive prize awards and the top two will have an opportunity to present their business ideas to the Blue Water Angel investor group. These BOOSTS! have expanded to include a high school and college student category.

BOOST! Muskegon: http://bit.ly/QYsXpA
BOOST! West Shore: http://bit.ly/RniQOu

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition Student Division – November 13-15th, 2012

Accelerate Michigan is a business competition designed to highlight Michigan as a robust and vibrant venue for innovation and business opportunity. The competition targets student concepts with longer-term business viability. The student competition will take place in three stages culminating with a final "elevator speech" before a live audience on November 15. Judges for the competition will be angel investors, venture capitalists, and other professional investors.

More information: http://bit.ly/QSV4WK

Lansing Community College American Marketing Association – November 16 and ongoing

LCC's American Marketing Association has taken on the role of developing entrepreneurship opportunities for students. In addition to hosting a monthly speaker series of mid-Michigan business leaders during 2012-2013, they will also be hosting a one day event on November 16 that will connect students with business leaders and community resources. The goal of the November 16th event is to encourage at least 15 students to present their business plan pitches to a judging panel.

More information: http://bit.ly/Vmwmjq

Ann Arbor Cleanweb Hackathon – rescheduled for spring 2013, Ann Arbor

Cleanweb Hackathon Ann Arbor is a weekend long event dedicated to showing the potential of information technology for addressing energy challenges and resource constraints. The event will bring together software developers and designers, business professionals, investors, and media members interested in this growing field. It will follow a similar format as Startup Weekend in which contestants will have 36 hours to create an application that uses the web, data analytics, and mobile technologies to address energy, waste, water, and other sustainability challenges. The goal is to have 100 participants comprised of U of M students and community members. While the event will be occurring in Spring, stipend funds will be used to increase student interest in the program.


We will follow up with all of our stipend awardees in early 2013 and report out on their great events!

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