CMU awards $60,000 to top student startups at New Venture Competition

Partnership with Michigan Technological University expands opportunities for entrepreneurs
New Venture Competition
Central Michigan University’s College of Business Administration awarded $60,000 to eight teams with the most outstanding business plans at the second New Venture Competition. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, State Rep. Kevin Cotter and Mike Finney, president and CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corp., joined CMU President George E. Ross in honoring the winning teams.
 
“Today’s competition helps solidify our mission as our faculty and students demonstrate CMU’s and Michigan Technological University’s commitment to improve the quality of life in Michigan by creating a new wave of startup businesses,” said CMU President George E. Ross.
 
The 30 student teams participating in the daylong event competed for cash prizes ranging from $500 to $30,000. Judges and panelists, representing business leaders from throughout Michigan evaluated team presentations based on the quality of the idea, strength of the management team and the business plan.
 
“The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that built our state is just as critical to Michigan in the 21st century,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. “I applaud the New Venture Competition and its sponsors for encouraging Michigan’s entrepreneurs to unleash their creativity and talent. We’re proud of all participants in this exciting competition. We’ll be a stronger, more vibrant state because of them.”
 
This year CMU expanded the competition, partnering with Michigan Technological University, the result of a $25,000 Michigan Initiative for Innovation & Entrepreneurship grant that CMU recently received. Students participating in this year’s competition represent all current academic areas of the university and are from 71 cities across Michigan.
 
“The students are very motivated,” said Finney. “I think they have ideas that have the potential to be the next big thing for Michigan.”
 
Winning teams of CMU’s 2012 New Venture Competition
 
First Place: $30,000
Business: Baisikeli Ugunduzi
Students:  Ben Mitchell: MTU Doctoral Student, Iron Mountain
                Wade Aitken-Palmer: MTU Doctoral Student, Parkville, MO
Faculty mentor: Phil Musser
 
Second Place: $10,000
Business: Movement Film Studio, LLC
Students:  Jeff Wegner: CMU Senior, Saginaw
                Sean Armstrong: CMU Senior, Wolverine Lake
Faculty mentor: Ken Cherry
 
Third Place: $5,000
Business: Picket Books
Students:  Kyle Johnston: MTU Junior, Lake Elmo, MN
                David Shull: MTU Senior, Midland
Faculty mentor: Dr. Andre Laplume
 
Best Social Venture: $10,000 – awarded to business with greatest potential for social impact and sustainability.
Business: Baisikeli Ugunduzi
Students:  Ben Mitchell: MTU Doctoral Student, Iron Mountain
                Wade Aitken-Palmer: MTU Doctoral Student, Parkville, MO
Faculty mentor: Phil Musser
 
Best Technology Award: $2,500 – awarded to the business with the most feasible technology application
Business: National Resource Generation, LLC
Students:  Justin Scaparo: CMU Senior, Canton
                Walker VanHoose: CMU Junior, Clare
Faculty mentor: Nick Houghton
 
Venture Shaping Award: $1,000 – awarded to the business with a good idea that needs more time to “incubate” to bring it to investment phase
Business: Idea Vineyard
Students:  DeJuan Calloway: CMU Junior, Southfield
                Renaldo Powell: CMU Junior, Wayne
Faculty mentor: Dr. Monica Holmes
 
Pitch Competition: awarded to two teams that capture attention of investors with best two-minute business plan pitch
Best Pitch: $1,000
Business: Modern Homes Systems
Students:  Evan Annis: CMU Senior, Howell
                Dan Leinbach: CMU Senior, Westland
Faculty mentor: Zac Williams
 
Second Place: $500
Business: Natural Resource Generation
Students:  Justin Scaparo: CMU Senior, Canton
                Walker VanHoose: CMU Junior, Clare
Faculty mentor: Nick Houghton

Media Contacts

Steve Smith
989-774-7328

Related Images

Related Videos