Lunch with an Entrepreneur featuring Steve Whitener

 

Steve Whitener, University of Michigan-Flint Alumni and entrepreneur, spoke to students on Dec. 1 about the importance of entrepreneurship.

 

More about Steve Whitener 

Started Real Estate Company as a UM-Flint Student
In 1973, while attending UM-Flint, Mr. Whitener purchased an apartment building. Upon graduating in 1977, he went on to acquire several additional rental properties. While managing several real estate holdings, he led a highly successful career in sales. This led to Mr. Whitener founding National Systems Installers.

Became a Technology Entrepreneur
In 1993, he founded National Systems Installers (NSI), a company that provides infrastructure cabling services to corporations. Six years later, he formed Nuspire Networks, which designs and offers monitoring and security systems. His business works with Fortune 500 companies and has 300-plus retail operations. He is Chairman of the Board for NSI and is a former Chairman of Nuspire, a multimillion dollar company he recently sold.

Top 11 Resources at the UM-Flint School of Management

The School of Management is full of great resources for its students. From helping students figure out their schedule to finding employment, there are resources to help students at any point in their college career. Check out  the top eleven resources that the School of Management offers. Read the full article HERE.

UM-Flint School of Management inside Riverfront Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q & A: UM-Flint Hagerman Center Director Mark Simon

Mark Simon, PhD became director of the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation this fall. The University of Michigan-Flint School of Management center was created in 2015 thanks to a generous donation from Phil and Jocelyn Hagerman. Simon was recognized in his new role October 10 at an investiture ceremony. At the event, Simon said, “I can’t overstate how honored I feel.  I am truly humbled. But I know that with all the wonderful support I am receiving from so many, including the Hagerman’s, administration, faculty, staff, and students, I believe that together we can truly make a difference.”

Prior to Simon’s official investiture, he shared his thoughts about the center, its benefit for students, his impressions of the university community, and more in this Q&A with University Relations.

Read the full article HERE.

UM-Flint SEI Summer Camp Students Explore Entrepreneurship

The Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation held its Summer Entrepreneurship Institute camp for the first time on July 12-14.

High school juniors and seniors spent three days learning about multiple aspects of entrepreneurship, business, and marketing. The camp aims to help high school students understand entrepreneurship and the excitement surrounding new ventures that can solve real problems.

Professor Amy Gresock, Assistant Professor of Management, said she hopes to challenge the students to think about entrepreneurship in a multi-faceted way.

“Opportunities are everywhere. It wasn’t just sitting in a classroom with the students. We were in the Flint community. We were on campus and we challenged them to look for opportunities,” said Gresock. “In some of the exercises we did, they came up with some really good ideas that played off of opportunities that they saw in the external environment. Their problems don’t have to be something really grandiose. It can just be solving a problem that they see in everyday life.”

 

 

Professor Greg Laurence teaches summer camp students about the basics of Entrepreneurship.

Professor Greg Laurence teaches summer camp students about the basics of Entrepreneurship.

 

 

Students spent time with School of Management Professors Amy Gresock and Greg Laurence inside the classroom and in the community working to develop their entrepreneurial venture. During day one, students toured the UM-Flint campus looking for opportunities and quickly found that Flint has a lot of prospects for entrepreneurs.

Sean Mason, a high school junior from Davison, said he appreciated the implementation of lessons learned during the Summer Entrepreneurship Institute.

“I liked that it was hands on. I didn’t know exactly what to expect coming into it but I liked that after we learned something, we got to try it out,” said Mason.

 

Sean Mason asks a question during a skype interview with Chris Trejbal.

Sean Mason asks a question during a Skype interview with Chris Trejbal.

 

The camp aimed to encourage entrepreneurial thinking by engaging students with course materials, community experiences, and a field trip to Skypoint Ventures in downtown Flint on the second day of the camp.

Interim Director of Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and camp organizer, Professor Brian Blume, said he believes the Summer Entrepreneurship Institute was an engaging experience for the high school students.

“The camp was effective in introducing students to entrepreneurship and helping to develop an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Blume. “We, also, were able to show students how downtown Flint is being transformed to support and encourage entrepreneurial ventures, as well as introduce the strong entrepreneurship program at the UM-Flint School of Management.”

 

Summer camp students tour Skypoint Ventures. Bryce Moe, Managing Director of Skypoint Ventures, shows students a portion of the Dryden building that is under renovations.

Summer camp students tour Skypoint Ventures. Bryce Moe, Managing Director of Skypoint Ventures, shows students a portion of the Dryden building that is under renovations.

 

On day three, the students wrapped up their work and learning by presenting their feasibility analysis projects to fellow students and their parents. Mason said he believes he gained a lot out of the camp experience.

“Before this camp I had a rudimentary understanding of business and certain opportunities. I learned about how to find your niche, how do you look at an opportunity and seize it and use the correct branding and marketing to really succeed and advance your cause,” said Mason.

The School of Management will be hosting another summer camp next year for high schoolers. Blume said he hopes to see more student participants in the future. He also has a piece of advice for other young entrepreneurs who want to get started.

“I suggest exploring these entrepreneurial interests early on. I encourage you to become involved with a business venture or to start a business, even if it’s a part-time business. Also, be sure to watch the TV show Shark Tank.”

UM-Flint and Ann Arbor Students Tour Detroit Businesses

By 

UM-Flint senior Greg Hooper was energized throughout his recent trip to Detroit.

Hooper, and two others from the Flint campus, spent the day with peers from the Ann Arbor campus last month, visiting startups in Detroit, meeting with alumni, and networking. He was one of 49 University of Michigan students participating in DTrek, a program of The Center for Entrepreneurship, which is part of the university’s College of Engineering in Ann Arbor.

Hooper, who is studying entrepreneurial management, enjoyed representing UM-Flint during the trip, and sharing his experiences and expertise with those from the Ann Arbor campus. He also learned from them, along with from the entrepreneurs who relayed their stories of starting up ventures in Detroit.

DTrek-2016

Read the full article HERE.

 

Hagerman Student Scholars selected for the 2016-2017 Academic Year

The Hagerman Student Scholars program has been expanded for the 2016-2017 academic year by adding two additional students to the lineup for its annual Hagerman Student Scholar Award. The Hagerman Student Scholar award was created in 2015 to support future entrepreneurs. Hagerman Student Scholars become ambassadors of the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation located inside the School of Management.

Lauren Adams, Bryan Halpin, Nolan Moore, Sean Tabor, and Emily Zoromski will step into their role of Hagerman Scholars in the Fall 2016 semester.  Along with receiving a $2,000 scholarship, they will become ambassadors of the School of Management Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Through this opportunity, the scholars will expand their networking opportunities while working one on one with School of Management professors and the community.

Adams, a senior majoring in Business Administration, expressed her excitement about being selected as a Hagerman Scholar. “It’s exciting to get involved this early on since I am only in my third year. I am excited for the networking opportunities and community involvement,” said Adams.

Adams sees entrepreneurship and innovation as ways of creating positivity in the community. As a part of the National Society of Leadership and Success, she has found that traits she already possessed will suit her entrepreneur spirit. “[National Society of Leadership and Success] gave me realization of my strong traits and interests. I am embracing entrepreneurship because it will teach me to be a better leader and to take risks for positive changes,” she said.

Lauren Adams, 2016

Lauren Adams, 2016

Moore, a senior majoring in Business Administration, echoed Adams sentiments about receiving the award. “When I heard about it, I got really excited. I applied for it and I was lucky enough to get it,” said Moore. “It’s been a huge blessing to me and my family. My mom cried when I told her I got it.”

As someone who grew up just outside Flint, Moore was never unaware of the cities issues. After he graduates from college, he hopes to contribute to positive changes in the city. “I heard about the crime, the violence, the poverty, and the poor economic situations that have plagued the city for years. Hearing about these things can easily crush one’s hope for a better future. After attending the University of Michigan-Flint for four years now, I have seen things that have restored my hope for the city, and I want to be part of that,” he said.

As a senior, Moore can see the impact that it will have on his education and career outlook. “The simple fact is this will help me get though school,” he said. “This is going to be my last year and I can get through this year without a bunch of student debt. It’s going to relieve a lot of stress and help me get a jump start on my career.”

Nolan Moore, 2016

Nolan Moore, 2016

Halpin, a senior majoring in Supply Chain Management and Marketing, agrees that the financial stress of education can affect the choices students can make. He understands the financial burdens that affect college students and how they impact the time it takes to get a degree. Originally starting his college career in 2004, he took only one course each semester while working full time. He states that the sacrifices his wife and himself have made allowed him to pursue his college education full time. “I set myself up to have one year without a job to go to school full time and this award helps me achieve my goal; it helps me to get where I’m going,” said Halpin. “My wife and I have both sacrificed for me to get this degree. For the school to participate in that and help to ease our sacrifice is amazing to me.”

As a student who is already heavily involved with Entrepreneurs Society as their Vice President, Halpin understands the impact of Hagerman Student Ambassadors. “I think the ambassadorship, reaching out to the community and to other students, that’s going to be the most fun,” he said. “I look forward to helping people achieve their goals just like this scholarship helped me achieve mine. That’s going to be phenomenal.”

Bryan Haplin, 2016

Bryan Haplin, 2016

Tabor, a senior majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship, credits Dr. Michael Witt for igniting his passion for Entrepreneurship when he joined the Entrepreneurs Society. He was elected Vice President for the 2014-15 academic year and shortly after, transitioned to President for the 2015-2016 academic year. He pursued his passion by starting his own real estate investment company while attending school full time. Shortly after, he obtained an internship with SkyPoint Ventures. He hopes his work through SkyPoint Ventures will create opportunities for students to strengthen the surrounding community.

“I think it’s [the Hagerman Student Scholar Award] going to give hope to local entrepreneurs,” said Tabor. “It’s going to give hope to college grads who want to be entrepreneurs and realize that there are people out there who want to support them— people out there that understand the importance of small business and that they’re willing to give of their fortune to help someone create their own.”

Sean Tabor, 2016

Sean Tabor, 2016

Zoromski struggled to find her place in the beginning of her college career. She discovered her love for business and joined the Entrepreneur Society. It was there that she discovered her passion for working with others.

“That has had a really big impact on my college career,” she said. “I have met a lot of really great students with the same goals and mindset that I have. That’s had a big impact. You get different viewpoints on everything and just some of the projects you do, dealing with the people you are helping is really cool.”

Zoromski believes that future Hagerman Scholars will benefit and gain opportunities that otherwise would not be available. “I think that it’s [the Hagerman Student Scholar Award] going to help other students learn and grow,” said Zoromski. “Everyone wants scholarships and having the different things you’re involved in, from getting the scholarship, is a great learning opportunity for other business majors. I’m a finance major so letting people other than entrepreneurship majors know about this scholarship will be a great opportunity for them to learn about entrepreneurship.”

Emily Zoromski, 2016

Emily Zoromski, 2016

Entertainment Entrepreneurs Win UM-Flint Business Plan Competition

Vino Raj wants to bring entertainment to “a new level” in downtown Flint.  And thanks to University of Michigan-Flint, his aspirations are closer to reality.

The UM-Flint graduate student is working with two business partners on a venture that would merge “different forms of entertainment, such as live action role-playing, puzzles, treasure hunts, and interactive team work.”

Read the full article HERE.

 

New Major in Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management

The University of Michigan-Flint School of Management (SOM) is unveiling a new major this fall as part of its burgeoning entrepreneurship and innovation offerings.

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management major blends the expertise of the school’s marketing and management faculty, and covers an array of issues, such as product design, business start-ups, technological innovation, marketing research, project management, and negotiation skills.

Read full article HERE.

UM-Flint Student Writing His Future with Handcrafted Pens

By ROBERT GOLD On August 10, 2015 5:48 pm

It started off as a hobby.

Greg Hooper, who grew up learning how to woodwork from his dad, received a lathe late last year.

And shortly after getting this gift, a visitor stopped into his uncle’s lumber yard in Holly, where Hooper works.

“A gentleman came into the lumber yard with a wooden pen,” said Hooper,  who is studying entrepreneurial management through the School of Management (SOM). “I asked him how he made it, where he got the wood, and got the parts.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Ashley Knific, SOM Business Plan Competition Winner

ASHLEY KNIFIC
WINNER OF THE 2015 SOM
BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION

Sponsored by Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

After months of hard work, research, and tough competition, University of Michigan-Flint student and aspiring educator, Ashley Knific, was named the winner of the Annual School of Management Business Plan Competition.

According to the research of Sheryl Sandberg, author and Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, 43% of highly qualified women risk their careers when deciding to take leaves of absence to raise their children.

Ashley’s proposed multi-level nonprofit, Jobs 4 Moms, aims to eliminate the tough decision that mothers often face between fostering their children and pursuing career goals, by implementing emerging technologies and proprietary software to pair mothers with businesses willing to employ skilled workers in flexible positions.

Jobs 4 Moms plans to use the $5,000 first place prize provided by event sponsor, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, to fund the development of a minimally viable website launch. This major first step will allow the nonprofit to fine tune the online platform to best suit both the employers’ and mothers’ needs, prior to full implementation and launch later this year when job placement is projected to begin.

Ashley worked closely with University Outreach’s Innovation Incubator to develop her business plan and refine the final presentation. As the most recent qualifying not-for-profit tenant business, she will also begin receiving free office space in the Northbank Center this summer.