The Holiday Inn Gateway was the setting December 1 for Boost Mid-Michigan, a regional conference of business entrepreneurs. The consortium connects university- and business community-based ventures with support resources and capital, and is funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation. In these gatherings throughout Mid-Michigan, local entrepreneurs are prepared to successfully present their ventures to investor audiences. Consultants, coaches and entrepreneurial support professionals help participants prepare a three-minute investor pitch, and a few will be selected to present to private investors from BlueWater Angels and Great Lakes Angels in January.
Investors listened to 20 presentations, including those by Flint-based student entrepreneurs Suyash Joshi of www.pricechecklist.com, Jose Aliaga of Aliaga Development, and Casey Schaaf of Ecodev Engineering. These entrepreneurs also participated in Moving On Up, a business concept competition hosted by Launch at the University of Michigan-Flint. Student entrepreneurs used short videos to present their ideas to investors. The competition was funded by the C. S. Mott Foundation, the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Michigan University Commercialization Initiative.
The winners of the Moving On Up Video Pitch competition:
Overall Winner: $2,000
EcoDev Engineering, Casey Schaaf – Moving On Up Grand Champion
Campus Winners: $250
Easy Saver Card, The CEO Club – Lawrence Tech Campus Champion
PC Power, Tyler Farrar & Mike Ellenbaas – Kettering Campus Champion
Epic Technology Solutions, Paul Knific & Eric Knific – UM-Flint Campus Champion
Student Business Concept, Ryan Robinson – Baker College Campus Champion
Capto Video, Jon Chema – Mott Community College Campus Champion
Category Winners: $100
FCC Program, GASC Entrepreneur Class – K-12 Class Social Entrepreneurship Champion
BMP Landscaping, Matt Patterson – K-12 Student Business Champion
FlintCollegeConnection.com, GASC III – K-12 Class Business Concept Champion
LivLuxMag, Corey Stokes & Donyale Walton – Creative Economy Business Champion
Special Needs Day Care Concept, Renee Barnes – Service Economy Business Champion
The Stand-Up Economist, UM-Flint Economics Club – Collegiate Club Champion
Aliaga Development, Jose Aliaga – International Business Concept Champion
Youth of Tomorrow, Marc Alexander – Social Entrepreneurship Champion
Change Your World, Angela Simone – On-Line Social Entrepreneurship Champion
UM-Flint Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby – Special Judges Award
Both Boost Mid-Michigan and Moving On Up were designed to nurture an entrepreneurial culture in mid-Michigan. Launch received dozens of videos from aspiring entrepreneurs with some very good ideas. The angel investors who viewed these videos and heard other business pitches are serious about helping these creative people thrive here in mid-Michigan.