Category Archives: entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs Society Influences Effective Student and Community Involvement within Flint

By Alexis Menard On May 1, 2019 11:55 am

The 2018-2019 academic year was a massive success for the School of Management student organization, Entrepreneurs Society (ES). Entrepreneurs Society received four awards at the Wolverine Excellence banquet on Thursday, April 11, 2019. The banquet is hosted by the Department of Student Involvement and Leadership and recognizes the contributions of a student organization which exhibits strong leadership skills such as teamwork, collaboration, communication, while also implementing initiatives that fulfill the mission of their organization.  The organization is also one that is committed to furthering the university’s mission and positively impacting the quality of student life on campus.

Entrepreneurs Society received the Outstanding Organization Award and the Student Organization Community Contribution Award. The Outstanding Student Organization Award recognizes a student organization that has demonstrated significant leadership qualities and has contributed to the University of Michigan-Flint during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Along with the two distinguished organizational awards, the School of Management Faculty member and Advisor to Entrepreneurs Society, Dr. Michael Witt, received the Outstanding Student Advisor Award. Lastly, the President of Entrepreneurs Society, Todd Fridline (BBA in Finance ’20), received the Outstanding Student Leader Award. 

The President of Entrepreneurs Society, Todd Fridline (BBA in Finance ’20), Vice President, Elisabeth Hamilton (BBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship ’20), and Treasurer, Carryn White (BBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship ’19) discuss Entrepreneurs Society community contributions and leadership at University of Michigan-Flint in a Q&A with the School of Management.


Q: How has this organization demonstrated leadership and positively contributed to the Flint community?

Hamilton: The Entrepreneurs Society takes great pride in being leaders on our own campus and also in the community in which we live. The biggest way our organization is making a positive contribution to the community of Flint is our Flint Green project. Flint Green is a project focused on changing the negative connotation that the community of Flint receives, and turning it into a positive outlook. Flint Green is focusing on promoting a greener version of Flint, using solar and wind energy to support the members of the Flint community who typically get ignored. By promoting and marketing this project, Entrepreneurs Society is also promoting a positive contribution to the Flint community.

This past December, over 20 Entrepreneurs Society members visited the Whaley Children’s Center to volunteer our time. The Society believes it is important to give back to the community whenever possible. This volunteer opportunity allowed ES students to help the Whaley Children’s Center in one of their most crucial times of the year.

Fridline: In the fall, the Entrepreneurs Society held its first annual Entrepreneur Tour. This experience provided students with an opportunity to listen to and network with entrepreneurs here in our own city. The tour made two stops in Downtown Flint. The first was at Cafe Rhema, where ES members listened to one of the executives at OLV Investment Group and Cafe Rhema owner, Josh Spencer. The tour also visited the Flint Ferris Wheel to visit the owner of KALM Clothing. They are both thriving businesses within the Flint Community and offered great insight about their experience of crafting their businesses, as well as gaining support from other local companies and promoting them to students at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Along with this tour, we have also had the honor of having various Flint entrepreneurs come to speak to our society, such as Wes Stoody, Founder of Article One, Terry Stanfill, inventor of “Lenz,” and we had a team assisting him in his marketing and finding his market segment, Drew Lauinger, Instagram Influencer looking to start a social media marketing company, Sean Tabor, Project Manager at Michigan Management Specialists and alumni of ES and many more entrepreneurs.

The Society also visited local packaging company and Tier-1 automotive supplier, NorthGate. Several ES students received a tour of one of their facilities and had a great opportunity to talk with the President of the company for over an hour. ES has also collaborated with local Entrepreneurs and alumni of the University of Michigan-Flint. Two entrepreneurs reached out to the Society in search of help for their respective businesses. Students from ES provided these entrepreneurs with business plans, financial models and projections, and helpful insight to their business sector.

White: Entrepreneurs Society has also held many events open to the community of Flint, including relationship with the Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurial Speaker Series, Financial Wellness workshops and a LinkedIn Workshop. In these workshops, we have collaborated with other student organizations, emphasizing on the idea that the community of Flint should be an environment where everyone feels involved.

Q: How has the organization demonstrated a commitment to furthering the mission of the University of Michigan-Flint?

Fridline: The Entrepreneurs Society is dedicated to the success of its members, the community and the University of Michigan-Flint. Through collaborations, student engagement, and various events, the Entrepreneurs Society has worked hard to create opportunities for students across campus at UM-Flint. Entrepreneurs Society provides students with valuable, hands-on professional experience through events and projects. Among many things, we provide students with an opportunity to explore career opportunities and learn the skills needed to succeed as a student and professional.

Hamilton: Our two main events engage the community locally and globally. The first being our annual Entrepreneurs Society Dinner. This event is an opportunity for everyone in the Flint community to network with each other and grow positive connections along with each other, thus continuing the mission of bringing positive collaboration of members of the Flint community. This dinner is also a way to get the University of Michigan-Flint name out there in a positive way and show anyone from outside of this community the great things our school and organization are doing. The Entrepreneurs Society invites esteemed alumni and business professionals in the Flint area and connect them with current students on our Flint campus. The goal of this dinner is to provide these current students with a chance to network with local businesses and entrepreneurs. Over 120 people were in attendance, making it a great night of networking and opportunities for UM-Flint students, alumni, and community members.

White: The other main event the Entrepreneur Society participates in is the annual Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Conference. In November of 2018, ten Entrepreneurs Society members attended this global event in Kansas City to represent the University of Michigan-Flint and its values. At the conference, each member built leadership, networking, and teamwork skills through various seminars and workshops. In addition to learning these new skills, our Entrepreneurs Society also placed in the top five for awards in Outstanding CEO Chapter Leader, Outstanding CEO Chapter Advisor, and Best Cross Campus Innovation & Networking Award. Our President, Todd Fridline, was also able to represent our chapter and university during a Chapter Development session allowing ES to reach a global base by speaking about our practices. The conference is an opportunity to network with other students and executives from Fortune 500 companies. By supporting individual endeavors, as well as hosting these campus-wide events, the Entrepreneurs Society has been able to draw student involvement from multiple disciplines (including pre-med and engineering) to the organization.

Hamilton: Lastly, the Entrepreneurs Society has worked diligently to include students of all majors in events, projects, and meetings. Specifically at UM-Flint, ES has had student volunteers participate in coordinating a Zillion Solutions, another event hosted by the Hagerman Center, competition and Think Tank sessions hosted in the fall semester. Through collaborations with the Hagerman Center, and outreach at events like Admitted Student Welcome, Mgagement, and Pre-Business Welcome, ES has continually offered assistance to students beyond the School of Management.

Q: How has this organization positively contributed to student engagement at UM-Flint?

White: The Entrepreneurs Society is a resource that enables students to shape their careers and advance themselves in the professional world. Every semester, Entrepreneurs Society works hard to create opportunities through various projects and events. Members can take part by leading their own project or volunteering to support ongoing endeavors.

Hamilton: The organization has engaged students by providing team members to help students start their own businesses. ES alumni, Hane Cho, has launched DASH, a social networking app on Google Play and in the app store. Cho has been interviewed by several local news outlets about his work and aid from the Entrepreneurs Society. Another current project we having been supporting is an Italian import startup.

Fridline: Entrepreneurs Society invites students from all areas of campus to join the group for weekly workshops held during meeting time. These include etiquette tips, how to network effectively, intellectual property basics, how to improve your LinkedIn profile, and financial wellness for students. Additional involvement comes from collaborating with other organizations, such as SHRM, Marketing Club, and SCOMA, to host these events. Entrepreneurs Society also works closely with the Hagerman Center by hosting a Zillion Solutions, which received over 200 idea-solution entries. ES members are developing a sales pitch to aid the engineering department in participating in the annual Baja race. Collaboration with these organizations has resulted in the promotion and involvement of our members, as well as members of other student organizations.

Register for the Summer Entrepreneurship Institute!

 

When: July 11 – July 13, 2017

Where: The School of Management, Riverfront Center

The Summer Entrepreneurship Institute will assist participants with an interest in business and entrepreneurship decide if this is a route they would like to pursue in college. The program will engage students in a series of life changing sessions, allowing them to get a feel for the field. Click here to read more.

UM-Flint School of Management Launches Alumni and Mentor Group

 

Teresa Lindhurst speaking at the ESA Dinner

On April 4, UM-Flint School of Management alumna Teresa Lindhurst launched the alumni group – Entrepreneurs Society Affinity. Held in the Northbank Center Grand Ballroom, guests of 150 included current School of Management students, alumni, and members of the Flint business community joined to celebrate the unveiling of the Entrepreneurs Society Affinity (ESA). Click here to read full article.

Lunch with an Entrepreneur featuring Steve Whitener

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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.

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.

 

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