In my first month working at the Macomb-OU INCubator, I’ve gained more knowledge about startups than I have in the past twenty-so years of my life. As the marketing and communication assistant for an incubator, I am able to see devotion and passion stem from the variety of intelligent entrepreneurs who walk through our doors each day. I didn’t know, however, why these entrepreneurs were coming to an incubator for help when they are already packed with dedication and remarkable ideas.
I learned that starting a business is much more challenging than just selling an idea to the market. Many startups fail trying to launch their business. WSJ.com said, “Of all companies, about 60% of startups survive to age three and roughly 35% survive to age 10, according to separate studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes U.S. entrepreneurship.”
Calling all technology entrepreneurs – you won’t want to miss this!
Mac-OU INC is offering $20,000 in cash and in-kind prizes during its “Macomb Pitch: A Competition for Small Businesses.” This is the biggest competition we have held to date, and we couldn’t be more excited to give well-deserving tech startups some cash and resources for growth! Applications are due by October 14, which means about two more weeks to perfect your answers to application questions.
First through third place winnings include:
- First Place: $8,500 (cash); one-year affiliate membership to Mac-OU INC (which includes access to the Business Advisory Services Program; the Executives-in-Residence, currently including Butzel Long, Advicoach of Michigan, BiancoCPA and Jim Ruma, local defense expert; Pitch Prep; assistance with access to capital; and one-on-one business development with Mac-OU INC staff)
- Second Place: $1,500 (cash); one-year lease for a Mac-OU INC cubicle; five hours of consultation with Butzel Long; a two-hour strategic-planning session with Advicoach of Michigan
- Third Place: $500 (cash); one-year lease for a Mac-OU INC cubicle; five hours of consultation with Butzel Long; a two-hour strategic-planning session with Advicoach of Michigan
The Macomb-OU INCubator has always been a powerful advocate of diversification for small businesses. Our Lean training programs even roll up under “Lean Diversification,” with the goal for course graduates to simplify processes using Lean tools and subsequently have the resources necessary for company diversification.
The recent inaugural Techweek Detroit conference featured Josh Linkner, four-time tech entrepreneur (including Founder and Former CEO/Chairman of ePrize, now Hello World), current CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners and a NY Time’s Bestselling Author. Linkner’s new book, “The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation” dives into the importance of not relying on prior successes as a future sustainability plan. Linkner refers to this as reinvention, Mac-OU INC calls it diversification. The same point remains of never settling and understanding that what might be working great now will need future improvements.
The results are in! The Decision & Information Sciences Department of Oakland University’s School of Business Administration invited OU students to become Google Glassware app developers by identifying and developing concepts for game-changing technology in the Google Glass App Development Team Competition. Teams were challenged to identify a unique-to-Glass app idea and develop it to proof of concept using the Glass Development Kit following the competition guidelines. Phase I of the competition was judged based on the business plan, while Phase II involved the proof of concept.
Mac-OU INC team members were proud to contribute as competition judges. Congratulations to VizorTeam for their win of both phases!
The State of Michigan has renewed its Lean Diversification Green Belt certificate program contract with the Macomb-OU INCubator for the 2014 calendar year. Endorsed by the Michigan Lean Consortium, the program is intended for business managers looking to develop excellence, nurture innovation, efficiently allocate resources and eliminate waste.
As an initiative of the State of Michigan’s Good Government Leadership Team, chaired by Lt. Governor Brian Calley, more than 50 State employees in 2013 were trained in Lean through the Macomb-OU INCubator’s Green Belt program. The goal for the employees is to bring Lean principles to their respective departments for immediate implementation.
“In Michigan, we recognize that our most valuable resource is our people. The public and private sectors are working together in unprecedented ways to reinvent our government,” Calley said. “Our vision is to establish the State of Michigan as a highly functioning organization that provides world-class service and enables prosperity for Michigan’s citizens and businesses.”