Events

All events are held at the Western Michigan University Starting Gate facility in downtown Kalamazoo (510 E. Butler Ct. Kalamazoo, MI 49007 at the  corner of E. Ransom and Walbridge). Contact Lara Hobson to register. 

  • Insurance and Liability Basics: January 11, 4 to 6 p.m.—Startups have varying degrees of insurance needs, and this workshop will go through the basics of what is needed according to the specific industry or service that is provided. Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker: Stewart Nelson, senior risk advisor, Kapnick Insurance Group.
  • Intellectual Property Workshop: February 1, 4 to 5:30 p.m.—Learn how patenting works and the costs associated with them. You'll also learn how patenting of WMU inventions work along with how copyrights are obtained and the cost associated with these. Free to WMU and KVCC students; all others $35. Guest speaker, Clark Bennett, Interim Director, IP Management and Commercialization, Office of the Vice President for Research, Western Michigan University. 
  • Communications Workshop: February 8, 4 to 5 p.m.—Basics on communication topics pertaining to marketing materials, business plans, writing to mentors/leads, investors along with how to effectively communicate a 3-minute elevator pitch and a 10-minute Demo Day presentation. Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker, Jo Wiley, Haworth College of Business Communication Center Director.
  • Pitching to Investors Workshop: February 11, 4 to 5:30 p.m.—Learn the basic structure for a successful 8-10 minute pitch presentation to investors. Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker, Sandra Cochrane, Technology Business Consultant, Small Business Development Center.
  • Entrepreneur Operating System and Traction Workshop: February 15, 4 to 6 p.m.—Learn the secrets of strengthening the six key components of your business. Get the traction you need to avoid personnel conflict, profit woes and inadequate growth to get what you want from your business. Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker, Jim Coyle, Nexus Business Solutions.
  • Networking Workshop: February 22, 4 to 5 p.m.—It's 5 p.m. somewhere and the people you meet at after hours may be the people that take you to that next step forward in your career or introduce you to that "hard to gain access to" connection. Learn networking tips and tricks from Kalamazoo's mistress of ceremonies. Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker, Janis Clark, director of business engagement, Western Michigan University.
  • Pitching to Angels: March 14, 4 to 5:30 p.m.—This is a dialog-centric block of time during which the participants will be introduced to the intricacies of a variety of capital investment structures and their related terms and conditions. In addition, the participants will be presented with how networking becomes a way of life that advances both professional and personal objectives while actually building communities of interest. Free to WMU and KVCC students; all others $35. Guest speaker, Pat Morand, president, Open Prairie Ventures.
  • K.C. O'Shaughnessy Pitch Competition and Showcase: March 24, 4 to 6:30 p.m.  
    Location: Fetzer Center
  • Demo Day: March 28, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.—Student entrepreneurs will make formal presentations about their businesses to members of the investor community to receive feedback and, possibly, future funding.
    Location: 2150 Schneider Hall—Dean's Conference Room, 1st floor
  • Summer Program Applications Due: May 2
  • Summer Program: May 9 to August 15