All events are held at the Western Michigan University Starting Gate facility in downtown Kalamazoo - Park Trades Center (326 W. Kalamazoo Ave.  Suite #321. Kalamazoo, 49007). Contact Lara Hobson to register.

  • Networking 101 Workshop: January 8, 4 to 5:00 p.m.— It's 5 p.m. somewhere and the people you meet at after hours events 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.  Guest speaker: Janis Clark, community connector
  • Social Media for Startups: January 22, 4 to 5:00 p.m.—This workshop is designed for entrepreneurs and business owners who have a basic understanding of social media and wish to build their social media presence.  Social media concepts, marketing basics, and incorporating social media into your marketing strategy will be explored.  Guest Speaker: Cheri Bales, CEO of Hannah/Gold Communications
  • Basics of Startup Financials Workshop: January 29, 4 to 5:00 p.m.—This workshop will give participants the basic framework for running the financial numbers for their startups.  It will also go into identifying costs and areas for additional investigation.  Guest speaker: Matt Ross, assistant professor of finance, Western Michigan University
  • Communication Workshop: February 5, 4 to 5:00 p.m. —This workshop will go through the basics of 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.  Guest speaker: Jo Wiley, director, Haworth College of Business Communication Center
  • Using Improv Techniques in your Pitch: February 12, 4 to 5:00 p.m.—This workshop will demonstrate some simple tools to help you present with confidence.  Using improv techniques, you will be able to better read the moment and respond accordingly.  Don't just deliver a finely crafted speech, speak from your passion and compel interest.  Guest speaker: Dann Sytsma, Improv Effects
  • Pitching to Angels Workshop: February 19, 4 to 5:00 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.  Guest speaker: Pat Morand, Open Prairies Ventures.
  • Demo Day: March 19, 2018, 3:30-5:30 p.m. —Student entrepreneurs in the 6-month long Starting Gate program will make formal presentations about their businesses to members of the investor community to receive feedback and, possibly, future funding.  Location- WMU Haworth College of Business, Dean's Conference Room
  • PITCH Competition: March 23, 2018, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Location- WMU Haworth College of Business