Chicago’s Entrepreneurial Spirit is Burning Bright

Today ends a 3-day fast paced visit to Chicago for myself and many UM entrepreneurial students who came here to engage the Chicago entrepreneurial network.

On Sunday, I was thrilled to see so many wolverines participating in Chicago’s Startup Weekend event.  This 50+ hour event is a great way to build energy in a community and teams.  Ideas that come out of these events are usually only half-baked but that is expected.  Its impressive to see how polished the idea (and even the product development) can be after such a short time.  Great job Chicago!

Yesterday our 5 student startup venture teams arrived via Amtrak along with several UM faculty and staff and participated in a pitch competition in front of UM alumni and Chicago luminaries.  We choose “pitching” as a great way to kick off a trip like this as it allows for multiple opportunities to build the network.  I particularly enjoyed watching how much excitement the teams had in seeing what their peers were working on and the flurry of ideas that exchanged at the networking session afterwards.

Today, our final day we will tour multiple entrepreneurial success story locations (The Elysian hotel, LightBank and Groupon) before returning to the hotel for a final networking opportunity with 50 Michigan Alumni!

Back on the train and back to A2 after that.  Great time, great experience for the teams and thanks again Chicago for keeping the midwest entepreneurial spirit burning bright!




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