Chance Favors the Connected Mind

Great progress has been made in developing processes and tools to help entrepreneurs take an idea and search for the right business model and turn it into a new venture. Not a lot, however, has been done to develop processes around taking an interesting idea and evolving it into something truly amazing and disruptive. Imposible?…

Testing Ideas with Customers

I’ve sat through approximately 50 pitches in the last 2-3 weeks and many times I hear a common example of how the teams have tested their ideas with customers… “We went out and showed our prototype to a bunch of people and everyone we showed it to said yes, they would buy it!”. The problem…

Celebrate Invention at A2 Draws Big Crowd

Last night the University of Michigan’s Tech Transfer Office held their annual Celebrate Invention event.  This event is held each fall to celebrate and honor inventors that are working on exciting new commercial opportunities using U-M IP. It was a cold and rainy evening so I didn’t hold much hope for a large crowd but was excited…

Why Neo is an Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, you look at life through a different lens.  Instead of seeing the world as it is, you tend to start seeing the world as it “should be” or “could be”. Instead of taking things on face value you tend to stop and question how they came into being and why and who did…

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…

Disruptive Ideas Require Identifying Core Value

Consider this question:  “Describe the value of a gas station”. I like to ask entrepreneurs this question as a thought experiment of how hard it is sometimes to isolate value from something we are used to experiencing every day. A typical response is “a place where I gas my car”.  That is incorrect, that is…

225+ A2 Entrepreneurs at TechArb last night

Last night was the UM Student Startup Showcase at the new TechArb location where 225 Ann Arbor entrepreneurs gathered to see not only the 8 most recent student startups to complete the TechArb program but also to meet the 20 new UM Student Startups entering TechArb for session #7 (Nov-2011 through April-2012). Many thanks to…