Innovation Week

Husky Innovate hosts Innovation Week each year, which includes innovation and entrepreneurship presentations and panel talks that are open to Michigan Tech students, faculty, alumni, and the larger community. Hear from entrepreneurs and innovators from a variety of backgrounds. Innovation Week aims to educate, inspire, and encourage those leading innovations.

This year, Innovation Week will be held the week of January 22-26, 2024.

Keynote Speaker: Orbion’s Entrepreneurship Journey with Dr. Brad King

Monday, January 22, 12:30 - 1:30 pm, MUB Alumni Lounge

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Brad King, Michigan Tech professor, CEO, and Co-Founder of Orbion Space Technology (2016) will share his journey as an entrepreneur and how he and his team have addressed market demands and the challenges of scaling up.  Orbion’s satellite thruster technology addresses a key need within the space industry by providing a cost-effective way to maneuver satellites efficiently.  Brad will share Orbion’s journey so far and what’s next.
Register nowDeadline: 1/19

Reverse Pitch Presentation with Nate Yenor

Tuesday, January 23, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, Zoom

Nate Yenor, Director of Tech Business Incubation with the Office of Innovation and Commercialization at Michigan Tech, will report top teams poised to launch their innovations into start-ups. Teams may seek talent, champions, and industry-specific connections during this reverse-pitch event.  Nate will also recap what the new Entrepreneurial Fellows of NMU and MTU have been working on in the past semester as they seek to aid other startups in the Michigan ecosystem. Join us if you want to find out about innovative early start-ups at Michigan Tech!
Register nowDeadline: 1/22

Impact Investing with John Soyring

Wednesday, January 24, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, Zoom

Impact investing is an investment strategy in which investors seek both measurable positive societal or environmental impact as well as financial return. Does your startup have a social mission?  Join us for a talk with John Soyring, Michigan Tech alumnus (EE ’76 and Honorary Doctorate ‘06) to learn more about impact investing and its relevance to your startup venture.  John has a distinguished career as a senior executive of IBM Corp. during which he led multiple global IBM businesses, including IBM PC Software, IBM Software Services & IBM Industry Solutions. Since retiring from IBM has has founded four startup companies and he is the president of the board of directors for SWAN Impact Network, a 501(c)(3) impact investing company. He combines his passion for philanthropy with business development in this angel investor community.  

John will lead a discussion about his experience as an angel impact investor; talk about the differences between it and more traditional investing; and discuss the opportunity that exists for investors as well as the opportunities that exist for the founders of startup companies with a social mission.  
Register now- Deadline: 1/23

Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition

Wednesday, January 24, 5:00 - 7:30 pm, MUB Ballroom A

Recognizing 16 years of the Bob Mark pitch competition legacy, Husky Innovate collaborators, Pavlis Honors College, College of Business, and the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, invite Michigan Tech graduate and undergraduate students from across campus disciplines to pitch their business model to a panel of judges for a chance to win cash prizes.

This legacy event recognizes student entrepreneurial spirit and is a tribute to the late Professor of Practice, Bob Mark, within the College of Business.  Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the community are invited to attend in-person or virtually.  Refreshments will be served.  The pre-event mixer will begin at 5:00 pm.

Student contestants: Register now Deadline: 1/22
Audience attendees: Please join us in person, but if you are remote, join us via Zoom

Careful Contracting for Startups

Thursday, January 25, 12:00 - 1:30 pm, MUB Ballroom B

You have your big idea and now it’s time to breathe it into existence, but you need some development and investment help.  Learn strategies for careful contracting as you work with key partners, and hear how investors evaluate your startup’s risk exposure.  Join us for a seminar with Ashley Sloat, PhD, President and Director of Patent Strategy at Aurora Patents.  Ashley is a USPTO-registered patent practitioner who specializes in the development and management of patent portfolios for startup ventures and emerging growth companies.

At this talk, Ashley will discuss everything you need to know for engaging with an engineering firm to ultimately pitching to an investment group.  Topics include -  IP ownership, assignment from engineering firm inventors back to you, how to avoid the traps of viral IP, and what investors want to see in your pitch deck. 
Register now — Deadline: 1/22

Enterprise Ventures with Len Switzer

Friday, January 26, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, Zoom

Michigan Tech’s Enterprise teams are known for their skill at developing technical solutions.  When teams identify their own technical challenge or host a startup partner, there is the opportunity to launch a new venture.  Join us for a talk with Len Switzer, PhD, associate director of the Enterprise Program, to hear about upcoming opportunities with Enterprise. Len’s work experience includes being employee #3 of a startup company.   Since that time, he has continued to work with startups including via the Enterprise Program.  

Len will share information about the Enterprise process and related opportunities with the potential to become new ventures.  With a background in R&D,  product management, and operations, he will share his insight into the relationship between technical feasibility, product-market fit, and manufacturability. 
Register now Deadline: 1/25

Keep an eye out for additional programming. For more information, please email

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