- The Competition
- Sponsors & Partners
Babette Ten Haken (Mentor):
I participated as a mentor in the inaugural year of the CEVC. It was one of my most rewarding mentoring experiences. The quality of the candidates and projects was exceptional. The syllabus and timeline were feasible and well-communicated. The guiding lights directing this collaborative journey are exceptional and inspirational. If you are a highly motivated professional who enjoys rolling up your sleeves for a hands-on mentoring experience, and motivating and pivoting the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, I highly recommend that you become part of this tremendous initiative.
Brett Merkel (Team Member):
The mentors and judges proved to be an extremely valuable asset as we perfected our pitches. Also, the contacts we made and the experience of progressing through the competition were instrumental in our team’s progress thus far.
Jeff Golota (Mentor):
What a great experience, working with talented engineers to mentor them and claiming 25K prize.
Justin Moyer (Team Member):
The Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge (MiCEVC) was a wonderful opportunity for our company. Not only were there many great resources (experienced mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, and skill-building sessions), but the fast-paced set up of the challenge forced us to adapt quickly and progress from an idea to a product with a market. The structured milestones, pitch sessions and mentor meetings helped keep us motivated and progressing toward our goals. I would recommend the MiCEVC to anyone with an interest in clean energy innovation!
Diane Durance (Mentor):
Having mentored a team from the Upper Peninsula with no previous experience in venture creation, business planning or entrepreneurship, I can say each step in the MCEVC offered a valuable learning experience for them. This team, particularly the Fisheries and Wildlife students, had never considered the possibility of creating their own businesses or developing an innovative technology or process in their field of study. I’m happy to report the team continues to work together, has added team members, and was recently awarded a Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIIE) grant. This team’s progress and development clearly demonstrates how effective the MCEVC is in guiding university students into entrepreneurship.
Grace Hsia (Team Member):
The Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge showcases the talents of Michigan entrepreneurs. Innovation is something you can nurture and teach. This is something the CEVC accomplishes in its seminars, mentorship, and funding. MICEVC provides undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to take their idea to a higher level and even to the national stage. This would have been unfathomable to me had I not been a participant and semifinalist in the last MICEVC. Because of MICEVC, our company (Warmilu, LLC) was able to take our idea to the real world and we are now seeking to commercialize our clean technology for use in resource settings.
Emma Wendt (Mentor):
Through the CEVC, my mentees turned their initial idea around supporting electric vehicles into a product that provides real value to customers. They gained a deep understanding of their users, customers, and potential partners through many interviews and observations, and learned to incorporate that feedback as their product and company developed.
Barclay Johnson (Professor Who Referred Multiple Teams, and Mentor):
Three of my classroom laws are:
- You can’t teach entrepreneurship from a text with multiple choice answers
- Business Plan are for losers (especially those on nice paper and in color)
- Horatio Alger was fantasy
The U of M CEVC addresses Entrepreneurship with the total package from passion to idea validation methodology, all culminating with a real life pitch in front of some very aggressive angel and venture capitalist investors.
This provided my teams a very special experiential experience that has a NPV well beyond the money they won! The value added by the CEVC staff was enormous in driving our teams successes.
The special sauce for me was being able to integrate the 6 month journey into my other classes with real time blow by blow of the challenges, failures and successes of the competing teams. That surpasses any case study from any text! I also had my competing teams actively engaged in my classes for peer to peer reality checks and inspiration.
My favorite memory is of my students that lived a six month journey and willing devoted time and resources (including coordinating a wedding around contest commitments) and were able to share the stage with some of the best students in the State of Michigan.
Max Shtein (Professor Who Referred Multiple Teams, and Mentor):
I was very glad to see that the students in my 489 class took up the challenge and the opportunity to compete in CEVC. In some ways, I geared the class to help students first realize that starting a company is within their capability, and then to encourage them with some practical procedures in actually doing that. That two of the student teams from the class (out of 10) took it into the finals of the competition beats the Rule of Everything (i.e. that (100-90)% of everything is not crap) by a factor of 2! Now, part of that is enabled, I think, by having such a competition right here.
Viktor Brandtneris (Mentor)
I was very impressed with all the participants in the Clean Energy Venture Challenge. The student teams were earnest, driven and technically very well prepared. Moreover, I was pleased with their willingness to learn, understand and incorporate the aspects of business plans that are critical to outside investors. Equally impressive were the other Mentors I got to meet. To a person they were willing to share their experiences, offering truly valuable ‘real-world advice’ to these new businesses. Regardless of whether these teams make it to the marketplace, I’m very confident that the experience the students had to go through will make them much better prepared for entrepreneurial endeavors in the future.