Positive Outcomes

Below is a list of some of the positive outcomes from the course:

  • Improved the connection between students and the Kalamazoo startup community; students presented and discussed confidently multiple topics with high-profile individuals in the local startup community.  During the first meeting with the Kalamazoo startup community before the trips, the students hardly talked or asked questions.  During the second meeting with the Kalamazoo startup community THEY WANTED to be front-and-center to talk about what they learned and discuss the differences between the startup communities. (all students)
  • The students in the course started out as group of individuals that didn’t know each other, and finished as a complete team that worked seamlessly together.  This was seen in their actions through the course and on the trips.  This allowed them to work on the final deliverable as a team as opposed to as individuals. (all students)
  • Students in the course are developing/starting a co-working space in Kalamazoo: DASH Co-working; working with local real estate developers. (Eric Carlo, Simba Chiara, Alexis Lenderman, Josie Marshall, Katie Marshall, Jill Puckett)
  • Three honors theses for the Lee Honors College focused on entrepreneurship. (Simba Chirara, Alexis Lenderman, Josie Marshall)
  • A student applied and was admitted into the WMU business accelerator: Starting Gate. (Alexis Lenderman)
  • A student became a research assistant on a National Science Foundation grant to develop a commercialization plan for a technology — working with John Mueller, Co-PI on the grant. (Eric Carlo)
  • Obtaining a job interview with a company in the local startup community. (Adam Roth)
  • Improved connections with alumni through serendipitous activities on the trip (e.g. hiking in Boulder) (with Jon Balck, President, Victor and Spoils)
  • Organizations and individuals in Detroit and other cities asking to meet with the students and be part of the course next year.
  • Students started attending startup events in Kalamazoo, like Startup Zoo and Startup Grind – Kalamazoo.
  • A student was asked to be on an entrepreneurship panel at the local Rotary (Jill Puckett)
  • Students able to attend investor pitches at a regional angel group, Grand Angels.
  • A visit to Cincinnati was not initially scheduled as part of the course.  However, during the course a benefactor of WMU suggested to have the group visit the city.  He was able to arrange quality meetings with individuals/organizations in the Cincy startup community.  Thus, after the semester was completed, four of the ten students were able to go to Cincinnati for a one-night, one-day trip. (Eric Carlo, Alexis Lenderman, Josie Marshall, Adam Roth)