V3 Wednsday Janary , 214 / TheStatmen
Wednesday, January 8, 2014// The Statement
From Page 6B
Parikh's time at the helm of CSG brought
entrepreneurship to a more campus-wide
consciousness, but that was not without the
help of other student groups on campus like
MPowered's mission is to expose students
to entrepreneurship, which it does through
large-scale events like its 1,000 Pitches com-
petition, where students from the University
and Pennsylvania State University compete
to give the best pitch for their business ideas.
O'Neil, the MPowered president, said events
like these are meant to excite University stu-
dents about entrepreneurship.
Over the past few years, O'Neil said he's
seen an increase in participation in events
like 1,000 Pitches. The last 1,000 Pitches
event occurred this fall, and garnered over
6,000 entrepreneurial pitches total - with
"x",000 of those pitches coming from the Uni-
"Students at Michigan are already amaz-
ing, you don't need to hold their hands. All
they need is that excitement," O'Neil said.
Branching out: an interdisciplinary
By now we all know the dream: start a
company and become the next Mark Zucker-
berg. While this idea may conjure up images
of coffee-fueled business students typing
s.way furiously into the night, startup and
entrepreneurial culture is not only growing
in Ross' Winter Garden. Some of the best
startups come from teams with mixed edu-
cational backgrounds. Before he dropped
out, Zuckerberg was studying psychology.
Though entrepreneurial programs were
initially restricted to business and engineer-
ing students, the recent push to include all
majors has allowed the University to fos-
ter a more inclusive environment. This has
been done through co-University sponsored
events like Mingle 'n' Match nights, which
aim to help student entrepreneurs from any
school find members for their startup teams
as well as help them network. Large-scale
events like MHacks II, hosted in Michi-
gan Stadium last fall, also strive to enhance
networking and communication platforms
between student entrepreneurs.
O'Neil said the past 1,000 Pitches event
included a proportionate amount of students
from each college at the University. This rep-
resentation shows that entrepreneurship is
no longer being seen as "just a business," or
"just an engineering" endeavor, but rather
something open to the entire campus.
Parikh said he believes the growth of
entrepreneurship amongst all schools at the
University has made it a concept that unites
the student body, much like Michigan Foot-
"Kind of like our football stadium, the
f-.Big House, (entrepreneurship) encompasses
students from all kinds of disciplines and all
kinds of ages," Parikh said. "Together we
come together, like in the Big House, to cre-
ate a solidified impact."
Thornhill said the diversity of students
involved in entrepreneurship is beneficial for
student startup teams.
"Having a team of just business students,
or just engineers, or just life science students
... creates a gap in your skill set," Thornhill
said. "If I were going to invest in a company
I'd far rather look for that diversity of skill
profile than a group of students that came
from one concentration."
Though the University has started to
increase the collaboration between schools,
O'Neil believes some students still face dif-
ficulty trying to find team members from
"You often find business students or engi-
neers who have these great ideas, but they
don't know how to find or talk to the develop-
ers who also have these great ideas," O'Neil
said. "They often can't find common ground
- which is a huge problem."
being really receptive to e
and more importantly, I s
teering to help each othe
don't see other places."
Apart from an open env
a large amount of venture
invested in a new or gro
available in Michigan. Suc
has been increasing over
According to Carrie Jones
tor of the Michigan Ventur
tion, the number of ventur
Michigan has grown from
seven in 2001, to 20 in late
The amount of ventu
able has increased expo:
of those firms redirecting
lars to Michigan. Accordir
is now $1.5 billion in asse
ment of firms that are ac
early stage companies toi
there is an increased amou
able, Jones said many ar
potential in Michigan whi
ach other's ideas, exactly the same. I think it's going to take a
ee people volun- long way for Michigan to get there, but we're
x in a way that I on the right path."
While student entrepreneurs usually
ironment, there is dream of getting their first job in Silicon Val-
capital - money ley, there are many student-lead initiatives
wing business - at the University that focus on improving
.h venture capital Detroit - some of which are entrepreneurial.
the past 13 years. One example is the Detroit Entrepreneur-
,executive direc- ial Network, an organization which aims
e Capital Associa- to give high school students in Detroit a
re capital firms in "toolbox of business knowledge and Detroit
between five and energy" in order to help them bring their
2013. business ideas to fruition in the Motor City.
re capital avail- MPowered is launching a similar initiative
nentially because called Startup High School, which will allow
g investment dol- Detroit students to explore, share and exe-
ng to Jones, there cute their entrepreneurial ideas.
ts under manage- Another student initiative currently
tively looking for investing in Detroit is MHacks, an event put
invest in. Though on by MPowered and Michigan Hackers.
nt of capital avail- MHacks III will be held in Detroit over Mar-
en't aware of the tin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and is being
ch can result in it sponsored in part by Quicken Loans.
O'Neil said that while there were other
factors, like the amount of venture capital
available in Detroit, influenced the decision
rock to move MHacks, they also needed newer,
larger spaces with more office equipment to
have a fully functioning hackathon.
TV "It made a lot of sense to go to Detroit
where the buildings are really new and inno-
vative in the way that they're designed;"
S. so O'Neil said. "They're quirky and they show
off what it means to be a hacker, what it
ing that means to be an entrepreneur and think dif-
Engineering junior Jack Wink, president
ciated of MHackers, said they decided to move
MHacks off-campus, not only because it
offered the promise of nicer spaces but also
ess. because they want to disprove popular mis-
conceptions about Detroit.
"When these students come to Detroit if
rie Institute they have a good experience they're going
to come back and say, 'Wow, Detroit is an
awesome place all these companies that are
booming in the area are willing to help out.'
They're going to remember that and if they
panies looking for ever do end up pursuing their hackathon app
quarters. they might consider Detroit and move back,
ink necessarily of which would be a big win for Detroit," Wink
as being an entre- said.
From Page 3B
But I wasn't actually writ-
ing during that period of my life.
Despite not actively partaking in
the practice, I associated myself
with the profession. And retro-
spectively, I recognize that that
way of thinking was detrimental
to my development as a creative
I was a thinker and a philoso-
pher - maybe - but not a writer.
And who wants to be those use-
less things? I needed to put those
thoughts and philosophies into
action, into application. Into my
That application is the sole
defining factor: What is a writer?
It's simple. A writer is someone
Now, I write almost everyday,
though reading and philosophiz-
ing are still important. My profes-
sion finally is my practice. Maybe
you're a writer too. And if you
want tojoin the club, all you have
to do is pick up a pencil.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY MEGAN MULHOLLAND
on the record
"We had our goals set, we wanted to be a 10-win team,
and we didn't achieve that. We had our goals set, we
wanted to be able to finish the season, and we didn't
- FRANK CLARK, Junior defensive end, after losing 31-14 to
Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
"Racism is toxic, but race doesn't have to be. Race is
some way to describe who we are ... there are all kinds
- MICHELLE NORRIS, NPR Radio Host and Winter
"Be thankful for the experience, remember the
experience. Life is about moments. You remember
moments - you don't remember everything."
- MIKE BABCOCK, Detroit Red Wings hockey coach, after losing
3-2 to the Toronto MapleLeafs in the Winter Classic.
The entrepreneurs are now the
stars of the world. They're on
programs and magazine cover
you've got this whole sexiness thi
20 years ago wasn't really assoc
with starting your own busin
Stewart Thornhill, Executive Director of the Zell Lui
for Entrepreneurial Studies
This trend just won't
seem to go away. On Jan.
4, Justin Bieber posted
a picture - an usie - on
Instagram of him and
Selena Gomez, captioned
"Love the way you look
at me." Only time and
paparazzi will tell if
Jelena will once again go
For the next few days, think twice before put
ting down your winter parka. Cold winds
have been hitting the Midwest, bringing
some of the coldest temperatures in the last
The 'Silicon Mitten'
California's Bay Area has become synony-
mous with startup and tech culture, earning
it the name Silicon Valley, but could Michi-
gan become the next greatstartup and entre-
Despite the bankruptcy and bad press,
Detroit has seen several large companies
move to its downtown area - most notably
Quicken Loans, an online mortgage lender.
In a 2013 interview with Reuters, Quicken
Loans CEO Dan Gilbert said his interest in
Detroit was partially to help stop the state's
brain drain and give young people a reason to
stay in Michigan.
Frank said he thinks that although entre-
preneurship is growing across the country,
it's growing more in Michigan because of its
central location and its entrepreneurial spir-
it increases opportunities for startups.
"I've never seen such an open environ-
ment as I do here," Frank said. "I see people
being ignored by new com
a place to locate their head
"A lot of people don't th
Michigan right off the bat
preneurial state," Jones said. "But if you go
back to Henry Ford and the auto companies,
they were started by entrepreneurs who
built those companies ... and built Michigan
to be the automotive hub of the world. There
is still very much that spirit in Michigan and
it's good to see that resurgence."
Lemmer, who grew up in Michigan and
has since moved to San Francisco, said while
Michigan and Detroit were built on entre-
preneurship going back to the fur trade and
automotive industries, she doesn't think the
area will ever be fully comparable to Silicon
"I don't think Detroit or Michigan is even
vgoingto be on par with the Bay Area," Lem-
mer said. "I think it'll be different; I think
they'll both have a different entrepreneurial
culture and that's great. They shouldn't be
Hail to the innovators
While student entrepreneurs at the Uni-
versity usually focus on building their own
companies, throughout the years they have
been busy building something else from the
ground-up: an entrepreneurial community.
This was achieved through Zurbuchen's
ingredients for entrepreneurial success:
hard work and an active mindset for growth.
"Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking,
taking innovations and turning them into
real-life change," Zurbuchen said.
"Entrepreneurship is of course starting
companies, but there are many activities that
are totally entrepreneurial that don't involve
a start-up ... It's about taking a big idea and
turning (it) into action."
AP PHOTO/Jae C. Hong
Consumer Electronics Showcase opened up
in Las Vegas on Monday, showcasing over
3,000 innovations, including a toothbrush that
analyses brushing techniques, smartphone-
controlled jumping robots and flying drones.
will join SNL this
Jan. as its only
for her to take a
shot at some of your
hopefully pave a
way for diversity in
the comedy world.