WMU Students Win at Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge
Two teams of WMU students won in two categories of the Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge, Most Disruptive Technology and Best App, and a third team was recognized as well. Students walked away with more than $10,000 in micro-grants to fund their innovative ideas on green energy.
The Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge, administered by the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship, is in its fifth year and has provided funding to dozens of student and faculty-led teams with great ideas about green energy. The Venture Challenge enables teams to go from an idea to venture launch during a six-month program.
“Our students did an incredible job with this year’s challenge,” says Barcley Johnson, management instructor and advisor to the teams. “The competition level was even more challenging than last year, and our students rose to the top and were very competitive.”
"The Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge was a wonderful experience for my teammates and for me,” says Chelsey Rhodes. “We learned a lot about real world challenges of starting a business. We competed with top students, and though we did not come away with the overall team win, we definitely proved that Western can compete with the best. I think we made Western proud."
- Most Disruptive Technology Category: Students Nick Kossick, Chelsey Rhodes and Matt Rumora took home a win with PowerSlim. The group focused on changing power usage behavior through the use of psychological, visual and sound cues delivered via an iPhone and iPad app.
- Best App Category: Students Dan Gower, Jim Burns and Andrew Schutz won for Best App with Reuse-e. The app solution tracks excess electronic equipment in academic and commercial settings with the ability to provide an API to give real-time salvage value and also provide end-of-life tracking to control liability issues.
- Additional Recognition: Additionally, students Andrew Gabrielson and Moh'd Khair Riy Albattikhi presented their project e-rescue, which centered on recovery of electronics that have been disposed of in Africa, and their project qualified for a grant.
The Haworth College of Business offers a curriculum in entrepreneurship at the undergraduate and graduate level. The college also provides additional resources for students across the University who are interested in pursuing their entrepreneurial ideas, such as a monthly speaker series dedicated to entrepreneurs, a student entrepreneur club, as well as support to attend competitions. “We are fortunate that the leadership teams at WMU and the Haworth College of Business have pledged support of our entrepreneurship curriculum and programming,” says Johnson. “This commitment allows our students’ talents to be supported and for them to make their ideas business realities.”
Pictured above are team members
Dan Gower: Pontiac, Mich.
Andrew Schutz: Howell, Mich.
Andrew Gabrielson: Gibraltar, Mich.
Chelsey Rhodes: Paw Paw, Mich.
Nick Kossick: Troy, Mich.
Matt Rumora: Portage, Mich.
Moh'd Khair Riy Albattikhi: Jordan