Events

  • All events are held at the Western Michigan University Starting Gate facility in downtown Kalamazoo - Park Trades Center (326 W. Kalamazoo Ave.  Suite #321. Kalamazoo, 49007). Contact Lara Hobson to register. 
    • Business Planning Workshop I: October 10, 4 to 5:30 p.m.—This workshop will start with the basics of writing the key components of a meaningful business plan including the business description, legal structure and market analysis.  Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker: John Schmitt, Small Business Development Center.
    • Business Planning Workshop II: October 17, 4 to 5:30 p.m.—This is a continuation of the first workshop, digging deeper into the financial analysis and management and operations of the business plan.  Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker: John Schmitt, Small Business Development Center.
    • Customer Discovery Workshop: October 24, 4 to 5:30 p.m.—This workshop will show how to quickly get feedback on an idea without spending a lot of time or money. The participants will also learn how to find talent to help them execute their idea and stay lean. How to create specification documents and manage a team to execute them will also be discussed. Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker: Bob Armbrister, WMU executive director of administration-information technology and services, and entrepreneur.
    • Intellectual Property for Startups Workshop:  November 7, 4 to 5:30 p.m. —Learn the process of applying for patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets.  The speaker will also go into the licensing issues that startups face along with information on various business agreements. Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker: James Leonard, Patent Attorney at Price Heneveld. 
    • Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Design Workshop: November 8, 4 to 5:30 p.m.—The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. It allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent and pivot your business model. It is a simple graphical template describing nine essential components: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, resources, activities, partnerships and costs. The individual elements prompt consideration of a business’s full scope, while the layout encourages thought about how the pieces fit together. Learn how to create products and services that customers want. Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker: Sandra Cochrane, Small Business Development Center.
    • Entrepreneurial Business Research Workshop: November 14, 4 to 5:30 p.m.—This workshop will encourage awareness of information resources available to Western Michigan University students developing business ideas, including business plans, funding sources, and company, industry and market research. Free to all WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker: LuMarie Guth, business librarian, Western Michigan University Waldo Library.
    • Insurance and Liability Basics: November 28, 4 to 5:30 p.m. —Startups have varying degrees of insurance needs, and this workshop will go through the basics of what is needed according to the specific industry or service that is provided. Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker: Stewart Nelson, senior risk advisor, Kapnick Insurance Group.
    • Marketing and Social Media: December 5, 4 to 5:30 p.m.—This workshop will provide strategic marketing guidance and help participants create profitable, market-leading brands.  The speaker will also provide information on effective social media marketing tools for new businesses. Free to WMU and KVCC students, all others $35. Guest speaker: Karen Buczek, marketing and branding consultant, Buczek Consulting.
    • Demo Day: March 20, 2017  3:30 to 6 p.m.—Student entrepreneurs will make formal presentations about their businesses to members of the investor community to receive feedback and, possibly, future funding.  Location- WMU Haworth College of Business
    • Pitch Competition: March 24, 2017 1- 3:30 p.m.  Location - WMU Haworth College of Business