Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, has named Central Michigan University’s New Venture Competition Program the educational program of the year.
More than 200 aspiring entrepreneurs from CMU and Michigan Technological University have participated in the competition over the past three years.
Debra Zellner, the director of the Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship, said she was thrilled that the NVC received the award.
She said the program allows students to attend workshops that teach start-up skills and to interact with mentors, including faculty and business members from major corporations.
“This competition is positioned to build the entrepreneurial network across Michigan and enables student entrepreneurs to be directly linked and exposed to the entrepreneurial system”, Zellner said.
The competition awards students $65,000 in start-up capital, as well as awards for other categories such as best overall venture, best social venture, best technology venture, biggest impact on Michigan, highest growth potential and the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Fifteen businesses exist as a result of the competition, according to Automation Alley.
“We are quite proud of Debra Zellner and the entire Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship staff,” said Dean of the College of Business Charles Crespy. “The award is a strong affirmation of our efforts to provide two distinct career paths: To train students for careers in the private sector and enable would-be entrepreneurs.”
Crespy also spoke about NVC competitors stimulating economic growth in Michigan in the future.
“We believe that the NVC competitors will be among those entrepreneurs who will change the face of Michigan and stimulate economic development in the years ahead,” he said.