Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Ready, Set, Go.
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Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Ready, Set, Go.November 25, 2014
Where do people get the best ideas? Some say they get them in the shower, or while trying to fall asleep. Others while gardening or surfing.
Here at MSU, the best ideas come through open collaboration at The Hatch; a studio-style space on Grand River Avenue, where coffee brews, keyboards tap, and creative ideas flow among students daily.
Springing to life in 2012 with the help of funding from a variety of sources, The Hatch turns MSU ideas, technologies and creative activities into businesses.
It’s like a mini “Shark Tank” for college students.
Open to all majors and through resources provided by Spartan Innovations, a unit of the MSU Innovation Center, The Hatch attracts MSU’s “best and brightest,” according to Paul Jaques, director of student and community engagement at Spartan Innovations.
“Students can start their own companies, or simply adopt the innovative, entrepreneurial mindset,” said Jaques. “And many businesses are seeking people who can think on their feet, and come up with new ideas.”
From branding to legal advice, students receive real-world expertise and guidance to launch their business and product ideas. They are connected to alumni to be mentored.
“Spartans are connected, and they stay connected,” Jaques adds. “And Spartans stay solid, like an army—we come together and help one another. That’s one of the greatest things about being a Spartan. It’s in our blood, it’s intrinsic. When I’m connecting students with alumni to be mentored, I trust in the process.”
The types of business ideas can range from tech to take-out. Take a team of engineering majors, for example, who developed a fiber optic-filled blanket that swaddles jaundiced babies. Or the app that plays music with a tempo matching users’ workout or run. Or durable golf spikes that can weather 75 rounds.
Many students think it’s too good to be true.
But there’s no catch.
However, Jaques points out that offering these resources doesn’t come cheap—which makes private support critical to The Hatch’s growth.
“The last two years, students have brought back about $210,000 of competition winnings, which is huge to us,” Jaques adds. “But there is more to be done…we need more for travel, more for getting these students out to the market, helping with marketing materials, connecting them with mentors.”
Spartans achieve high and work hard to get there. So, who knows? The next big thing might be just around the corner—and The Hatch is developing the hardworking excellence that defines what Spartans are made of.Author: Sarah Wardell