SPARK Hosts 20th Entrepreneur Boot Camp

This past month Ann Arbor SPARK put on it’s 20th Entrepreneurial Boot Camp. We had 14 participants, many of which came from all over the state.  With companies from Detroit to the U.P., this program reached greatly outside of Ann Arbor. Warmilu, LLC won "Best Pitch" at this year's boot camp. Warmilu has developed and is commercializing nonelectric, instant heat technology, specifically for infants. The camp is a 2-day intensive... [Read More...]

California’s Innovation Model… Michigan?

A great article in the San Fransisco Business Times talks about how California can get its “innovation game back,” it should follow Michigan’s example. Photo courtesy of San Fransisco Business Times Noted venture capitalist Tom Baruch offers insight on where we’re  getting it right and what other states can learn from Michigan. The article notes Michigan’s robust entrepreneurial eco-system as having an impact on our... [Read More...]

Now Accepting Applications for Entrepreneur Boot Camp

We’re now accepting applications for fall Entrepreneur Boot Camp. This 18th installment of the popular program will be held November 4-5, 2010 at Kensington Court in Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor SPARK’s Entrepreneur Boot Camp is a biannual event that offers two days of business planning and preparation designed to help early stage technology businesses increase their chances for attracting additional funding, finding resources and achieving success.... [Read More...]

NextCAT Announced as “Best of Boot Camp” Winner

On May 26th, it was time to celebrate the end of the 17th Entrepreneur Boot Camp.  All participants gave their investor pitches and enjoyed a nice reception.  NextCAT received the “Best of Boot Camp” award.  The award was based on the quality of the investor pitch and on the business plan.  NextCAT is based in Detroit and creates heterogeneous catalysts to allow producers of biodiesel to use less expensive raw materials and simplify the production... [Read More...]

Boot Camp ROI

The SPARK Entrepreneur Boot Camp is really something special.  We read often about ‘Boot Camps’ around the country that help entrepreneurs start their new companies.  But when we drill down to see what is offered, their format, the content, etc. we come back to the same conclusion; the SPARK Entrepreneur Boot Camp is unique.  We have been providing this Boot Camp twice a year since 2002.  181 companies have gone through the two day... [Read More...]

Another Successful Boot Camp

The most recent Entrepreneur Boot Camp concluded with presentations by several campers to three VC judges.  A dozen start-up companies went through the Spring session of this semi-annual program.  This two day program continues to surprise  the participants with the value they receive from the presenters and mentors.  The comments below from one of the campers expresses the common sentiment of nearly every participant.   If you are starting up... [Read More...]

Boot Camp & ACE

As a long time Boot Camp drill instructor I have had the good fortune to work with a number of early stage companies that have gone on to commercialize their technologies. An important step in that path is often soliciting and securing funding for the new business. One of the critical lessons that Boot Camp teaches is distilling the important elements of your business into a concise two minute presentation or “elevator pitch”. Armed with this... [Read More...]

SPARK Boot Camp – A Camper’s Retrospective

Sharpened focus, expanded network and accelerated execution. Everyone with a business idea loves to talk about it.  They talk and talk!  Few actually take action. At the beginning of 2008 Dylan Imre and I came up with the idea of creating a business around software for prediction markets.  One of the earliest actions we took  was to  attend the Ann Arbor SPARK Boot Camp in the spring of 2008.  And good thing we did! It set us on the path to... [Read More...]

Getting the Strategy Right

Business in a fiercely competitive world demands focusing on an area where battles can be won. The right strategy and people makes winning those battles possible. Ann Arbor SPARK has developed many educational programs which are geared to helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their business. Entrepreneurs  Boot Camp, now in its fifteenth session is an example of a program to help launch companies by connecting them with mentors and creating a safe... [Read More...]

Entrepreneur Boot Camp Applications Available

Ann Arbor SPARK’s Business Accelerator is now accepting applications for its next Entrepreneur Boot Camp, scheduled April 23-24. Teams interested in participating in the two-day business planning and preparation event must submit applications by March 30, 2009. For more info, check out http://www.annarborusa.org/start-ups/boot-camp/  Read More →

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