YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University’s Center for Entrepreneurship offers promising entrepreneurs a chance to make their business goals a reality with an Executive Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Venture Challenge program. Recently, Brighton resident and EMU alumna, Sarah Beatty, was selected among 16 entrepreneurs in the program and awarded a $25K prize after pitching her idea to a panel of business leaders from southeast Michigan.
According to Sanjib Chowdhury, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, small business has created 60-70 percent of the jobs over the last 10 years, but many people need direction. That’s where this program can help, said Chowdhury. “Our mission is to help entrepreneurs start and run their small businesses.
EMU's Center for Entrepreneurship launched the Executive Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Venture Challenge program in early January. The eight-week certificate program was a mix of in-person and virtual programming featuring experts in academia, industry, professional coaches, start-up investors, and mentors. Topics ranged from evaluating startup ideas and business concepts to financial planning and attracting customers.
Sarah Beatty, founder of Ann Arbor-based Culturewell and winner of the $25K prize, said it was incredibly fulfilling to share her idea with the community. Culturewell is a cleanliness analytics platform that saves healthcare administrators money by empowering them to make data-driven decisions on how to strategically deploy cleaning resources to prevent infections.
“It was an honor to win the award because the significant effort I've put into building Culturewell is beginning to make a difference,” said Beatty.
Beatty plans to use the funding to deploy testing for COVID-19 on surfaces, allowing clients to help improve customer and employee confidence in returning to work in person.
In addition to Beatty being selected as the winner of the Venture Challenge program, five runners-up were chosen to receive a physical address and mailbox provided by the Michigan Innovation Headquarters in Ann Arbor and 20 hours/month conference room access for a year. Two more finalists will receive similar benefits from Ann Arbor SPARK-east. Each participant also received a certificate for successfully completing this program.
Snehal Patel, founder, and CEO of HeloGenika, said he credits this program for helping him grow as an entrepreneur. “I’ve made connections with business leaders in the greater community, which normally would not be available to me.”
Beatty’s advice to people wishing to explore a business venture is to take advantage of free or low-cost resources and network. “There is a multitude of free and low-cost resources available from the SBDC and Ann Arbor SPARK, among others,” said Beatty. “For entrepreneurs interested in future angel or venture funding, build and leverage your networks by attending virtual and in-person networking events, such as A2 NewTech, A2 Biosocial, or Shine+Rise.”
Visit the webpage for more information about EMU's Center for Entrepreneurship.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.