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[events] Entrepreneur Education 1.0: Entrepreneur and Startup Ventures

Entrepreneur Education 1.0: Entrepreneur and Startup Ventures
Sponsored by Ann Arbor Spark Ann Arbor SPARK

Date: 9/1/2010

Time: 5:00 PM-7:00 PM
5:00 pm – 5:30 pm Registration/Networking, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm Presentation

Speaker: Kurt Riegger, Business Engines

SPARK Central
330 East Liberty, Lower Level
Ann Arbor MI 48104

Cost: $10.00

Register Now
Defining yourself as an entrepreneur and understanding what lies before you will give you a realistic frame of reference for your new venture. What are the 5 common mistakes Entrepreneurs make on startup? Do you have the skills and background to be an entrepreneur? What does the roadmap to a successful venture look like? This session will help you understand the difference between scientific invention and a commercial venture, your role as the start-up founder and CEO, and the framework to understand how investors see early stage investment in your company.

The Entrepreneur Education 1.0 series are programs designed for innovation based entrepreneurs that are in the process of launching their company.

Posted by kkowatch on August 30, 2010 at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

Like it or Not, Social Networking is Effective For Your Job Search

Social Networking Your Way to a New Job
Job hunters must learn to navigate the social protocol of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites.


Posted by jckroll on August 30, 2010 at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)

Who Doesn't Want $60,000 of Their Student Loans Paid for Them?

$60,000 Tuition Payback!
by Mike Causey

A few years back, at least among younger workers, anybody who stayed with the same company or in the same job for more than a few years either got bored, burnt-out or was labeled a loser who had peaked in mid-30s.

Not any more...

Many federal agencies report a bumper crop of job applicants who at one time might have would have sneered at anyone who sought job security over excitement and challenge.

But thanks to the recession, and a generous student loan repayment deal, a growing number of young professionals are viewing the federal government as the employer of choice. Sometimes the only choice. At least for now...

Bottom line is that whether people are coming into government to serve, make a difference or give back (most oft cited reasons) many are coming into government and signing agreements that will keep them in government for at least three years.

In addition to being about the only place that's hiring these days, and also the place where one can make-a-difference, give-back or serve (choose one) Uncle Sam will pay off your student loans. Workers who qualify (and sign an agreement to stick around for at least 3 years) can get up to $10,000 per year to pay off a student loan, up to a maximum of $60,000 per qualified employee.

The most recent OPM report (fiscal year 2009) on the Student Loan Repayment Program shows that 40 of 89 agencies that responded did provide some loan relief, or had programs in place. The average student got $7,137 to pay off the loan. That's considered income for tax purposes, which pains some recipients, but it is better than the proverbial sharp stick in the eye.

Guess which occupations took advantage of the program? You are right if you said attorney, criminal investigator, intelligence community and contract specialists. Agencies reported people with those skills are the one's they want to attract and retain, so they got first consideration when it came time to decide who gets what and how much.

Posted by kkowatch on August 30, 2010 at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

[funding] Accelerate Michign Innovation Competetion

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition
Over $1 Million in Cash and Prizes

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is an international business plan competition which highlights Michigan as a robust and vibrant venue for innovation and business opportunity. The competition fuels innovation-based business growth by uncovering the best and brightest new business concepts from local and global entrepreneurs, exposing those opportunities to potential investment capital and fostering their growth within Michigan.

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition targets mid-to-late-stage business start-ups with potential to generate an immediate impact on Michigan’s economy, as well as student concepts with longer-term business viability.
With more than $1 million in cash winnings, plus in-kind awards of services, staffing and software, the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is the world’s largest business plan competition.

Learn more:
* Company Competition
* Student Competition

Posted by kkowatch on August 24, 2010 at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

How to Find SI-CDO in North Quad

We continue to settle in and learn our way around North Quad – it is great to be here! I wanted to confirm and clarify some key points to help you in accessing the building and using the spaces available to you:

North Quad Building Access
Quite a few of the exterior doors at North Quad still have signs that say “closed to the public.” These will remain for a few more weeks while final construction and moving in furniture is completed to discourage too much foot traffic. However, SI is now in the building and SI students have access – so SI students are not “the public” and are free to come on in!

Finding SI within North Quad
To get to SI within North Quad, I find it is easiest to come up the steps off Washington Street, enter the courtyard and turn left, then enter the second set of doors on your left. Inside those doors you will find the academic elevators just beyond the entrance to the dining hall. Come up to the third floor and the Student Affairs suite (where the SI Career Development Office is located) is just around the corner on the right (room 3360).

Dining Hall within North Quad
Speaking of the Dining Hall, it will be open by end of August, and you can purchase meals there as you wish using cash, credit or Blue Bucks, or which can be applied to your Mcard. You can also purchase a meal plan. See http://www.housing.umich.edu/dining/menus for details.

SI Student Lounges
Note that the new SI student lounges (two spacious adjoining lounges, one for socializing/eating, the other for study and group work) are on the first floor, so if you took the academic elevator down to level one, come off the elevator and go right, then walk down the hall a short way to the SI student lounge (room 1295). The lounge furniture will not arrive until mid-August; I will email you when the lounge is ready for your use. You will access the lounge by swiping your Mcard. The social/eating lounge has vending machines and a kitchen area with microwave and full size refrigerator.

Group Project Meeting Rooms
There are several group meeting spaces on the first floor which will have card swipe access; these are not fully furnished yet so I will email you when they are ready and will provide guidelines for accessing these rooms.

Faculty/Staff lounges – for faculty and staff use
On the third and fourth floors of SI, there are faculty/staff lounges which are not physically closed off but are not for master’s student use. Since doctoral students are also staff due to their teaching and research appointments, they will have access to the faculty/staff lounges. There are some alcove areas on floors three and four which will soon be furnished and students could land there to work from a laptop or chat with someone, but even if the faculty/staff lounges aren’t occupied when you walk by, please respect the purpose of these spaces.

There will also be lots of space for students to relax or work in the public areas on the first and second levels of the building, such as in the Media Gateway.

Note to doctoral students: While doctoral students don’t move into North Quad until October along with faculty and staff from the SI North building, you are welcome to use the lounges, meeting rooms, and common areas when at North Quad.

Hopefully you received my recent email inviting you to the North Quad Housewarming event on September 15. Also watch your email for an invitation to visit the Student Affairs suite on the first day of classes for morning coffee and baked goods!

Please let me know if you have additional questions now or later as you begin to use the North Quad facility. We will do our best to help make your transition to our new space as smooth as possible.


Judy Lawson
Director, Admissions and Student Affairs
School of Information
University of Michigan

Posted by kkowatch on August 09, 2010 at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

[Event] Google APIs A-Z: Thurs Aug 12 at Google Ann Arbor

Google APIs A-Z: Thurs Aug 12 at Google Ann Arbor

Join Michigan GTUG this Thursday, Aug 12 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Google Ann Arbor for a promising event hosted by the Michigan Google Technology Users Group:


Pamela Fox, a Developer Evangelist from Google Australia, will be
speaking about Google APIs: A-Z (her original talk was to be on Wave,
which was recently EOL'd). This talk, covering 40+ Google web APIs,
offers a great introduction to Google's many web services (check out
Pamela's timeline of APIs, using Google Spreadsheets and Charts, here: http://imagine-it.org/google/apistimeline.html

Food and drink at the event will be sponsored by the Epitec Group, and we're reserving the Bar Louie patio for folks to socialize after the event. Please invite your friends, and RSVP!

Posted by kkowatch on August 09, 2010 at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

If You Are An Intern, Know Your Value!

One of the blogs I subscribe to had an interesting article written from the perspective of what you can learn from an intern. For all of our 134 students doing internships this summer and for all of our readers who have been interns in the past, know that you made a contribution!

Although I've posted the text below, I suggest going to the link as the author, Penelope, peppers her blog text with some other fun, interesting links to blogs, etc.

Fire-up your career by befriending the intern

I am going to be a better person at self-promotion because I don’t brag enough. Ryan Paugh, who was basically my intern when I met him, and now he's almost my boss and definitely my social-skills mentor, tells me that I am popular because I'm interesting but that I suck at self-promotion. (He uses, as an example, the day I promoted an event on my blog a few hours after it it actually happened.)

I do not tell Ryan to shut up because he has taught me a ton about myself since the day I started working with him. And in fact, he makes me feel qualified to tell you why you can fire-up your career by paying close attention to the people with the least work experience.

1. Recognize interns are gatekeepers to the good stuff.
When it was time to promote my second book, I went to Keith Ferrazzi, author of one of my favorite career advice books. I needed a quotation from Keith that said something like, “I am The Great Keith Ferazzi and I can tell you for sure that your career will be crap and you will die drowning in the blood of a rabid coyote if you do not buy Penelope Trunk’s book.”

Just so you don’t get confused, I’m going to start calling my first book my first book and my second book my second book. At this point, I have written enough about oral sex and family atrocities that you will not be shocked to hear that first book is really a memoir that my publisher – out of the University of Colorado — decided was too disturbing to be sold as a memoir, so it was published as a novel.
Anyway, another thing Keith is great at is hiring interns. Keith’s intern, and gatekeeper, at the time of the publication of my second book, was Ian Ybarra. Ian said sure, he could come up with a quote. (It did not have animal references, but still, it was a nice endorsement.) Ian could see that I was a book-promotion novice, so he started giving me tips: Trade email lists, give speeches, pitch bloggers. Note: this was five years ago, when no one pitched bloggers.

Wait, please. Do not send me your book because I get too many. I’m sick of getting copies of business books. (Note to all publishers: I am getting really good at self-promotion and my blog is about to really take off, so could you please start sending me books with literary merit? Here’s my address: 15010 Oak Grove Lane, Darlington, WI 53030.) (And, a note to people who are going to say aren’t I worried that if I publish my address that stalkers will come get me in my sleep. Check me out on Google maps. The farm is so remote that even a stalker would be scared to go there in the dark.) (Finally, a note about using parentheses: Can we talk about style? Can there be more talk about style in blogging? Are links inherently parenthetical? What if each thought in a post is parenthetical, but they all add up to something that is central to our lives? Is that innovative or is it too e e cummings?) It’s so difficult to be original.

2. Take extra time on the phone, because interns take time to chat about things that really matter.
Then, one day, Ian wrote to me that he was moving with his girlfriend to Beloit. And then to Saudi Arabia. Or something like that. I can’t remember where he moved, but he grew up in a really really small town in a state that gets joked about just like Wisconsin. And he told me about how MIT courted him because he had high SAT scores in a weird zip code. When I worry about my kids going to a rural school with no orchestra, I hang my hat on hopes painted with broad brush strokes of the tidbits of Ian’s life that I may or may not remember correctly.

The next intern was Ryan Geist. I love him because I met him when he was at a big job at a big firm where I would never have been able to go to when I was his age because I was too busy not doing what the world expected me to do. What I love about Ryan is he gave those expectations a chance, and he was brave enough to say he didn’t like them, and he landed on Keith’s doorstep.

At the same time Ryan was there, so was Sara Grace. She called to get a quote from me. And I started talking to her about what she does. What her aspirations are. And she started telling me all these ways that Keith repurposes content. I was blown away. He is great at turning everything he writes or says into a post. The thing that really struck me was that he records interviews and has them transcribed in India and then edited into a post. That’s a great idea.

3. Let an intern show you your weak spot: you'll love her for it.
That’s a great idea because reporters ask interesting questions. And then I end up talking about topics I hadn’t thought about talking about before. The reporter uses 10% of what I say and the rest is gone. Poof. I do about five interviews a week, so recording them seemed like a good idea. But I realized that I actually like the process of writing. I don’t like the process of reading what I already said. (I wonder, does anyone actually like that process? It seems solipsistic. And shut up to all you people who think everything I do is solipsistic, self-promotion. Here is a list of people who are a thousand times better at self-promotion I am at it and I wish I could be any of them for a day:

Guy Kawasaki
Jason Calcanis
Ramit Sethi

And probably all you people who say that I’m in love with myself and never shut up about myself are also people who rant about me into a recorder and then hit replay so you can listen to yourself rant.)

4. Lay groundwork to get a job from the intern one day. (You never know…)
So goal number one is to be better at promoting myself.
And goal number two is to be better at using all the content I generate to create more posts. I am also not good at this because once I generate the content, it bores me. I want to move on. So I’m not sure how I will meet this goal either.

But here’s a start:

Esquire magazine contacted me this week about how to quit. And I decided it might make a good blog post. I see that it’s taken me too many words to get to it. So it’s hard to say that it’s the real subject of this blog post. But maybe you will like it:
(Don't do an exit interview. If they wanted to hear your ideas about how to make things better, you wouldn't be quitting, would you? So this is really just a way for you to burn bridges and annoy people. Don't fall into the trap. If they insist on an exit interview, say nothing negative. At all.

Send a thank you note. Anyone you worked closely with should get a hand-written thank you note. Bring up specific times when they surprised you with kindness, made your work better, invigorated you with their own contagious brilliance or creativity. And, if you are thinking that you work with people who merely make you want to hit your head on a brick wall, remember this: Intelligent people should can learn from anyone.

Take a vacation. You probably think about work all the time, not because you're a slave but because you like solving problems and learning new things and meeting interesting people. Which is what work really is. This means that the only time you can really take a vacation is in between jobs. So do that. Don't start the new job right away.

Have humility. You are probably not quitting to take a job that sucks, right? So, since you are quitting for a better job, you don't need to shove it in peoples' faces that you are moving up in the world and they are not. The world is not a race to a McMansion, the world is a contest for who can be the most kind hearted and tolerant. That's what makes a good life–you'll get kindness in return. So be gracious and grateful.)

Think of quitting as a networking event. These people are no longer your co-workers, they are they network that will help you get the job after the one you just got. And don't forget the entry-level people who look like they couldn't help anyone. The interns will get big jobs one day, and they will remember each person who saw them for who they are and who they could be.

Posted by kkowatch on August 05, 2010 at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)