Seize the Summer: Staying Engaged

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Memorial day weekend has come and past, and the threat of the summer slump looms in our near future. For most of us, it is hard to stay focused on projects throughout the summer months. Luckily, the team at Innovate Blue has a few opportunities for you to take your idea to the next level. The needs of every startups are vastly different, and this post from our Seize the Summer series will help you stay focused as you move forward these next few weeks.

Find the Right Cofounder

For many new entrepreneurs, building a team can be one of the most daunting steps in the startup process. Each member of a founding team brings a different skillset and getting connected to the right people could take months, if not years! That’s where the Michigan Founder Finder comes in. With more than 25,000 introductions made so far, Founder Finder is the perfect tool to get connected to likeminded entrepreneurs. Whether you’re looking for an engineer, programmer, marketer or an all around entrepreneurial guru, Founder Finder will let you search for people in your area.

Get Out and Work the Network

Finding a cofounder and building out your team through resources like Founder Finder isn’t for everyone. Some aspiring entrepreneurs do best in describing their concept in person. This summer the greater Ann Arbor area has a ton of different meetups for connecting with fellow entrepreneurs. Want to network and connect with other entrepreneurs, marketers, investors, and students in the area? The social networking portal Meetup.com has a number of upcoming events for aspiring startup founders. Attending these meetups will give you the opportunity to network with business owners, startups and other people looking to get into the startup world. The Ann Arbor New Tech Meetup even gives opportunities to demo your project to the audience. Their flagship event  (3-5 companies each get 5 minutes to demo, 5 minutes to answer questions, then open announcements and networking) is the third Tuesday of each month. Attend the meetup or give your pitch this summer!

More information on all of the Meetup opportunities in the Ann Arbor area can be found here.

Light the ‘SPARK’ with Ann Arbor Community Entrepreneurship Events

Another way to get connected to entrepreneurs in the Ann Arbor area is to attend one of the many events at Ann Arbor SPARK. The resources at SPARK can help you and your team form an LLC, learn HTML, and learn project management skills! Outside of their workshops they also have events that encourage networking and exploring the companies and startup incubators located throughout the Ann Arbor area. June is a busy month over at SPARK. Get more info on all of the events that they are hosting here.

Rainy Days are for Research!

You can also spend those rainy summer days inside watching some of the best episodes of the College of Engineering’s CFE’s Entrepreneurship Hour. Watch Rich Sheridan, CEO and Co-Founder of Menlo Innovations, speak to University of Michigan students about the importance of the Viking helmet, the meaning of “joy” in the workplace, and why a software company chose paper over databases. Or, check out Moses Lee, CEO and Co-founder of Seelio, talk about his company and how his life experiences helped shape his idea. Another great talk comes from Jen Baird, the CEO of Accio Energy, as she speaks about her experience starting a life sciences company – Accuri Cytometers – from the ground up. Watch the full episode here.

So grab your team (or create one), attend a networking event, make some popcorn and watch successful entrepreneurs share their stories, and talk with other innovators to get inspired. Then, hold a brainstorming session in Innovate Blue’s conference room or innovation space to make sure that you keep moving forward this summer. You can do it, and we’ve got your back!

Photo by Pierre-Olivier Bourgeois for Unsplash.

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