By Terri Finch Hamilton, '83
Reprinted from Centralight, Summer 2016
Entrepreneurship is hot, and Central Michigan University alumni are part of the most successful and encouraging business startup climate in two decades.
The number of new entrepreneurs rose 10 percent nationwide last year, and Michigan ranks in the top 10 states for growth in new business owners.
What are Central's entrepreneurs selling? You name it. Their products are innovative, useful and just plain fun.
- A unique sports bra that landed a deal on the hit ABC TV show "Shark Tank," which helps inventors finance, market and sell their products.
- Edgy greeting cards that regularly land on fun lists from Buzzfeed, a popular internet media company that generates six billion views a month.
- Training footballs with beeping sensors that help receivers fumble less.
- Intricate medical illustrations used to – among other things – help courtroom juries understand complicated medical cases.
Central is known for its stellar entrepreneur programs that spur startups, and the CMU Research Corp. – a business accelerator and incubator on campus – adds even more to the mix, offering gutsy and motivated businessmen and women multiple layers of support.
Four energized CMU entrepreneurs talk about how their time at Central prepared them, inspired them and continues to fire them up.