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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Business competition challenges students

NMU will host a competition which will feature several students presenting business proposals as they compete for a variety of cash prizes.

The New Business Venture Competition, which is open to the public, will be held on April 8 from 12 – 7:15 p.m. in the Explorer Rooms of the University Center. The competition consists of a trade fair, a 60-second elevator pitch explaining the proposed business, an oral business plan presentation and an awards reception. There will be cash prizes totaling $9,000, which will be awarded to the top three business plans, best trade fair presentation and best elevator pitch.

Ray Amtmann, an instructor in the College of Business, is one of the competition’s organizers.

“It’s an opportunity to take your academic experience and turn it into a money-making proposition that could be a major developmental step in your life,” said Amtmann. “As a college student, you can create and get a business off the ground. Look at Bill Gates––he started Microsoft in a college dorm room.”

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The competition will offer competitors an opportunity to network with judges and start a successful business.

“It’s not academic. It’s a chance for students who are interested in business to get advice from successful business people,” he said. “The first-place businesses from the past two years are both up and running.”

Competitors Steve Farr, a graduate student, and Chad Walker, an NMU graduate, are putting together a plan for their business, Great Lakes Cremation Services, which would be located in Gwinn, Mich. Farr said their business would offer services not offered by other crematories in the Upper Peninsula and lower prices.

“Our business will offer pickup and delivery services, which make things a lot easier for the funeral director,” he said. “We’re going to keep our business costs, like office supplies, low so we can be as cheap as possible. The money we save will be reflected in our prices.”

Farr said that he has high hopes for what the competition will do for his business and how he can put his new skills to use.

“Hopefully we can get people interested in this business and get things off the ground,” he said. “Each part of the competition makes you think critically and is a learning experience.”

Joshua Petrovich, a junior computer information systems major, is presenting a remote data backup company called Pulsar Backup. The business will backup computer files through the Internet. Petrovich said that backup services are essential with today’s technology.

Petrovich said that the skills he learned in the classroom are being put to the test by the competition.

“I’ve been forced to think about my business on so many different levels,” he said. “I find potential problems, and then I have to find backup plans. I’ve gained a whole new skill set.”

Petrovich said that he hopes to gain investors as a result of the competition. To start his business, he said he will need between $275,000 and $1 million.

“I’m hoping one of the judges is interested or can give me contacts of investors or venture capitalists that would be interested in the business,” he said.

Amtmann said that the competition will be fun for competitors and spectators alike. “Students can see what it’s like to present a business idea,” he said. “Students will be able to see their peers in a competitive environment. They should come out and support their classmates who are trying to get their businesses off the ground.”

For more information about the business competition, contact  Amtmann at 906-227-2647.

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