Author Archive

“I’ll Ask You More Questions Next Time” – How a coffee shop hooked me in

Those of you who know me, know I’m a very loyal fan of a certain Midwest-based coffee shop chain. This chain does not have a location in my downtown area, so I occasionally find myself visiting another chain (no, not  *that* one. Well, sometimes).

I visited on Monday and made a purchase. As I usually do, I engaged in some discussion and banter with the folks behind the counter. I left, thinking nothing more of the encounter than just another retail transaction.

I returned today (Wednesday) and made another purchase. At the register, the guy said, “hey, you’re the business professor, right?” remembering our conversation from Monday. I was pleasantly surprised that he remembered, and we started talking about the summer. I mentioned I was planning to go backpacking and he said “I’ve been thinking about getting into that this summer.” I gave him some tips on a local place to go, and a book to read. As I was leaving, I said “good luck on your trip!” and he said, “oh, I have a lot more questions — I’ll definitely ask you next time!”

Immediately, I thought — “I have to come back here.” Now I have a connection, and an obligation (or something just short of an obligation) to help this person. Now this coffee shop isn’t just one conveniently located — it’s one where there is someone I know, who expects me to return, and provide him with information.

Ingenious. My gut feeling is that this is intentional, a marketing move. I feel a loyalty to this shop that I didn’t feel before — in just an instant’s worth of conversation.

How can you use conversation and connection in your business to build loyalty?


May 18, 2011 at 10:20 am Leave a comment

Meet the Judges!

At the end of the semester in Creative Entrepreneurship, students present their final business plans to a group of entrepreneurs for important real-world feedback.

This semester, we are pleased to invite the following judges to campus:

Detailed information about our wonderful judges after the jump! We appreciate their time and advice!

-Dr. Evans


April 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm Leave a comment

Where are the studentpreneurs?

I’m writing this at the <a href="NCIIA Open conference in Alexandria, VA. The conference is about catalyzing innovation, and it’s all people from universities — so there is a ton of talk about student-launched businesses.

At my lunch table were engineering students from Boston University who launched mobiLIFE. Brian Chan and his team entered multiple business plan competitions, won some prizes (including free legal work from a top Boston law firm), and are entering the prototype phase. mobiLIFE will offer diabetes patients and their physicians continuous, painless glucose monitoring.

There is also an OpenMinds exhibition of student projects.

This leads me to ask: where is the LTU mobiLIFE? Why don’t we see LTU students in technical, design and other areas fighting to get into these competitions? How can we encourage more participation? Should we encourage it?

-Dr Evans

March 24, 2011 at 2:14 pm 5 comments

Not How It Works

We didn't believe you at first, but we asked like three people who were at that party. They not only corroborated your story, but even said you totally mentioned wanting to start a company someday. Sorry! If this isn't enough money, let us know.

Click on the comic to see the last 2 panels. Make sure to mouse over the image as well to see some more funny text!

March 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

Guestpreneur: Pavan Muzumdar

Pavan Muzumdar, CFA will be speaking with our class on February 22.
Pavan Muzumdar is the managing director of Pieris Capital, LLC, and the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Lawrence Technological University, where he fosters an entrepreneurial mindset in LTU students and faculty alike. He is also the CEO of MV Software Company.
In 2008, Pavan established Pieris Capital, LLC, a private equity advisory firm that bridges the gap between management consulting and investment banking. Managed with a global outlook, it focuses on wealth preservation and growth using innovative approaches in investment management.
In his nearly 13 years of experience as a CEO of MV Software Company and COO of Detroit Hitch Company and JRE Tires, he has directed operations in IT and wholesale/retail distribution and handled other matters including business development, capital raising, divestitures, litigation, and turnarounds.
Pavan was Associate Director with Cambridge Technology Partners, where he served as a senior consultant to Fortune 500 clients in the IT services, securities back-office processing,telecommunications, manufacturing, and healthcare industries.
He is currently active as either a founding member or financial advisor to startups in the financial services, healthcare, manufacturing technology, and social media realms.
He coaches award-winning companies in the GLEQ Business Plan competition and is a board member of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Great Lakes, the local chapter of a global community of technology entrepreneurs.
Pavan holds master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts and a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Bombay.
He is a member of the CFA Institute and a CFA charter holder.

February 21, 2011 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Entrepreneurs Forum in Southfield – 5 FREE student passes available!

Check out this event — if you are interested, email Amanda Falkenbury at and see if she has any free passes available. This looks like it will be a great networking event!


Local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are invited to attend the 2011Entrepreneurs Forum. Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence will welcome entrepreneurs from acrossSoutheast Michigan for a day of information and networking.
The day-long event, which will take place, Friday March 18, 2011, from 9 a.m. – 4p.m., will feature educational workshops, panel discussions with leading experts in the fields of finance, business development and internet marketing, as well as networking opportunities with local leaders and business owners.
Panel guests include Nancy Grose from the Small Business Association, Brad Wyatt, Esq. from DickinsonWright PLLC, Ebony Johnson of Tech Town, Pierre N LaVoie from the Small Business Administration ofMichigan and Walt Bender, Tim Horton’s franchisee.
The afternoon session will feature breakout sessions, with relevant and informative topics for businessowners such as How to Find Capital for Your Business, Using Internet Marketing and Social Media toExplode Your Business, The Power of Email Marketing, Three Steps to Unlimited Clients and The Secrets of Savvy Networking
The event, organized by the South East Michigan Entrepreneurs Association (SEMEA) in conjunction withYMB Training Solutions, was developed “to give business owners a voice in the community. It addressesthe needs of area businesses in an effort to increase awareness and survival rates,” explains SEMEAboard member and conference speaker, Dr. ZaLonya Allen.
Registration is $25 by March 11th and $50 at the door. Registration fees include access to paneldiscussion, breakout sessions, exhibitor and vendor displays and lunch with invited guest Irv Lowenberg,Southfield City Treasurer and keynote speaker Sylvia Jordan, former Southfield city council president.Attendees will also have an opportunity to participate in Speed Networking to connect with other areabusiness owners that can help them grow their businesses.
For additional information and to register, please visit or call 248-352-0509.
The South East Michigan Entrepreneurs Association is designed to encourage Michigan residents todevelop and grow area businesses. The group meets the fourth Thursday of each month from 6:30pm –8pm at YMB Training Solutions located at 18444 W 10 Mile Road in Southfield. For more information

February 21, 2011 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Build More Idea Pitch Experience And Win $$

Another competition for your consideration:

February 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm 2 comments

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