Students Hit the Jackpot in Venture Competition, $40K with Two Awards; Third Place Brings Home $5K
The following excerpt comes from the Michigan Tech News in Houghton, Michigan and was originally published on April 3, 2012.
“Michigan Technological University students placed first and third in the New Venture Competition held recently on the campus of Central Michigan University. The first place team also was named Best Social Venture.
Ben Mitchell and Wade Aitken-Palmer won for creating better bicycle components for rural Africans who depend on their bicycles for their livelihood. Their idea, called Baisikeli Ugunduzi (Swahili for “modern bicycle”), captured a $30,000 first prize and another $10,000 for Best Social Venture, for its sustainability and social impact, among other criteria. The invention is a tube that eliminates flat tires.
Mitchell, a PhD student in mechanical engineering, and Aitken-Palmer, a student in the Peace Corps Master's International program, have been working on the business idea since last year. Mitchell said the inspiration began with his stint in the Peace Corps a couple of years before that.”
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