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OU INC (Incubator) Oakland University

1 Golf View Lane

Rochester, MI 48309

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Innovation Workshop Weekend


You will learn how to evaluate the viability of new innovations, develop a business model for them and communicate effectively with investors, advisers, prospective customers, team recruits and others. It is ideal preparation for developing highly competitive teams in pitch competitions and for early investor discussions.

Bring an idea and team or develop a new one with us. We provide introductions, training, expert coaching and even meals. Our facilitator has taught this program for the National Science Foundation and around the world.

Women and minority participants are especially welcomed with introductions to regional support partners and programs.

+ Open to all technologies, with a special focus on medical tech innovations.

FREE with the generous support of the New Economy Initiative, Oakland University and their partners.

Seats are limited, register yourself or a team now!




This weekend combines instruction, applied learning, peer and coach feedback as well as a competition that helps prepare technology entrepreneurs for later meetings with customers, investors, collaborators and other stakeholders in their success.

Over 2,000 participants have worked through this program with our facilitator, Neil Sheridan, as preparation for a company launch or in anticipation of leading in technology innovation. Our participants and sponsors have taken their experiences on to high-profile competitions, securing investment, and receiving commercialization assistance from industry and research university partners. This program has previously been provided by the National Science Foundation to its grantees and their research teams, to a leading research university and its hospital system and other groups.

The program provides a balanced amount of time for group work and coaching. Participants routinely compare it more favorably to startup weekend experiences, highlighting that they receive excellent instruction and a clear path of actionable next steps for future development.


Oakland University's OU INC Technology Accelerator Complex

Day by Day Program Guide

FRIDAY, April 7th

04:30PM Welcome Desk opens / Site tours
05:00 Welcome and Orientation
05:30 Ideation and Building Teams
07:30 Networking Break
08:00 Value, Business Models and Communications
10:00 Wrap-up and Next Day Overview

SATURDAY, April 8th

07:00AM Breakfast bar open
08:00 Guest speaker over breakfast
08:30 Communications Workshop
09:00 Communications Practice - Round 1
:00 Break
10:20 Technology Entrepreneurship Finance Intro
11:30 Improving Communications
Noon Lunch
12:30 Panel of Active Startup and Growth Companies
01:00 Customers and Markets
02:00 Selling
03:00 Break-out and Coaching
05:00 Team Status Checks and Open Discussion
05:30 Dinner Break
06:30 Prototyping and Usability
07:00 Communications Practice - Round 2
:00 Wrap-up, Homework Reminder, Next Day
Assignments due to

SUNDAY, April 9th

07:00AM Breakfast bar open
08:00 Open Mic
08:30 Answering Tough Questions
09:00 Communications Practice - Round 3
:00 Break-out and Coaching
Noon Working Lunch with Coaches
01:00 Teams finalize canvasses
02:00 Judges begin interviewing teams on canvasses
04:00 Competition begins
06:00 Awards Ceremony and Reception

About Neil Sheridan

Neil Sheridan is the CEO of SVPI. Neil has extensive leadership experience as an entrepreneur, executive, board member and consultant for manufacturing, banking, securities, insurance, energy, higher education, healthcare, government and non-profit organizations. He has served Forbes 100 companies, growing businesses, governments, associations and foundations on strategy and management projects.

Neil served as Treasurer and Secretary of the Board of Trustees for a major urban healthcare system with roles on accreditation preparation, performance improvement, financial management and facilties planning. Neil has helped found and develop several large operating foundations with multi-million dollar programs. For the Small Business Association of Michigan, Neil serves on the Board of Directors and chairs the Entrepreneurship Task Force. On a national level, Neil has reviewed R&D funding proposals for the National Science Foundation, including for energy, biomedical, new materials and automotive technologies. The United
States Secretary of Commerce appointed him in
2013 to the Michigan District Export Council, which helps Midwest companies grow their international sales.

Neil is a founder and the Director of the PINE Consortium, an international collaborative of university, industry and government partners focused on understanding and assisting company growth.

Neil has taught MBA and undergraduate business students on international business, management and marketing at Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute), the University of Michigan, the University of Windsor (Canada), and the University of Groningen (Netherlands).

Neil has worked with hundreds of companies on marketing, financial management, team recruitment, selling and funding issues. Neil is an expert facilitator and has helped create successful organizational development or turnaround strategies by fostering effective communications and consensus among leaders, board members and professionals.

He earned an MBA in Finance at New York University, a Master of Science degree in Information Technology at Kettering, and a Bachelor degree in International Affairs at Drew University.

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OU INC (Incubator) Oakland University

1 Golf View Lane

Rochester, MI 48309

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