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Entrepreneurship & Society

Creativeness develops from our natural endowment, through our individual ability to think, and our particular talents. -- Alden B. Dow, Reflections

As history consistently demonstrates, entrepreneurship plays an indispensable role in the building and maintenance of healthy societies. When entrepreneurs succeed, so does the rest of society. And when they don’t, the likelihood that others will quickly diminishes.

True to our unique philosophy, entrepreneurship remains a central and growing part of who we are and the programs we offer at Northwood University. Our BBA in Entrepreneurship, for example, has grown into one of most active and popular degree programs with 65 majors enrolled this spring. Further, among the many scholarships we offer, five in particular aim at cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders:

  • The Betsy and Dick DeVos Scholars for Free-Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • The Entrepreneur Scholarship and the Entrepreneur Transfer Scholarship
  • The Free Enterprise Scholarship and the Free Enterprise Transfer Scholarship

In addition, students on our Michigan campus can apply for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce/Northwood University Partnership scholarship.

Another example was on full display on our Florida campus this past Monday, April 7. Funded and supported by the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise, The Student Business Pitch Competition offers enterprising NU students the opportunity to showcase their business product or service idea with the possibility of earning $500 in capital funding. This year’s participants were:

  • Jake Lockhart (Uppley – Smart phone app for customers and DJ’s at nightclubs)
  • Chase Dittmer (Mary – Smart phone app for legal medical marijuana dispensaries)
  • Lars Nys (Mall Pro – Smart phone app for identifying shopping opportunities in certain shopping malls)
  • Edward Lomax (Removeable/Replaceable wallpaper)
  • Joavane Prince and Nicholas Cooper (Hypo-Tech – a heating and/or cooling body patch)

Chase Dittmer, a freshman in the Entrepreneurship program on our Michigan campus took first prize honors with his idea—Mary—for a software application custom designed for the 943 medical marijuana dispensaries around the U.S. And true to past competitions, this year’s event included proven entrepreneurial leaders as competition judges:

  • Karen Stedman, Proprietor of the CPA firm eponymous, Northwood alumna,  and member of NU Florida Board of Governors
  • Ron Gaither – President and CEO of First City Bank of North Palm Beach
  • Mike Olsher – Veteran entrepreneur and adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship and Economics at NU

In both our classrooms, and the unique experiential learning opportunities we offer, NU students are learning entrepreneurship firsthand. Through interaction with instructors such as professors Jim Hop and George Stamas, our Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence Bob James, and cutting-edge programs—such as The Student Business Pitch Competition—made possible by Georgia Abbott and the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise NU students are leveraging their individual endowments to produce new and creative products and services that benefit us all.

Have a great weekend.


Keith A. Pretty, J.D. President and CEO Northwood University 4000 Whiting Drive Midland, MI 48640 989.837.4203

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