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Ideas 2 Business Lab presents project showcase

Thursday, June 5, 2014
Ideas 2 Business Lab presents project showcase


Oakland University students, faculty and staff involved in the Ideas 2 Business Lab (i2B) appreciate the resources and support it provides. Since its inception in late 2011, the dedicated staff of the i2B has remained focused on its dual mission to provide members of the OU community with the resources to develop and commercialize their business ideas while also giving OU students across disciplines real-world experience.

Kelly Torpey, MKT ’14

“Being part of the i2B was the best business experience of my life,” said Kelly Torpey, MKT ’14, principal, Café de Kuna, a business that launched with the support of the i2B.

The i2B marked its upcoming third anniversary with a project showcase where i2B teams in various stages of development displayed their business concepts and shared how the resources available through the i2B program allowed them to bring their idea to life. In addition to the tabletop exhibits, four teams presented to the invitation-only audience.


The i2B is fulfilling its mission, reported Wayne Blizman, program director, as he shared these statistics: Since its launch in 2011, more than 46 Oakland University teams applied to the program. Of those, 14 teams were admitted and had the opportunity to work with the i2B team resource group to explore and begin the extensive process of launching their businesses. The team resource group is comprised of 44 OU and Cooley law School students with expertise across disciplines. Today, five of the 14 companies are in the initial implementation stage, two are seeking funding and three are continuing to develop their business.


“Distinctive experiences like those available at the i2B is part of what makes Oakland University and the business school a better place,” said Michael A. Mazzeo, dean, OU business school.


Amy Johnson, School of Nursing

“The i2B program helped us realize our vision,” said Amy Johnson, special project/marketing coordinator, School of Nursing, who presented her business concept. “With the help of the individuals from the i2B – such as  an advisor  with business development experience, OU students with skills in marketing and business, and a Cooley Law School student – we were able to develop a business and marketing plan, proforma, research best practices and outline legal questions and needs to make our company viable.”


Four teams presented:


Café de Kuna – Changing Lives Through Coffee

Principals: Kelly Torpey, Marketing ’14, and Daniel Ellis, Economics ’14


DB Blair, LLC -- Songs For You and Me

Deborah Blair, PhD, Associate Professor, Music Education
College of Arts & Sciences, Music, Theatre & Dance


Neurofeedback Center – A safe, non-invasive, brain-based option for optimal performance in brain functioning

Amy Johnson, Special Project/Marketing Coordinator
School of Nursing


VerdeGenix Software, LLC – Clean and green software for renewable energy installations

Preston Brooks, Special Lecturer
School of Engineering & Computer Science, Computer Science and Engineering


Other i2B program participants include:
Emergent Clean Energy
Hexa Hockey

MCV Events
Radio Dayrage
Schedule Me
The Balanced Entrepreneur
The Realm of Agennul
The Shampoo Solution

Cynthia Grubbs MGT ’71

Cynthia Grubbs MGT  ’71, vice president of public affairs, Mavin Global, and president & CEO, Grow Mainstreet Foundation, who spoke at the i2B launch three years ago returned to see the results.


“I’m pleased with the businesses I see here,” she said. “The best way out of economic devastation is entrepreneurship. We must replace the businesses that were lost. We must plant those seeds. That’s what I saw three years ago at the launch, and it’s what I see now.  I’m looking forward to seeing the strong oak trees that will grow.”