#Millikin hosting Tech adVentures #RaspberryPi Camp for High Schoolers

raspberrypi logoMillikin’s Center of Entrepreneurship is holding a new, innovative entrepreneurship/technology camp this summer! Tech adVentures will take place from June 22 – July 2nd, Mondays-Thursdays from 9am-3pm (lunch is provided). Campers will use Raspberry Pi computers to create and build a new product and then learn how to market it to potential customers. Students entering 8th – 12th grade are eligible.
Here’s the BEST PART! If you register by Monday, June 8th, you can bring a friend for FREE!
2 Weeks, 2 Raspberry Pi computers for 2 friends for just $349! See the flier for more details!
millikinGo online to www.millikintechadventures.com and sign up today!
Contact Bethany Wetherholt at 217.424.6296 for more information.

Maker Fair Event #IS492 Opportunity

Millikin’s Center for Entrepreneurship is supporting the Make, Explore, Share Fair on April 11, 2015 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the University of Illinois Extension office (across from Richland Community College).  This event is open to anyone who crafts, creates, or even just tinkers with art, technology, gardening, craft beer making, printmaking, drone-flying, raspberry-pi making, you name it!!  This is an excellent ready-made performance learning opportunity.  This is certainly also open to student-run ventures which would want to exhibit.
makerFair
One of the major tenants of this event is that exhibitors need to share their process of how they make things.  They are welcome to sell products too, but they must share how they create their products.  For technology folks, that doesn’t necessarily mean sharing code, but it does mean that the process used needs to be open. View the event flier for more information and register online. There is NO FEE to be an exhibitor.

Raspberry Pi – Entrepreneurship Class Kicked Off

Raspberry Pi Logo

I’m truly excited and energized about a class this spring as we bring together the Raspberry Pi platform and entrepreneurial thinking in a course titled “Technology Ventures.” With a group of 7 students, we are going to explore Raspberry Pi, see its uses hands-on, learn a little Python, and develop a business model around the computing platform. I can’t determine whether I’m more excited about an immersive hands-on opportunity for Information Systems majors or that the entrepreneurial mindset is being infused into their coursework.

The Raspberry Pi, the $35 System on a Chip motherboard, was developed to bring computing resources to underserved areas. This has begun to manifest itself in two ways; schools now have access to inexpensive computers to teach programming to students at a young age and underdeveloped countries now have affordable access to technology. One of the great unintended consequences of this technology are the researchers, hobbyists, and enthusiasts the platform has brought forward. People of all abilities are using R-Pi to create, innovate, have fun, and solve problems (25 Fun Things to Do with a Raspberry Pi). The low-cost nature of this platform lowers the barrier to access and creates the perfect blank canvas for innovation.

So where do the two of these beasts really intersect; Raspberry Pi and Entrepreneurship? I see the blank canvas as the center of innovation in this endeavor. Let’s keep the technology fixed and surround it with the value proposition, customer segments, and financial models. Rather than approach entrepreneurship as a local pub and 100-page business plan, let’s fix the technology and create a business model around one central theme. R-Pi allows this due to its flexible platform and architecture. If one person can create a home surveillance system and another a keyboard out of beer cans, there are definitely some options for innovation. Fixing the technology allows Information Systems students to identify their tech strengths, hone their tech skills, and create value with technology. They are truly the owners of their creation.

Using the frameworks for ideation developed by Alex Bruton in conjunction with the Business Model Canvas as developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, students will take their raw ideas and develop them into a business model for a chance to win start up capital from our institution’s Business Creation Competition. Besides, what could be better than developing a product or service that is both impactful and feasible while adding value?