Makerspace Prototype Exploration for Local Micro-Business Incubator
Student-Led, Faculty-Guided Project (2021)
Authors: Lisa Casper
This project is designed to hedge against further decline in our economy by creating the preconditions to help graduating high school seniors to create economic opportunities, innovate their way forward, connect with innovation and entrepreneurship resources and lead by example. Scope & Community Engagement Michigan Technological University's innovation and entrepreneurship resource hub, Husky Innovate, was approached by New Power Tour, Inc.(NPT-501c3), to build an economic support mechanism for our economically-challenged area of the Western U.P. Our partnership takes the form of a Houghton High School National Honor Society (HHSNHS) student-led pilot project that will familiarize students with the steps involved in building a business by participating in experiential learning exercises at each phase of an innovation. During this pilot project, students will engage in activities to understand opportunity recognition, prototyping, product-market-fit, brand definition, commercialization and sales. While students gain knowledge and experience as innovators, they will connect with resources within our local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and strengthen community networks while simultaneously highlighting gaps to be addressed.
Lisa Casper works at Michigan Technological University within Pavlis Honors College as a Program Manager for Husky Innovate, Michigan Tech’s innovation and entrepreneurship resource center. In addition to program management, she is a student advisor, teaches lean startup and facilitates design thinking classes and guides & mentors our Alley Makerspace student interns with their goals for the space and maker experiences. Lisa is a graduate student within the Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors, Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences, College of Sciences and Arts at Michigan Technological University. Her previous experiences include working as a Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space in Sunnyvale, CA as well as Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. She taught entrepreneurship within the International School of Art and Design at Finlandia University and enjoyed leading creatives in the organic process of entrepreneurship. Lisa is a married mother of two. She and her family enjoy living close to Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.