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The Innovate State Speaker Series at MSU is a collaborative program designed to connect forward-thinking speakers with students and professionals interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. Topics include startups, new business creation, leadership and team-building, customer acquisition, fundraising and other special topics.

Held monthly through the academic year, this speaker series is held at 6 p.m. in the 300 Room of the MSU Innovation Center on Grand River Avenue. MAP

Attendees are asked to RSVP via the eventbrite links provided.

2015-2016 Series

September 23, 2015: Christen Rochon @DIVASANDDORKS | RSVP today

She is known as an influencer, public speaker, media personality and entrepreneur. Rochon is the Digital Lifestyle maven behind Divasanddorks.com, the first technology lifestyle community for multicultural audiences across the globe. Although she resides in NYC, her roots are in Detroit, MI. 

October 13, 2015: Henry Balanon @balanon | RSVP today
Balanon received a B.S. in Computer Science and a Distinguished Alumni Grand Award from Michigan State University. He is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Stratos Inc., and lives in Metro Detroit.

November 17, 2015: Nathan Bashaw @nbashaw | RSVP today 

NYC-based entrepreneur, MSU alumni, programmer, and writer. Bashaw co-created Product Hunt, a product discovery website that now drives 3m+ visits to new products every month, and Dash, an online book that teaches you how to code websites from scratch, used by over 270k people.

December 8, 2015: Eric Jorgenson @EricJorgenson | RSVP today

Jorgenson is a graduate of MSU’s Broad College of Business, where he studied Economics and General Management. Today he is the Marketplace Manager for Zaarly, Inc.

January 19, 2016: Marc Hudson  @MarcDHudson | RSVP today

As a graduate from Michigan State University, Hudson aims to be innovative and successful in the business world. He is currently the Co-Founder and CEO of Rocket Fiber and is a knowledgeable web developer.

February 9, 2016: John Hill @techstarsjohn | RSVP today

John Hill left Michigan State University to become the Higher Education Evangelist at LinkedIn. He has since helped to build the suite of Higher Education products for LinkedIn, worked as the Network Catalyst forTechstars, and presented at over 100 conferences in 16 countries. He is currently working to build the largest entrepreneurial network in the world. 

February 17, 2016: Tyler Oakley @TylerOakley  | RSVP today 

Established as one of the most influential LGBT vloggers, Tyler Oakley is an A-Lister in the digital age. Tyler and his best friend Korey Kuhl, both MSU alumni, host Psychobabble, a weekly show that tops the iTunes podcast charts.

February 23, 2016: Jordan Skole @JordanSkole  | RSVP today 

Skole is a graduate of Michigan State University with a B.S. in Environmental Policy & Economics. He is founder and president of Benchmark Intelligence in Detroit, MI, and the son of a Nobel Prize winning professor.

March 24, 2016: Megan Gebhart @megangebhart | RSVP today

Gebhart is the Technical Recruiting Coordinator at Airbnb, author of 52 Cups of Coffee and was an original member of The Hatch development team. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2011 with a degree in Marketing, and now resides in the San Francisco area.

April 12, 2016: Jeremy Lindlbauer @JLindlbauer | RSVP today

Lindlbauer is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business, where he studied Accounting and Supply Chain Management. He is Co-Founder and Director of Brand & Marketing of TurtleCell, maker of innovative cell phone cases built with retractable headphones.

April 19, 2016: Carl Winans @CarlWinans | RSVP Today

Carl is a designer, digital strategist and serial entrepreneur with an ad background. After launching Oceanvue, a marketing and idea development firm in 2008, Carl co-founded Rebound, a startup that helps you remember the web, and Mega Tiny Corporation, a product development company.

2014-2015 events

April 7, 2015: From Physics to Software: the iDoneThis Story | Rodrigo Guzman, CTO & Co-Founder, iDoneThis

Rodrigo is the CTO and co-founder of iDoneThis. Before iDoneThis he was pursuing a PhD in Physics at Northwestern University. During that time Rodrigo started doing freelance software development with the aim of eventually starting a software company -- that worked and eventually Rodrigo dropped out of the PhD program.

March 24, 2015: Alex Schiff of FetchNotes

Alex Schiff founded Fetchnotes, a note-taking app that uses hashtags as an organizational tool, while a student at University of Michigan. Schiff and his Fetchnotes team now have more than 70,000 users,a nd ahve have gone from handling customer support in the back of lecture halls to spending time with tech incubators.

February 10, 2015: Changing The World in Nine Easy Steps | Neil Kane

Neil Kane, a leading authority on technology commercialization and innovation, is the president and founder of Illinois Partners Executive Services, LLC. Most recently he was the CEO of Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc., a company he co-founded in 2003 by licensing technology from Argonne National Laboratory (U.S. Dept. of Energy).

December 2, 2014: Start Up Now! | Parvez Anandam 

Parvez Anandam was cofounder and CTO of TappIn, acquired by Globalscape (NYSE: GSB) in 2011. He started his entrepreneurial career in 2000 as part of the original team at SafeWeb, cofounded by Stephen Hsu (MSU VP Research & Graduate Studies) and acquired by Symantec in 2003.