EIR Spotlight: Michael Saunders

In 1997, Michael Saunders noticed a growing need and problem faced among the University of Pennsylvania student body: students wanted to order food for delivery to their campus dorms and apartments using a fast, convenient method all online. He soon created CampusFood.com–a website for students living in college towns and cities to order their pizzas and take-out Chinese food from local restaurants for delivery on campus. A revolutionary idea: no picking up food at the restaurant, no more calling to place your order. With just a few clicks, students were able to get their favorite foods delivered to their doorsteps. Today, nearly 20 years later, CampusFood.com has merged with GrubHub and Seamless, becoming one of the most popular online food delivery services in the country.

Today, Michael is serving as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at The Garage, and works on his own projects while offering his time and talents as a mentor and resource for student entrepreneurs. His experience creating CampusFood.com as a college student gives him optimal insight into the experience of student entrepreneurs at The Garage and positions him with an understanding insight into the world of student-founded startups.

Michael shared a few key points of advice for those looking to embark on their own startup journey while in school (and beyond, of course):

  • Talk to as many people as you can. Being in college can limit your perspective of the implications of your idea, so talking to more people can really broaden your perspective. And be willing to talk to people, instead of being protective of your ideas. 
  • Identify realistic “next-step” goals. Don’t focus entirely on the end result; instead, make interim goals that are feasible to accomplish.
  • Identify people’s pain points and figure out how to alleviate them, because that’s what gets people excited and interested in using your product or service.

For more information about Micheal Saunders, and The Garage’s other current Entrepreneurs-In-Residence, click here.  Stay tuned for our Winter 2017 Office Hours postings, too to schedule a one-on-one.

Farley Center Entrepreneurship Courses – Winter 2017

The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is offering the following entrepreneurial and NUvention courses for Winter 2017:
Principles of Entrepreneurship ENTREP 225
T, TH; 9:00 – 10:20 am
Engineering EntrepreneurshipENTREP 325
M; 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Radical EntrepreneurshipENTREP 395
M; 6:00 – 9:30 pm
Startup AccountingENTREP 395
T; 2:00 – 5:00 pm
NUvention: Web + MediaENTREP 427
T; 12:30 – 3:30 pm
* NUvention: Energy application deadline: 11/09/16
NUvention: Energy – ENTREP 430
M; 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Click here for additional information.
Please contact Elizabeth Lukehart with questions.

Makerspace Hours Fall 2016

The Makerspace is where our students build. Our Makerspace has an  AR/VR Lab (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality Lab)  and a Prototyping Lab.

The AR/VR Lab

The AR/VR Lab features the Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens, and HTC Vive. All students, faculty and staff of Northwestern are welcome to visit during staffed hours. The last demo ends 15 minutes before the end of each shift. Come check it out!

The Prototyping Lab

The Prototyping Lab is equipped with Formlabs Form 2 3D printers, Makerbot Replicators, woodworking equipment, an electronics workbench, Carveys, a sewing machine and vinyl cutter. The Prototyping Lab is open to Garage Residents Only (students who are incubating their startups at The Garage).

Staffed Makerspace Hours for Fall 2016

Monday 9AM-12:30PM (Miki & Ryan) & 5:00PM – 6:30PM (Akash)

Tuesday 12PM-2PM (Miki & Gabe)

Wednesday 9AM-12:30PM (Ryan)

Thursday 11AM-2PM (Akash & Gabe)

Friday 9AM-12PM (Miki) & 1PM-5:00PM (Gabe)

Saturday 11AM-2PM (Ryan) – Residents Only

Sunday 11AM-2PM (Ryan) Residents Only