Both students and other entrepreneurs in South Bend can participate in the first New Venture Launch Weekend, which is the effort of a partnership between the IDEA Center, Elevate Ventures and Startup South Bend/Elkhart. The event will run from 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Friday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.Patti Reinhardt, the student entrepreneurship engagement program manager at the IDEA Center, said anyone can benefit from the workshop, even if they do not have an idea themselves for a startup.“It’s for anyone who wants to learn the process of problem-solving and validating an idea,” she said.Reinhardt said the event will start with individuals who have ideas giving a short pitch. Five or six ideas will then be chosen, and participants will be broken up into teams.“It doesn’t mean that their idea isn’t valuable [if an idea isn’t chosen],” Reinhardt said. “It just means that this is what we’re going to do this weekend.”Participants will also listen to a speaker Friday and begin to learn about the lean business model canvas, which involves learning about how to develop an idea in terms of the problems, solution, key metrics and competitive advantages.On Saturday, the teams will have time to validate their idea, which will likely involve leaving the building.“They learn all the steps they actually need to launch a business,” Reinhardt said.As the final step in the workshop, the teams will come together on Saturday and pitch their ideas again to investors. Reinhardt said the teams can win almost $2,000 in prizes.The facilitators for the workshop are members of a startup called INVANTI.“They’re actually a student startup that came out of the competition a few years ago,” Reinhardt said. “They’re all about teaching entrepreneurs how to look at a problem and then figure out a solution based on that problem.”Reinhardt said 75 people are currently registered for the event, and they represent a mix of undergraduate and graduate students from Notre Dame and local universities as well as members of the South Bend community.“What we’re hoping is that they come to this and they realize they have a good business concept and they enter that into our pipeline at the IDEA Center and the McCloskey New Venture Competition,” Reinhardt said.Regardless of whether participants take their ideas any further, Reinhardt said the experience of the event will be the most valuable aspect of the weekend.“They’re going to be put together in a situation where they might not have their own idea, but they’re going to get put on a team and for them to realize their own value that they’re going to give to that team is something that you’re not going to get out of a textbook, you’re not going to get anywhere else,” she said. “I think realizing how to look at a real problem in the world and figure out the steps to get yourself to a product that could be sustainable and turn into a business is invaluable.”The event is free, but registration online is required. Registration will close at noon on Friday. All meals will also be provided at the event.Tags: IDEA Center, McCloskey New Venture Competition, new venture launch weekend, Startups
Cruise line Mystic Cruises, a brand of Portuguese financial holding Mystic Invest, has ordered two polar expedition vessels from compatriot West Sea shipyard.The vessels are worth EUR 140 million (USD 158.4 million), according to Mystic Invest.The newbuilds — to be named World Voyager and World Navigator — are part of the company’s Ice Class, Explorer range ships and are slated for delivery in 2020 and 2021.With a reinforced hull designed to navigate polar waters, of up to one meter of ice density, each of the ships will be able to accommodate 200 passengers and 110 crew members.Sustainability and ecological safety is also a concern in the design of these expedition cruise ships.“To reduce our impact, we worked with Rolls-Royce to integrate … hybrid propulsion system that … reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as a dynamic positioning system that allows us to avoid using anchors, thereby protecting the maritime environment,” Mário Ferreira, CEO of Mystic Cruises, said.The two new ships will join the World Explorer, a 9,300-ton vessel currently under construction at the abovementioned yard. Scheduled to start operations in April 2019, World Explorer will be chartered out to Nicko Cruises and Quark Expeditions.Image Courtesy: Mystic Cruises“Given the current market demand, we believed it important to anticipate our expansion project for Mystic Cruises by a few years,” Ferreira continued.“We have chartered the entire inventory on Antarctica cruises aboard the World Explorer until 2023, and are fully booked on the majority of our other 2019 departures. The cruises to the Arctic, Norwegian Fjords, Greenland and Baltic are a huge success on the German market, where Mystic Cruises’ sister company, Nicko Cruises, operates World Explorer voyages. With this positive scenario, it was essential to move forward with the construction of more ships, these being the firsts of a fleet of 10 Ocean vessels that we intend to develop and build,” Ferreira explained.
Aurora, In. — The Indiana Department of Transportation will accept applications for snow plow truck drivers Tuesday, September 19 from noon to 5 p.m. at the subdistrict office in Aurora at 10995 Marsh Road.Applicants should have a valid driver’s license, resume and high school diploma or equivalent, a current medical examiner’s certificate and be prepared to take a drug screen.Successful applicants may choose full-time seasonal employment or on-call status. Full-timers will work 37.5 hours per week—plowing snow and working as a part of INDOT’s wintertime maintenance crew. On-call drivers will work only during snow/ice events—patrolling and plowing state highways and interstates in the area.Although seasonal employees do not receive state benefits, both full-time and on-call drivers are eligible for overtime pay.A state employment profile can be created in advance at www.in.gov/spd, or INDOT personnel at the job fair can provide assistance.