After leading the entrepreneurial teams at two start-ups and working as an innovation consultant at Ann Arbor-based Inovo Group, Josh Botkin, MBA ’06, has returned to his alma mater to convey his lessons-learned to the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded students. “I helped both start-up and Fortune 500 companies succeed at strategic breakthrough innovation by identifying significant unmet needs and developing new products, services and business models to meet those needs,” Botkin explains. “Now I’m bringing useful methods and tools from the frontlines of innovation to the Zell Lurie Institute and Ross School to help students identify strong opportunities and create compelling new solutions.”
Botkin, who is a lecturer in entrepreneurial studies and an entrepreneur-in-residence, advises individual students and teams participating in the Dare to Dream grant program and the campus-wide Michigan Business Challenge. As a mentor at TechArb and the new Desai Family Accelerator, he assists start-ups in developing early-stage growth and fundraising strategies. Botkin also trains surgeons and biomedical engineers in innovation at the Michigan Pediatric Device Consortium.
This fall, he is introducing three new workshops focused on ideation, business models and start-up funding for first-time entrepreneurs. In the 2016 winter term, Botkin will debut a new undergraduate entrepreneurship practicum for Michigan students minoring in entrepreneurship. It is designed as a capstone course where teams will engage in hands-on, real-world learning to build practical skills and experience. “I love being able to take what I’ve learned and share it with our amazing students,” Botkin says.