14 Floors – Fall 2018

October 15-18 will mark the 14 Floors spring visit to campus. Guests from California’s Bay Area, and SE Michigan are expected to take part in the activities at Michigan Tech. These include social and networking events with students, faculty, and staff, director updates on the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems, a focus on entrepreneurial programs and strategies with the Pavlis Honors College, “Office Hours” mentoring sessions with entrepreneurial students, and a discussion with the Computing & Information Sciences advisory group. In addition, a small contingency of Detroit area alumni from the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) will be participating in events, including the annual Bob Mark Elevator Pitch through the School of Business and Economics – for which the 14 Floors group will serve as judges. There will be multiple opportunities to meet with new leadership on campus, tour laboratories and learning spaces, and see students in action. A final wrap-up meeting will cap the week and serve as an advisory discussion for the overall program.

14 Floors – Spring 2018 Activities

Over twenty innovation and entrepreneurial-focused students traveled to Silicon Valley in mid-March as part of the 14 Floors Program. Approximately a hundred students compete for the opportunity to attend the annual Bay Area trip, and students represented the college of engineering, sciences and arts, the school of technology, and the school of business and economics. The week-long, thirteen-stop trip is enabled by friends and alumni of Michigan Tech, notably notably Dave House and the House Family Foundation, Kanwal Rekhi, Tom Porter and the Porter Family Foundation, and Charles and John Gates. The week kicked off with a 60-person alumni event at House Family Vineyards and tours of large, enterprise companies in the heart of Silicon Valley. The group moved north to the San Francisco and Oakland area, touring progressively smaller companies and startups, ending at the single-employee green technology startup run by tech alum Collin Stoner. Michigan Tech friends and alumni are critical to the tours, discussions, and hands-on activities at companies as most are in leadership positions and able to provide a diverse and often behind-the scenes view. HP executive Stuart Pann led leadership discussions and a tour through HP’s technology gallery, Alphabet Treasury VP Tony Altobelli showcased his mini-Wallstreet trading room deep within Google’s campus, and alum Alex Johnson walked the group through Facebook’s sprawling, city-like campus before a technical discussion. Other stops included the China-based, Germany-designed, California-engineered electric vehicle startup Byton, Distribute, nVidia, regulars like Clari, Handshake, Twilio, Netflix, and Ford’s new research facility called Dearborn Labs.

Student photos and videos from the trip are here.

In mid-April, the bi-annual Michigan Tech based component of the 14 Floors Program will see a small contingent of guests on campus, including regulars Dave House, Kanwal Rekhi, John Rockwell, and Shankar Mukherjee. These alumni will spend a number of days engaged in one-on-one advisory and technical discussions with staff and faculty, mentoring sessions with students, panelists for business plan pitches on and off campus, and networking opportunities with the campus community. Students on the Bay Area trip will have a chance to debrief with these guests and the campus community in the Pavlis Honors College’s ICE House which fosters and houses entrepreneurial students on campus.

14 Floors – Michigan Tech – April 2018

The 14 Floors spring visit to campus included a welcome social in downtown Houghton on the night of the group’s arrival and began the second day with a Sleep Research Lab tour, the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems report-out and director updates, and finished with a 14 Floors – Bay Area debrief and social with students and entrepreneurial staff and faculty at the ICE House. The following day kicked off with a “1 Million Cups” entrepreneurial presentation with KEDA, small business startups, and the SmartZone. Activities on campus followed with “Office Hours” mentoring sessions with students, the Computing & Information Sciences (CIS) Advisory Group discussion, recommendation and social, and a evening wrap-up with a presentation by the startup Orbion Space Technology followed by a large networking event at the Continental Fire Company. The final day started with mechanical engineering lab tours, student meetings on campus, and a final wrap-up meeting at the Keweenaw Brewing Company.

The detailed schedule follows.

14 Floors Campus Visit

April 9-12, 2018

14 Floors guests:  Dave House, Shankar Mukherjee, Kanwal Rekhi, and John Rockwell                              


7:30 pm NetJet arrives Hancock

8:15 – 10:00 pm

Casual get together at the Ambassador
Check-in at the Magnuson Franklin Square Inn, Houghton



9:00 – 10:30 am Breakfast at Magnuson – 7th floor, inside Terrace level
11:00 – 12:00 pm Dave House to meet with Bruce SeelyLocation:  Walker 201C (Bruce’s office)
11:00 – 12:00 pm Kanwal Rekhi, John Rockwell, and Shankar Mukherjee to tour Sleep Research Lab
Location:  SDC 235
Coordinator:  Jason Carter
1:00 – 3:00 pm Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) – Directors updatesLocation:  Rekhi Hall 101

Coordinator: Min Song
Lunch will be served

4:00 – 5:00 pm Bay Area Debrief – students share experiences from CA tripLocation:  ICE House

               21610 Woodland Road, Houghton

5:00 – 6:00 pm Social at ICE HouseHors d’oeuves and refreshments served



8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast at Magnuson – 7th floor, inside Terrace level
9:00 – 10:30 am 1 Million Cups entrepreneurial presentation: this is a weekly meeting where local entrepreneurs present their startup companies and learn how their community can help support their business to flourish. 

Based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation developed 1 Million Cups in 2012—a free program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs with their communities.
Location:  Finlandia Finnish American Heritage Center
               437 Quincy Street, Hancock

9:30 – 11:00 am Dave House to meet with Dan Fuhrmann
Location:  EERC 118
11:15 – 12:45 pm Dave House to meet with Min SongLocation:  Rekhi Hall 223
1:00 – 2:00 pm Dave House to meet with President Glenn MrozLocation:  Administration Bldg. 500A (Glenn’s office)
12:30 – 2:30 pm 14 Floors Office HoursLocation:  M&M 718

Coordinator: Jim Baker

3:00 – 5:00 pm Computing and Information Sciences (CIS) Advisory Group: The CIS Working Group will present its draft recommendation, and solicit the feedback of the CIS Advisory Group prior to submitting its final recommendation to Provost Huntoon. Members of 14 Floors, our advisory group of entrepreneurs

and business leaders from Silicon Valley, will be in attendance.  Social event to follow in the lobby.

Location:  GLRC 202

Coordinator:  Dan Fuhrmann

Light refreshments will be served

5:00 – 6:00 pm Kanwal Rekhi & John Rockwell to attend Orbion Space Board Mtg. Location:  Continental Fire Company – upper level

                408 E. Montezuma Ave., Houghton

Coordinator: Brad King

6:00 – 8:00 pm Orbion Space Technology Social Everyone is invited to this networking social to celebrate all the great developments since we began our journey to the stars.
Location:  Continental Fire Company
Hors d’oeuves and refreshments served               




9:00 – 10:00 am Breakfast at Magnuson – 7th floor, inside Terrace level
10:00 – 11:00 am Meet with Adam Weber & Cedric Kennedy
10:30 – 12:00 pm Dave House to meet with Provost Jackie HuntoonLocation:  Administration Bldg. 503A (Jackie’s office)
11:00 – 12:30 pm Open time
1:00 pm Lunch
Location:  Keweenaw Brewing Company
                408 Shelden Avenue, Houghton
2:00 pm Informal Wrap-up

Location:  Keweenaw Brewing Company
                408 Shelden Avenue, Houghton

3:30 pm Depart for the airport
4:15 pm NetJet departs Hancock


If you have questions regarding this itinerary, please contact Adam Johnson directly at adam@mtu.edu or 906-281-6983.




14 Floors – Bay Area – March 2018

This year’s trip is made possible by friends and alumni of Michigan Tech – notably Dave House and the House Family Foundation, Kanwal Rekhi, Tom Porter and the Porter Family Foundation, and Charles and John Gates. Thank you to them and to everyone that makes this event such a success!

The schedule for March 12-15 is as follows, with all times Pacific.

Monday March 12

10AM – BYTON 4201 Burton Dr, Santa Clara
1:30PM – Clari Inc. 1154 Sonora Ct, Sunnyvale
3PM – Netflix (Lobby E) 121 Albright Way, Los Gatos
6PM – House Family Vineyards (alumni event) 13336 Old Oak Way, Saratoga (RSVP here)

Tuesday March 13

8AM – Google 222 Caspian Drive, Sunnyvale
10:30AM – HP (Bldg. 3) 1501 Page Mill Rd, Palo Alto
1:30PM – nVidia 2788 San Tomas Expy, Santa Clara
4PM – Facebook 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park

Wednesday March 14

9AM – Ford 3251 Hillview Ave, Palo Alto
12PM – (bus to Napa)
2PM – Porter Family Vineyard  1189 Green Valley Rd, Napa

Thursday March 15

11AM – Handshake 2601 (Suite 900) Mission St, San Francisco
1PM – Twilio 375 Beale St, San Francisco
3:15PM – Distribute 345 Ritch St. (parking is at : 336 Ritch St.)
5:30PM – San Leandro Ind. park startups 10950 Bigge St. San Leandro (24 min over bridge in Oakland)