Encouraging the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Engineers

By: Susan Grant, High School Liaison Officer, ECE

Mike Branch started his company six months after graduation, in his parents’ living room. From this modest beginning, Mike has grown Inovex to a profitable company employing 10 people. Mike recently returned to Engineering, as one of the speakers in the Engineering Entrepreneurship Series, to share his experiences with students.

imagePart of the Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow program, this series was the idea of Jonathan Rose, Chair of
The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering. Rose, a professor and an entrepreneur believes, “Engineers often make great entrepreneurs and many do well in business. One thing missing from the engineering curriculum is a 'culture'
of entrepreneurship - that making a company happen is just what people do.”

To address this, Rose started a series where real entrepreneurs come in and tell the stories of their companies and share their experiences. The goal is to bring in recent graduates as well as a variety of entrepreneurs from whom students may learn. Rose believes that if students hear these stories they may be inspired to start their own company. The talks are followed by an informal dinner with the speaker. This gives interested students an opportunity to ask more questions and bounce ideas off the speaker.

Mike Branch is the founder and President of Inovex Inc. (est. 2003), a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Independent Software Vendor focusing on web and mobile applications. Mike is a published architect in the software domain for his work on mobile data collection systems and real-time, web-based data acquisition systems, appearing in IEEE Industry Applications magazine. Since its inception in 2003, Mike has grown Inovex into a software development and consulting firm conducting business in the public and private sector (healthcare, oil and gas, water and wastewater), forging strong relationships with government and large organizations such as Siemens and SC Johnson.

Mike is a Professional Engineer and graduate of the University of Toronto, holding a BASc in Computer Engineering. He has since served the university on a number of boards including the Executive Board of the Engineering Alumni Association, the Executive Committee of the College of Electors, and the Chancellor Search Committee.

Everyone is welcome to attend the Engineering Entrepreneurship Series talks:


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