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What: Go@CMU - Term Project Kickstarter
Why: Connect community problems with students to help solve them
When: First Friday 6-9pm and optional Saturday 9am-2pm of each semester
Where: Maverick Innovation Center - 730 Mesa Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81501

What is it?
Go@CMU is a mixer event the first Friday evening and an optional startup event Saturday morning of each semester. It is a way to connect ideas and needs in the community with students willing to contribute to them.

What do I get from it?

A thank you, beer, pizza and some fun conversations. For mentors this is more of a listen and give than get event. It is a chance to get to know the students, faculty and other community members.

What do I need to do?

For the event to be successful, mentors need to listen.  Try to understand the background and goals of the students on the teams.

  • Remember these are students and do not have the same skills, time, and resources that a regular employee or business owner has. Usually a student is thinking about fulfilling one semester long project in one class on a particular topic they are learning about, which roughly equates to ⅛ of a full time commitment (projects rarely count for more than ½ of a class, and 1 class is usually ¼ of a student’s full time load).
  • Try to understand what the students and clients want to get out of the project, and see if you can resolve mismatches in expectations, especially any core roadblocks you foresee.
  • If you see a need of your area of expertise, try to gauge their expertise and offer some advice - something they might take advantage of and a few contrasting options.
  • You might quickly gauge if your help would be needed on Saturday by talking to teams on Friday. You do not have to be at both events.

What are we not?

If you feel a team is seriously misdirected, work to help them understand your perspective, but some things they will only understand through the experience they are about to have, and that is a fine thing.