Redefining the Classroom

Entrepreneur-in-Residence series to feature Adil Shafi of Advenovation Inc

Posted: February 2nd, 2013

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State University will launch a new Entrepreneur-in-Residence lecture program Feb. 4-5 that will feature Adil Shafi, president of Advenovation Inc. of Rochester Hills.

Shafi, a leader in the field of robotics technology for more than 20 years, will share what he has learned about business and entrepreneurship during a series of presentations that are free and open to the public from 6-7:30 p.m. and 7:30-8 p.m. on both Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 in LSSU’s Walker Cisler Center.

Topics for his LSSU program include: What it takes to become an entrepreneur, making a business plan, legal matters, financial management, working with people and teams, business relationships and what it takes to win.

Adil Shafi lectures at LSSU
(Download a print version)

"We're very pleased to host accomplished entrepreneur and friend of LSSU to share his many insights into launching a successful venture,” said David R. Finley Ph.D., dean of the LSSU College of Business and Engineering, which is sponsoring the lecture series. “Mr. Shafi has been on the leading edge of robotics technology for more than two decades, and his companies have introduced novel assembly solutions to industry by using 3D vision-guided robotics. We’re sure his insights will be of interest to our students and faculty, as well as entrepreneurs and others in the twin Sault community.”

In his many years of involvement with the manufacturing automation industry, Shafi worked with Chrysler’s Stow-n-Go mini-van program and the US Air Force F-35 fighter jet program, and he wrote specifications for some of the robotic processes of the heat shield for NASA’s Orion spaceship, which is scheduled to replace the space shuttle. His company has working relationships with numerous businesses and institutions throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan.

Shafi has made presentations at the International Conference for Vision-Guided Robotics, International Robotics and Vision Show, AUTOMATE, and the Robotics Forum, in addition to agencies and universities. A number of his free educational webinars have been archived by the Robotic Industries Association ( He has served on the Industrial Advisory Board of LSSU’s School of Engineering and Technology since April 2011.

"I started my first robotics software company with $1,000 in savings in graduate school and ran it for about 17 years,” Shafi said. “We did about $7 million in sales and the amount of equipment that was sold due to our innovations was $300 million. We helped make a lot of partners and colleagues successful and rich.

“However, without a business background, I also made a lot of mistakes in the early years and I learned from them,” he continued. “My new company, Advenovation, is doing very well and it is largely because of the lessons I learned and the relationships I formed in industry.”

During his LSSU programs, Shafi said he wants to cater to new students, graduates and also those who have been working in various professions who may want to start their own business on a part-time basis or work with others to join forces in a new endeavor. The perspectives will be geared towards any of these situations and opportunities.

"I hope to pass on some of these lessons and key perspectives in this lecture series,” he said. “I won't have a lot of time to get into depth, but I will have many suggestions on further reading that I would recommend.”

A complete schedule of the lectures and topics may be viewed here. More information about Shafi and Advenovation may be found at -LSSU-

LSSU Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program Topics

Monday, Feb. 4
Session I, 6-7 p.m.

Becoming an Entrepreneur : “What it Takes”
“Create the Future” Challenges
Making a Business Plan

Session II, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Sales and Marketing
Legal Matters
Financial Management

Tuesday, Feb. 5
Session I, 6-7 p.m.

Product / Service Planning
Execution : Time and Project Management
Business Relationships
How to Work with People in General

Session II, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Working with Internal Teams
Working with External Teams
Sustainability, Ethics, Social Responsibility
What it Takes to Win: Sending Forth

CONTACT: Tom Pink, 906-635-2315,; John Shibley, 635-2314,; Laura Bofinger, 635-2207,; Jeanne Shibley, 635-2597,