Fresno State student entrepreneur invited to the White House
Fresno State business student Mike Pronovost received an
award and gave a speech at the President’s Executive Office
earlier this month.
Photo courtesy of Mike Pronovost
Fresno State business student Mike Pronovost, CEO of his own business Pronovost Technologies, was invited to the White House last week to give a speech along with 100 other young entrepreneurs. The young entrepreneurs were also given the opportunity to meet with President Obama, according to ABC news.
In order to give a speech at the White House, the young entrepreneur must be a part of a company that generates $100,000 or more in annual revenue.
Pronovost developed Powerband, a program that uses files stored in a virtual desktop to speed up Internet access. He developed the program working odd hours in a room in his parents’ house.
“What inspired me to start a business in the first place was that I’ve always been encouraged to be an entrepreneur,” Pronovost said. “I was really always into computers, so it was one of those things where I had worked with computers for a long time.”
Pronovost said that when he was 17, he worked at Dan Gamel’s RV Centers as its network administrator where he learned about computer networks.
“I didn’t really think of it becoming a business, I was just trying to find a new way of creating a network that was faster,” Pronovost said.
“From there I programed the first small prototype of [Powerband]. I kind of threw it out there to a few of the companies I was interested in partnering with,” Pronovost added. “At that point I hired some other programmers to help me put it together and from there it turned into a pretty big network.”
Powerband has big implications with slow Internet connections, as it speeds up the connection by compressing the data which is being transferred.
“It puts you onto a hosted cloud desktop. It compresses a lot of the data and ends up making the connection a lot faster than it’s supposed to be,” Pronovost said.
As the CEO of Pronovost Technologies, he has moved on from Powerband, which is currently undergoing a buyout, to other projects. Pronovost has numerous projects in the works from some of the connections with the software industries he has made.
In the future, the company is looking to push a lot of technology into education. They are currently reaching out to the public school system.
“We are trying to implement tablets, and [encourage] learning more through that route than textbooks. We are creating software that allows teachers to get better analysis on how their students are doing by using the tablets,” Pronovost said.
Tablets in grade school classrooms would provide similar feedback to the I>clicker system used by many Fresno State students so instructors can immediately see which concepts students are struggling to understand and adjust their lesson plans accordingly.
Pronovost is using Pronovost Technologies, Inc. to reach out to tablet manufactures such as Apple. The idea is for each student to use an iPad.
“We are trying to make it so the tablet has interactive software so students can see how it applies to real world scenarios,” Pronovost said.
Pronovost’s reasoning for this is the students will see the applications of their coursework in the real-world scenarios making it easier for them to learn.
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