University of Michigan CFE uses Protopia to connect its alumni and students

“We chose Protopia because of its ability to connect people through the tools they already use, without another platform to learn, without another login.”

Eric Bacynski

Director, External Engagement and Mentorship

Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan


The scale and quality of Michigan University and its entrepreneurship program is unmatched. But with great size comes a great challenge: can you, and how, connect a community of this magnitude for collaboration and networking? Without adding a lot of work and costs?


The team at the Center for Entrepreneurship knew what wouldn’t work: another platform that entrepreneurs, operators, investors, and mentors would not sign up for or learn even with a strong desire to help others walking in their footsteps.

On a mission to leverage the abundant talent at Michigan to build its own no-app, smart messaging platform, the CFE team instead partnered with and launched Protopia (in just a few days).

Protopia is now used as an instructional tool in the classroom to teach students how to network, and to (re)connect a powerful alumni base that includes many successful investors, entrepreneurs, and Fortune 500 CEOs back to Michigan.


Hundreds of students have connected with thousands of alumni for career advice, industry insights, academic projects, and mentoring. Fully automated with little additional work for faculty and administrators.

Alumni and students rate Protopia a 9.5 out of 10

“I enjoy a chance to give back to the community in some way besides simply donating. It helps me feel more connected to U-M, and keeps the university top of mind.”

Nick DeHaan

Partnering Executive


Edi Demaj, CEO, KODElabs

“I signed up for this to be able to help. This is a great, simple, tech enabled way to receive questions and respond, all while hopefully doing some good for these students.”

Edi Demaj



“I love that there is a tool like this that makes making connections with alumni and current students so easy. It’s a great way to vet questions that you think you can help with, and the CFE makes it easy to get in contact with the student. It feels great to give advice and help others with their goals and this is a simple way to do that.”

Alexander Palazzolo



Smart, simple, and scalable mentoring

Protopia helps innovative institutions connect all of their alumni and students for advice and networking. Without a new app, spam, guilt, and all that hard stuff. Oh, and with no more work for your team.

Let’s talk!

Curious if Protopia can help you connect your alumni and students?

We’d love to show you how it works and figure out if it is right for you.