Through our tradition of action-based, interdisciplinary learning, we prime students to be tomorrow’s most innovative business leaders. Entrepreneurs in the truest sense, our graduates have fueled the formation of many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Domino’s Pizza, Sun Microsystems, Stryker Corp., H&R Block, Borders and Federal Express.
We foster student creativity through a rich variety of classes and programs, including:
- The Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE), in the College of Engineering, offers entrepreneurship-related undergraduate courses, a 9-credit Program in Entrepreneurship for both undergraduate and graduate students, and a 15-credit CASE in Entrepreneurship, which teaches graduate students, as well as working professionals, the tools they need to bring innovative ideas to market. Since its inception, 2,830 students have enrolled in CFE-sponsored classes.
- The Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance, at the Ross School of Business, offers a specialized focus on entrepreneurial finance and investment through research and program initiatives. Center initiatives such as the annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium and Private Equity Conference connect U-M ‘s entrepreneurial network to the broader financial community. Programs are administered through the Zell Lurie Institute.
- The Medical Innovation Center, in the Medical School, assists faculty, alumni, and partners in taking ideas from the early development stage to commercialization. The Center offers a fellowship program in biomedical innovation and also operates a Design and Prototype Lab.
- The College of Engineering and the Ross School of Business offer a joint Michigan Master of Entrepreneurship (MsE) degree. The MsE program educates students on forming and managing high-growth potential, scalable businesses.
- A minor in entrepreneurship, available to students throughout U-M, is being developed.
- Zell Entrepreneurship and Law Program (ZEAL), at the Law School, prepares law students to advise about, and/or develop, business enterprises and has a clinic providing much sought-after legal services for U-M student entrepreneurs.
- The Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies (ZLI), at the Ross School of Business, engages undergraduate and graduate students in real-world learning. In addition to spreading entrepreneurship across campus through multidisciplinary courses, university-wide business-plan competitions, and grant programs, it has spawned entrepreneurship centers at the Law School, Medical School, and College of Engineering.
Other student-focused activities include:
- The China Entrepreneur Network (CEN) is aimed at building a global hub for Chinese entrepreneurs. U-M hosts both a campus-wide club and a business school student club. CEN also organizes a yearly conference with worldwide participants.
- The Dare to Dream grant program provides mentoring for students as they explore an idea, establish feasibility, and launch a venture. Based at the Ross Business School, the six-month program now includes non-business students under a partnership with the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering. Support ranges from $500 to $10,000.
- Entrepalooza is an annual conference that enables students to attend presentations by successful entrepreneurs and investors, as well as meet with them one-on-one.
- The Entrepreneur and Venture Club (EVC) at the Ross School of Business brings together students and prospective entrepreneurs/investors interested in new ventures. The EVC offers events, networking opportunities, and educational programs that give students the skills and contacts to advance their ambitions.
- Entrepreneurial and legal mentoring services are provided by U-M Tech Transfer for student projects within the Center for Entrepreneurship, the Zell Lurie Institute, and other entrepreneurial units across campus.
- Entrepreneurship Hour invites distinguished innovators to campus every week to share their stories. Open to the public, the speaker series is a class taught through the Center for Entrepreneurship. The talks are made available online.
- The Marcel Gani Internship program places students at start-up and venture capital firms.
- The Michigan Business Challenge is a four-phase, campus-wide business plan competition held by the Ross Business School that selects four finalists to compete for top prizes with over $60,000 awarded throughout the cycle.
- To support student entrepreneurship, the student-run group MPowered Entrepreneurship sponsors the 1,000 Pitches campaign, a campus-wide idea competition; the MPowered Career Fair, focused on growth companies; the Ann Arbor Startup Weekend, an event to connect students with the local startup community; and eRes, a living and learning entrepreneurial student community.
- Multidisciplinary Action Projects” (MAP), offered by the Ross School of Business/Zell Lurie Institute, immerse student teams in domestic and international entrepreneurial businesses. Teams may develop business plans, identify new product opportunities and/or formulate market entry strategies. EMAP projects are required of all first-year business graduate students.
- SI Create is a student organization aimed at fostering a community of innovation and entrepreneurship at the School of Information. The club sponsors field trips that expose students to innovation and hosts a Business Model Competition.
- Student trips to high-profile companies in the San Francisco Bay area, New York, and Chicago, organized by the Center for Entrepreneurship, allows students to network with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and U-M alumni entrepreneurs.
- Tech Start program, an 8–12 week summer internship overseen by Tech Transfer for graduate students, offers participants an intensive experience working on entrepreneurial projects.
- The Tech Transfer Fellows Program employs mentored grad and post-doc students to assist Tech Transfer licensing specialists in providing comprehensive technology assessments.
- CFE and ZLI jointly manage the TechArb Student Accelerator. With the aid of community leaders and professional investors and funding from the Office of the Vice President for Research, TechArb helps U-M students launching early-stage companies develop their ideas and business plans.
- TedXUofM, a student group, sets up an annual innovation conference with a 2000+ audience and large web presence.
- Three student-run Venture Funds—the $5.5 million early-stage Wolverine Venture Fund, the five-year-old pre-seed Frankel Commercialization Fund, and the first student-run Social Venture Fund—support emerging businesses.
- The VEX Venture Expo is a storefront and showcase open every Sunday in the Michigan Union that provides an outlet for student entrepreneurs to have their ideas exposed to a wider audience.