Entrepreneurial Studies

The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies offers courses and programs at the University of Michigan Business School specifically designed to produce leadership in new business formation by providing world-class education and experience. Through the Institute, many students have successfully launched their own firms or have been chosen for employment with Venture Capital firms nationwide. The Institute brings the nation's most successful entrepreneurs to Ann Arbor and offers an outstanding faculty composed of both academicians and professional practitioners. Among the 33 member Advisory Board are Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments; Michael Hallman, former President and COO of Microsoft Corporation; and Eugene Applebaum, founder of Arbor Drugs.

These accomplished Advisory Board members join notable faculty and outstanding alumni for the express purpose of leading entrepreneurial-minded MBA students to understand new venture creation and growth, as they could nowhere else. The Institute also actively collaborates with other acclaimed University research units, such as the Medical Center and the College of Engineering, to take world-class research discoveries public through technology commercialization. Michigan MBA students can take the Business School's traditional business management core excellence and then pioneer their own entrepreneurial careers based on the Institute's innovative approach to partnering in biotech, high technology, and other ventures yet to be dreamed.

Future business innovators start their own dreams at the School's Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and can link up with local firms in Michigan's information and high tech corridor to create projects that could reach the globe or with international firms wishing to employ the talents and enthusiasm a University of Michigan Business School MBA can provide.


Entrepreneurial Studies course electives combine theoretical and experiential learning to prepare students to transform knowledge into new venture success. Through the Institute, the University of Michigan Business School's MBA program offers an Entrepreneurship emphasis consisting of a broad range of 22 course electives focused on the entrepreneurial process's different stages. In addition, first-year MBAs seeking to get direct experience working on a challenging business problem within an entrepreneurial environment may elect to participate in Entrepreneurial MAP as part of their core curriculum. The Institute offers this seven week field-based course winter term when students work at actual start-ups throughout the nation. Twenty-two outstanding faculty members participate in the School's Entrepreneurship program.

Program Initiatives

The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies has designed and developed a variety of signature program initiatives to support the curriculum for aspiring, high potential entrepreneurs.

These programs enhance both the future entrepreneur's learning experience and successful start-up and new venture growth potential. Examples of programs offered include: the Wolverine Venture Fund, a $3 million student-led Fund, that invests primarily in early stage, growth-oriented technology companies and the Dare to Dream Grant Program that provides students with grant funding up to $20,000 to launch a business while earning their MBA degrees. In addition, the Institute sponsors students at national intercollegiate business plan competitions, in a 12-week summer internship at a venture capital or start-up firm, or in writing an entrepreneurial-focused case study.


The Business School actively contributes to entrepreneurial research, primarily in the areas of venture capital and private equity finance. Led by its Executive Director Professor David J. Brophy, the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance pursues the latest developments under the Institute's aegis. Books and case studies, published by leading University of Michigan Business School faculty and MBA students, explore other research areas pertinent to entrepreneurs. The University of Michigan also contributes to ongoing entrepreneurial-focused research conducted through the Kauffman Foundation.

For further information about Entrepreneurial Studies, see www.zli.bus.umich.edu.