Link My iMpact  
Link Strategic Positioning Tool Kit  
To Executive Education
To Kresge Library

Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies Celebrates 10th Anniversary

9/14/2009 --

Ross School leads innovators in entrepreneurial education; students experience venture creation and financing.

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Setting the bar for innovative entrepreneurial education programs, The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies (ZLI) at the Ross School of Business kicked off its 10th anniversary celebration with the start of the 2009-2010 academic year. The institute was established in 1999 with an endowment of $10 million from Samuel Zell and Ann Lurie, on behalf of her late husband Robert H. Lurie. ZLI counts milestones in the areas of innovation, new venture creation, and action-based learning, as well as the creation of robust funding and grant initiatives for student entrepreneurs. Highlights among ZLI's major achievements include:

  • Launch of the first student-led, business school-based venture fund, the multimillion dollar Wolverine Venture Fund established in 1999
  • Realization of two successful exits an IPO by Intralase that returned $1 million to the fund in 1994 and acquired in 1999
  • Investments of more than $2.8 million in 23 companies by the Wolverine Venture Fund and the Ross School of Business Frankel Commercialization Fund, the first student-led, business school-based pre-seed investment fund of its kind
  • Awards of more than $692,000 to 993 students in Dare to Dream Grants for student startups
  • Awards of more than $1.2 million and the cultivation of thousands of business ideas through sponsorship of student teams at University of Michigan's Michigan Business Challenge and other intercollegiate business plan competitions
  • Matching of more than $1 million in funding to place 203 students in 154 start-up companies and venture firms through the Marcel Gani Internship Program.
  • Launch of the industry's first multidisciplinary course, "Innovative New Business Design," to drive innovation and technology commercialization across the University of Michigan campus and bring together graduate students from engineering, medicine, and business

Providing the stewardship necessary for ZLI to achieve these milestones are Executive Director Tom Kinnear and Managing Director Tim Faley. Kinnear is the chair of marketing at Ross and the Eugene Applebaum Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies & Professor of Marketing. He also is president of the Venture Michigan Fund. Kinnear's entrepreneurial and investment experience, as well as his relationships in business, venture capital, and economic development in Michigan, have been instrumental in fostering the rapid growth of the institute's endowment and the evolution of its expansive portfolio of programs and courses.

Faley, an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship, has been a champion of cross-campus developments for coursework and other entrepreneur and innovation centers established at the University of Michigan. He pioneered the "Innovative New Business Design" course which brings together graduate students in business, engineering, and medicine to collaborate on tech commercialization. He also helped to establish the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering and the Innovation Center at the School of Medicine.

"The Zell Lurie Institute has been a catalyst for innovation and transformation across the University, within the state of Michigan, and as a global business education leader," Kinnear says. "Our robust model of programs, courses, and events continues to set the standard for entrepreneurial education, and has served as a resource for similar entrepreneurial programs launched at the School of Medicine and College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Collectively our programs have helped launch the careers of thousands of entrepreneurial-focused business executives."

"The next 10 years will bring tremendous change in the area of entrepreneurial education," continues Kinnear. "We are excited to forge ahead in the areas of clean tech, sustainable investment, social venture creation, and tech commercialization as we continue to lead and set the standard for entrepreneurial education."

A formal celebration to mark ZLI's 10th anniversary will be held Sept. 17-18, 2009, in conjunction with the institute's 10th Annual Entrepalooza Symposium. Each year this public symposium brings together members of the business community and leaders in entrepreneurship and venture capital to discuss the latest trends and developments in entrepreneurship and venture capital.

The 2009 program features a presentation by Roger Frock, MBA '59, a member of the founding group of FedEx and author of Changing How the World Does Business: FedEx's Incredible Journey to Success -- The Inside Story. Ravi Mohan, MBA '96, managing director of Silicon Valley-based Shasta Ventures, also is a featured speaker.

For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847,