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Ross School Partners with Michigan State's Broad College of Business to Launch Michigan Entrepreneurship Education Leaders Forum

12/14/2011 --

University entrepreneurial programs across Michigan join forces to foster a culture of entrepreneurship among students, regional business community.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Michigan Ross has joined forces with Michigan State University's Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Broad College of Business to create the Michigan Entrepreneurship Education Leaders Forum. The forum brings together entrepreneurial educators from the top MBA programs across the state to identify opportunities for improvement and collaboration, with the ultimate goal of advancing entrepreneurship among students and alumni in Michigan.

"Today's college graduates are facing a marketplace that expects them to be armed with an entrepreneurial skill set and the ready application of those skills," says Tim Faley, managing director of the Zell Lurie Institute at Ross. "Bringing our region's top entrepreneurial educators together is the best way to ensure we maximize every opportunity for students throughout Michigan to create meaningful entrepreneurial ventures, impact start-up development, or innovate within a corporate environment."

The inaugural Michigan Entrepreneurship Education Leaders meeting, held Dec. 9, addressed how entrepreneurship programs can—individually and collaboratively—provide students with the critical entrepreneurial skills needed and the best, most effective practices for doing this. Discussion topics included teaching and funding models as well as the scaling of more intensive student experiences.

At U-M, the forum represents another way the Zell Lurie Institute, as part of Michigan Ross, is delivering on the long-term vision of Sam Zell, who founded the institute in 1999 with Ann Lurie through a $10 million endowment. Zell envisioned the institute as a catalyst for entrepreneurship within the business school, then extending across the U-M campus, the greater Michigan region, and the entire country. The creation of the forum comes on the heels of entrepreneurial centers being formed at the University's College of Engineering, Law School, and Medical School all with the help of the institute.

Representatives from U-M and Michigan State, as well as Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Grand Valley, Wayne State, and Western Michigan Universities attended the debut forum. Western Michigan's Tim Palmer says he can cite no other discipline in any state where the heads got together with the intent of improving everyone's ability to educate their students. The group will next meet in May.

"The Entrepreneurship Leadership Forum provides a valuable platform for sharing ideas and best practices for inculcating entrepreneurial principles and an entrepreneurial mindset in our students and for identifying promising avenues of collaboration among our institutes and centers to engender entrepreneurial activity in the state of Michigan," says Shawnee Vickery, Demmer Legacy Fellow from the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Michigan State. "It was inspiring to be able to discuss common challenges and to share solutions for effectively addressing them."

For more information, contact:
Mary Nickson, (734) 615-4424,