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Entrepreneurial Spirit is Alive, Well and Highly Competitive

1/10/2006 --

Ross School students earn accolades and experience in local and national business competitions.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The one-two punch of management curriculum and entrepreneurial programs is packing a wallop at the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business as students gain hands-on experience in campuswide and national competitions.

Call it "book smarts" meets "street smarts"—the combination of theory and practical knowledge that Ross School students are exposed to is churning out market-ready entrepreneurs. In the classroom and through supplemental programs, the Ross School is developing business ideation and business assessment skills in its students.

Hand-in-hand with the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Ross School prepares graduates for the world of managing the development and growth of new businesses, built on a strong general management curriculum foundation.

"Business creation knowledge and skill development learned in the classroom—with assistance from the Zell Lurie Institute—prepares students for entrepreneurial success," said Zell Lurie's Tim Faley. "Teams hone their business plans through their participation in the University of Michigan's 10 week-long Michigan Business Challenge and by pitching their plans and demonstrating their expertise in David Brophy's and Jim Price's respective courses."

A sampling of what Ross School students have been working on, and what's next, includes:

Michigan Business Challenge
The campuswide Business Plan Competition featured "elevator pitches" in the first round in early December. Thirty-nine U-M student teams gave three-minute pitches and 16 teams advanced to the second round this month. On Feb. 17, finalists will compete for more than $30,000 in prize money. For more information, go to: http://www.zli.bus.umich.edu/events_programs/busplan_competition_pryor_details.asp.

Public to Private Investment Pitch "Bakeoff"
The community was able to learn from and support student teams from Professor David Brophy's Private Equity Finance course as they participated in a public-to-private investment pitch "bakeoff" in early December. The two most promising pitches will then present their investment thesis to Glencoe Capital investment board members this month for cash prizes of up to $7,500.

Venture Capital Investment Competition
This strategy competition for MBA students gives participants real-world venture capital experience as teams evaluate real businesses and interact with CEOs. A self-selected team interested in venture capital will compete in the regional competition Feb. 9-11 at the University of Colorado. Winning teams will advance to the national competition April 6-8 at the University of North Carolina.

Summer 2006 Entrepreneurial and Venture Capital Internship Opportunities
The student application deadline is Jan. 16 for the 2006 Marcel Gani Summer internship. The company recruiting process is underway with many firms already expressing interest in Ross MBA students. These full-immersion internship experiences help develop entrepreneurial skills and expose students to the issues routinely faced by growing firms and key decision-makers. Since 2001, this program has placed more than 150 students with venture capital and entrepreneurial firms. For more information, visit: http://www.zli.bus.umich.edu/events_programs/internships_detail.asp.



For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat
Phone: (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847
Email: bernied@umich.edu