Entrepreneurial Innovation

Innovation Ecosystem

Michigan Technological University

Jim Baker, Executive Director, Innovation and Industry Engagement, Michigan Technological University

Successful and efficient innovation enablement requires an integrated ecosystem of resources, support services, educational programs, and networking opportunities. From recruitment of pre-college innovators to development and recruitment of startup management talent, Michigan Tech has developed a broad array of integrated programs, services, and partnerships to support a vibrant local innovation pipeline that generates opportunities throughout the region and the state.

Contact: Jim Baker, jrbaker@mtu.edu, (906) 487-3459

The Blackstone LaunchPad

Wayne State University

Cynthia Finger-Hoffman, Program Coordinator, The Blackstone LaunchPad, Wayne State University

The Blackstone LaunchPad provides entrepreneurial training and education to Wayne State University students. Funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, it plays an important role in the Southeast Michigan entrepreneurial eco-system developed by the New Economy Initiative (NEI), the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIIE), and the University. Our members learn to grow their business ideas through individual and collaborative consulting, educational workshops and networking events, and preparing for competitive funding opportunities. More than 2,500 participants have attended our events, 475 students have enrolled in our community of entrepreneurs, and 218 students have received consultations on their business idea.

Contact: Cynthia Finger-Hoffman, ec2178@wayne.edu, (313) 577-1533

Supporting Regional Economic Innovation through Student-Led, Faculty-Guided University/Community Partnerships

Michigan State University

Jennifer Bruen, Project Coordinator, Center for Community and Economic Development, Michigan State University

The Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development, REI University Center, in collaboration with Michigan's higher education community, is assisting Michigan communities in completing local economic development initiatives through university and community college student-led, faculty-guided projects. These student-led, faculty-guided projects provide community and economic development professionals with access to technical assistance and data analysis that may not otherwise have been available to them. These types of learning experiences seek to bridge the transition from classroom to professional practice. Additionally, this purposeful linkage of student learning to real-world projects is expected to increase the community and economic development skills of graduates of Michigan universities and community colleges and improve the state's capacity to retain such talent.

Contact: Rex L. LaMore, lamore@msu.edu, (517) 353-9555

The Quickest Hitch in the West!

Western Michigan University

Steven Butt, Chairperson; Tycho Fredericks, Professor, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Western Michigan University; Dan Panozzo, Western Engineering, LLC; Joe Fodo, Western Engineering, LLC; Evan Maltas, Western Engineering, LLC

The number of trailers that are sold every year in the United States: 280,000. The number of minutes Americans wasted last year when trying to connect their vehicle to a trailer: 200,667. The amount of money Americans could have saved last year: $11,000,000. How is this possible? If you have ever tried to tow a trailer, you know the hardest part is backing up your vehicle to the coupler fashioned on the trailer. Through the Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering (IEE) Program, students created a solution that reduces the amount of time it takes to connect a trailer by half. The IEE Program at Western Michigan University is engineering tomorrow's innovative leaders today.

Contact: Tycho Fredericks, tycho.fredericks@wmich.edu, (269) 276-3360

Urban Entrepreneurship: Doing Business in Detroit

University of Michigan–Dearborn

Crystal Scott, Associate Professor of Marketing, College of Business, University of Michigan–Dearborn; Liz Rohan, Associate Professor of Composition and Rhetoric, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, University of Michigan–Dearborn

Urban Entrepreneurship: Doing Business in Detroit is an undergraduate academic service learning seminar course, team-taught by five cross-disciplinary faculty members. We examine the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the City of Detroit and the surrounding region. The course explores the historical, economic, social, and cultural context of the City and how they influence business opportunities in Detroit. Students gain hands-on experience working with community development organizations in Brightmoor, Cody Rouge, Grandmont Rosedale, Indian Village, and the North End to appreciate the role entrepreneurial businesses can play in neighborhoods and communities.

Contact: Joy Beatty, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, College of Business, University of Michigan–Dearborn, jebeatty@umich.edu, (313) 583-6524

Dare to Dream and Venture Shaping Grant Programs: An Experiential Learning Business Development Model

University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

Sarika Gupta, Program Manager, Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

The Zell Lurie Institute's Dare to Dream and Venture Shaping Grant programs instill general knowledge of the new business creation and development process, in addition to guiding students through the formation of a particular business. These student business development programs are offered in two cycles per year with new applications due in September and January. The Dare to Dream program began in 2001 as a business plan development program funded by Eugene Applebaum. Like all of the Zell Lurie Institute's programs, this one comes with a combination of instruction and team mentoring. In 2005 a pre-plan business assessment phase was added to the Dare to Dream program as it became increasingly clear that many students were struggling to operationalize businesses that were simply not economically viable. In 2008, the Institute expanded the program to fill the gap between a good idea and a feasibility study that was created specifically to teach a method for identifying and transforming opportunities into businesses. In 2011 this phase of the program was re-launched as "Venture Shaping," which was subsequently funded by an endowment from Tim and Dawn Mayleben.

Contact: Mary Nickson, mnickson@umich.edu, (734) 615-4424