“Out of Failure Springs Innovation”

Stewart Thornhill, executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies, reported for the Financial Times on the most important business school takeaway for entrepreneurs–failure. In the article, Thornhill explains that an entrepreneur should be able to view failed projects as learning experiences that add value to their overall growth as business moguls. Using examples such as his experiences attending entrepreneurial competitions and Thomas Edison’s failed attempts at creating the light bulb, Thornhill emphasizes that failure is a part of the startup process. Thornhill concludes by stating that the Zell Lurie Institute embraces failure and the idea of change as it wants to encourage MBAs to take the risk of starting businesses.

To read the full article by Thornhill, click here.

Annual Private Equity Class Dinner

The Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance is holding its annual Private Equity class dinner today, sponsored by Chicago-based Glencoe Capital. During the dinner hosted by Professor David Brophy of the Ross School of Business, the class will participate in a “Bake-Off” buyout pitch competition where the winning team will receive the $7,500 Alan Gelband Private Equity Award and the runner-up will receive $2,500. Alan Gelband, founder and CEO of New York-based Gelband Company and David Evans, founder, CEO and chairman of Glencoe Capital will present the awards.

Ross Alum Savors the Entrepreneurial Climate at Mobile-App Start-up Atmospheir

Alex Rich, BBA ’11, was well on his way to building a successful investment-banking career in in New York City when he was “bitten by the entrepreneurial bug.” In June 2012, he left his position as an investment-banking analyst at Citigroup in Lower Manhattan and walked down the street to the Tribeca office of mobile application start-up Atmospheir, where he signed on as vice president of operations. “The concept that Atmospheir was advancing was powerful enough to compel me to change course,” Rich explains.

His roommate at the University of Michigan piqued his interest in the company by introducing him to its founder and CEO. Over the past 18 months, Atmospheir has designed and developed a mobile application that allows users to share all of their contact information and social network presences via a single, unique ID that they create. According to Rich, the app is a social re-imagination of the address book that provides a perpetual solution to contact management. Recently, the start-up got the official nod from Apple to market its mobile application online through the App Store.

While this is Rich’s first foray into the realm of new venture creation, he says the Ross School’s highly diverse core curriculum helped prepare him to work effectively in a challenging, multifaceted start-up environment. “Any time you join an early-stage company with a small team, you inevitably have to wear many hats,” Rich observes. “Ross equipped me with a broad-based business skillset in accounting, finance, marketing and other functions that I needed to help build a business from scratch.” That skillset is being put to the test daily, as the fledgling company develops its rollout strategy, promotes its brand, formulates its revenue model and pursues seed funding from venture investors. “In the back of my mind, I had hoped someday to transition to a venture-capital or private-equity firm where I could work with younger, less-established companies,” Rich says. “Last year, I took that vision one step further by going directly to work at Atmospheir.”

Zell Lurie Institute Awarded Top Honors by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine

We are excited to announce that The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine have named the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute as the number one graduate entrepreneurship program in the nation. This marks the fourth consecutive year we have appeared among the top five, advancing from second place in 2012 to the top spot for the first time.

We at Zell Lurie consistently strive to instruct how to build successful, new business concepts around advanced technologies and have provided scholarships, grants, competition awards and internship funding to help advance new venture development and the entrepreneurial skills for our students.

It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized in this light. We are proud of the accomplishments of the Institute, its faculty and current students and alumni for their achievements. It is because of them and our unique, action-based approach to entrepreneurial education that our Institute stands out from the pack and will continue to do so.

For more information, read the press release online here. 

12 Ways You Can Become An Entrepreneur

While there may not be a perfect recipe to becoming your own boss, there are some things that you can do today to put yourself on the path toward entrepreneurship.

Want to learn more? Jim Price shares his insight on the 12 most common ones, along with some honest talk about the pros and cons of each, with Business Insider. Check out the full article online.

Something Ventured – A Documentary on the Creation of the Venture Capital Industry

On February 8, from 4-6 p.m. at the Ross School of Business, the Zell Lurie Institute will host ‘Something Ventured’ – an 85 minute documentary that tells the story of the creation of the Venture Capital industry and how it became the single greatest engine of innovation and economic growth in the 20th century. It is told by the visionary risk-takers who dared to make it happen: Tom Perkins, Don Valentine, Arthur Rock, Dick Kramlich and others. The film also includes entrepreneurs sharing how they worked with these venture capitalists to grow world-class companies like Intel, Apple, Cisco, Atari, Genentech, Tandem and others.

It also offers a peek into a lighter side of the business, including: the famous entrepreneur who decided not to buy a third of Apple for $50,000 in 1977; venture capitalist Arthur Rock raising $3 million to start Intel with just a one-page, typo-filled business plan; and the first genetically engineered bacteria being transported from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a Genentech investor’s pocket.

Refreshments will be served following the movie and the event is sponsored by Jaffe Raitt Heuer and Weiss and the Michigan Venture Capital Association. This film will not be shown in theaters. Public welcome.


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