The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business today was named one of the top graduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation. The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine recognized the Institute in a joint ranking of “Top 25 Graduate Entrepreneurship Programs.” This marks the third consecutive year the Institute has appeared among the top five. More than 2,000 schools were surveyed by The Princeton Review. The complete rankings will appear in the October issue of Entrepreneur, both in print and online.
The University of Michigan has been a driving force in the advancement of entrepreneurial education since 1927 when it offered the nation’s first course in entrepreneurship at its Business School. The launch of various entrepreneurial programs followed and in 1999 the University was among the first to launch a full program dedicated to entrepreneurial education with the creation of the Zell Lurie Institute. This was made possible with a $10 million gift from iconic American businessman Sam Zell and distinguished philanthropist Ann Lurie, the wife of Zell’s late business partner, Robert H. Lurie.
“Entrepreneurship is fundamental to the economy as a growth engine,” says Zell, who is a University of Michigan alum. “In today’s environment, the Institute’s mission – to educate and launch entrepreneurs — is critical. We are catalyzing a new generation, and the evidence of its success is visible.”
The Institute’s robust program portfolio and the entrepreneurial field projects offered as part of the curriculum for first-year full- and part-time MBAs, have set the bar for entrepreneurial education across the U.S. Most notably, the Institute’s flagship Wolverine Venture Fund was the first student-led venture fund of its kind in the country and is now complemented by the Frankel Commercialization Fund and the Social Venture Fund. Together these ‘evergreen,’ student-run funds have $6.5 million under management, have experienced four successful exits, and deliver returns that are comparable to those experienced by top-quartile, professionally managed funds. Since its inception, the Institute has provided scholarships, grants and internship funding totaling more than $3 million to help advance the entrepreneurial skill sets of and new venture development by more than 3000 students. The Institute has also committed more than $1.8 million toward developing programming that includes investment and grant programs committed to nurturing students’ entrepreneurial skill development and their entrepreneurial endeavors during this academic year.
As a leader in innovative entrepreneurial education turning out the next generation of serial entrepreneurs, venture investors and private equity professionals, the Zell Lurie Institute has grown beyond the walls of the Business School through partnerships across the University’s campus in engineering, medicine and law. The partnership with the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering launched TechArb, a student accelerator that is jointly managed. In addition, the Zell Entrepreneurship & Law program and Medical Innovation Center host programs in which the Institute’s graduate students participate.
“We are pleased to continually appear in the upper echelon of graduate entrepreneurship program rankings,” said Thomas Kinnear, executive director of the Institute. “Our innovative approach and ability to support our students with the needed resources to test business ideas, make investments, and place them in the field around the globe sets up apart from our peers. The main beneficiaries of our success, of course, are the University students and graduates who will deploy their entrepreneurship skills, knowledge and experience to launch new companies, drive venture-capital investment, and forge innovative career pathways at major corporations.”