Until recently, Tom Kinnear was the only executive director the Zell Lurie Institute ever had since its founding in 1999.
But he headed out the ZLI door with a big feather in his cap — Ross recently was ranked No. 1 in graduate entrepreneurial education by the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine.
“We take great pride in that, and in knowing it was a great staff, great alumni support, students who really care, and the advisers and mentors who stepped up to form a community here,” Kinnear says. “You always want to leave something in better shape than you found it.”
Kinnear was instrumental in not only building entrepreneurial programs at ZLI, but also connecting Ross and U-M with the wider business community. He has been a co-founder, adviser, angel investor, and board member of startup companies. He’s also chair of the Venture Michigan Fund, where he’s been a board member for nine years.
“There’s been the adoption of a much more entrepreneurial attitude across the state and on campus, and we need to stay engaged in this rich community,” Kinnear says.
In this video, Kinnear discusses the founding of the Institute, its robust program portfolio, and involvement in the greater entrepreneurial community beyond the University.