For more than 10 years startup founders, venture capitalists, disruptors, and innovators have come to speak with students and share their journey with them. Entrepreneurship Hour predates even the Center for Entrepreneurship itself. Even after all those years, the main purpose of E-Hour hasn’t changed: to ensure students gain a holistic perspective on startups and the entrepreneurial landscape.

This semester’s lineup of speakers continues this purpose by featuring influential leaders from various sectors of our economy including elected leaders from the state government (Michigan’s Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist), pioneers at the intersection of corporations and startups (David Horowitz & Rachel Gutnik – Touchdown Ventures), and the perspective of seasoned VC operators (Kristina Simmons – former Chief of Staff at Khosla Ventures).

Hearing from these leaders and learning about their personal experiences founding, financing and managing a startup venture will ensure students leave the semester with a richer perspective. Sure, they might have an idea for a new product or service but have they thought about how funding will go, or how to build the right team around them, or what the plan is to scale up and grow accordingly?

A few speakers learned how to do just that, scale their businesses, even during a pandemic. Two, in particular, are alumni founders of ‘unicorn’ startups (a startup having achieved a valuation of $1B+): Henry Ward of Carta and Kate Ryder of Maven Clinic. Each one will educate students on how their companies evolved to meet their customer’s needs.

The founders of Morning Brew (alumni Alex Lieberman and Austin Rief) kicked off the fall semester sharing how they started their newsletter as students right here at U-M. In just a few short years they were able to take a simple email and turn it into a thriving business that they were able to sell while in lockdown.

So come hear the trials and triumphs of fellow entrepreneurs and see if you can gain a new perspective on starting your own business. Check out ENTR 407.

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