“I want students to understand that entrepreneurship is a viable career choice, and to make it more approachable by breaking it down into steps that are doable and known,” said Brian Hayden, the Center for Entrepreneurship’s new Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR).

According to Brian, U-M students are plenty intelligent, but what they lack is life experience. “So how can we bring them that experience to help them see what’s possible?” he asked.

Brian’s goal is to bring his own experiences into the CFE, and engage with students from a “real world” perspective. Brian is a two-time founder – including the Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Evanston based fitness technology company ShapeLog – and received his BBA from the University of Michigan, so he’s connected to the Southeastern Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“I know so many amazing alumni and people who have started businesses who look with jealousy when I talk about teaching here,” said Brian. “The new EIR program provides a pathway to bring some of those incredible people back into the ecosystem in a way that is life changing for both them and the students.”

Scheduling one-on-one meetings with students, Brian’s aim is to not only help shape students’ understanding of their own ideas, but also to help influence how he goes about teaching in his own classes at the CFE.

“You can find lots of tips and advice about how to move your ideas forward, other places inside the university, on the internet, etc. I hope that I’m able to help students think through their own personal entrepreneurial journey, and decide early if an entrepreneurial career is the right choice for them,” Brian explained.

“We are very excited to have Brian help us set up an effective EIR mode,” said CFE Executive Director, Dr. Jonathan Fay. “His background as an entrepreneur, educator, and mentor are the perfect blend to make sure that the program meets the needs of our students.”

Brian Hayden interviewing fellow CFE instructor outside for podcast
Brian Hayden interviewing TechArb company, Canopy’s co-founder, Elisabeth Michel, outside for podcast

The CFE’s goal of establishing the EIR program is to provide students with yet another opportunity to dive into the world of entrepreneurship and get more perspective on their goals and what they feel most passionate about.

“It’s that intersection of your whole life and this idea you’re working on, the way those two intersect is the thing I’m most excited to help students think about,” said Brian.

Any students interested in scheduling an appointment to meet with Brian can click here, or you can listen to the podcast he’s created for students in his class where he interviews fellow entrepreneurs and CFE faculty here.