The Center for Entrepreneurship’s flagship immersive co-curricular program, the Entrepreneurs Leadership Program (ELP), is proud to announce the selection of 21 outstanding students for the 2022 Cohort. You can find the public roster for the 2022 ELP Cohort here.This marks the seventh consecutive year for the program with now more than 130 fellows. 

ELP provides deep training and mentorship for a select cohort of students to develop the functional, managerial, and leadership skills that differentiate the good from the great entrepreneurs. It equips some of the University of Michigan’s most driven minds with a rigorous experiential curriculum to lead them onto an entrepreneurial path during and after their college career. Student outcomes are tied to founding ventures, leading investment in important startups, and contributing to the ELP entrepreneurial community.

With students, staff, and faculty back on campus for a mostly in-person Fall semester, the CFE Entrepreneurial Practice Programs team decided to utilize both virtual and in-person methods to recruit this new cohort. Targeting first-year to PhD students from all schools/colleges, the events were crafted in a way to demonstrate and showcase the entrepreneurial mindset which is a framework taught through ELP.

Through the annual Innovation Challenge students were organized into teams to tackle a challenge related to climate change using renewable energy sources. Using aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset such as experimentation, managing risks, and building relationships students worked together to build a small wind turbine. 

As an evolution of the efforts previous ELP women have made, CFE staff member Emilee Studley held the Women in ENTRepreneurship event to recruit more women in the program. This networking event featured two ELP fellows, Caroline Slack (ELP 6) and Deepti Pandey (ELP 5), who spoke to how as women they build relationships and innovate with tech.

“I chose to apply to ELP to develop my skills as an entrepreneur and to use my knowledge to implement changes in healthcare as a future medical physician,” said Ayla Kazemi, Nutrition (‘23). “Attending the Women in Entrepreneurship event further solidified my decision to apply to ELP since I felt inspired by the many intelligent and innovative women that have made invaluable contributions in Entrepreneurship. 

“I accepted my offer to ELP not only to achieve my goals of amending healthcare inequities, but also because I want to be a part of the change in addressing disparities that women face in these fields.” 

This hybrid approach to recruitment this year produced a record number of RSVPs and attendees of our events. Entrepreneurial Practice Programs reached 479 students and had more than 200 students participate in their three recruitment events. 

These outstanding efforts led to the creation of the seventh cohort in the program’s history, selected from a very diverse and impressive field of students from first-year to doctoral studies, and representing more than nine schools at U-M. 

This cohort in particular represents some firsts for the program. Typically, each year the cohort represents around 40 to 50 percent engineering students, but this year 71 percent of the cohort are students from six different schools/colleges such as the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the Ross School of Business. For the first time since the program’s inception, there are four students representing the School of Public Health. 

“I have a solid idea that I am very passionate about, but right now it’s just bare bones and I’m struggling to understand everything I need to do to develop the idea and launch a company,” said Jackie Varela, School of Public Health (‘23). “When I learned about ELP I was fully impressed. It’s the most comprehensive program for entrepreneurs on campus. 

“I knew if I got in, I was 100-times more likely to learn more and succeed at achieving my goals to help others. So, of course I accepted this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Another achievement from this year is the selection of six graduate students. ELP has always been open to graduate and PhD students, but has not had this many in a single cohort. 

The diversity of backgrounds and experiences has always been a proud characteristic of ELP and one that attracts students. Each year, the program staff think deeply on how they can continue to broaden their outreach to students from all schools/colleges and academic years.

“I’m excited about ELP because of the diverse group of students,” said Cooper Kennelly, Data Science (‘23). “U-M’s own Scott E Page wrote ‘the Difference’ on the importance of cognitive variance concerning the production of complex solutions, and what else is entrepreneurship?”

If you’re interested in connecting with a 2021 ELP Cohort student for a potential internship or mentorship opportunity, contact Nick Moroz at

A Thriving Entrepreneurial Ecosystem


To learn more visit

Student Spotlight: Kevin Wang


In his four years at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, Kevin Wang has cultivated his passion for tech...

take a Step Forward