Student Spotlight: Colin Reinhart
University of Michigan junior, Colin Reinhart, has fostered an entrepreneurial spirit for as long as he can remember. From the inception of his popular childhood lemonade stand, he has evaluated the world in terms of future potential, rather than the stasis of the present moment. He navigates the world with a unique philosophy of opportunity, keen on both commercial potential and community involvement.
“I remember my first exposure to business was at the breakfast table in my childhood home,” he shared.
“My mother handed me her phone, and I was fascinated by the bright greens and reds of the market… I got my first stock, Target, for my 12th birthday. Later that year for Christmas, I asked for Apple.”
As Colin entered secondary school, his start-up business expanded beyond mere lemons, sugar, and water. He discovered the passionate Sneakerhead community and quickly realized this affluent and influential consumer segment was under-served in the premium resale market.
“After the lemonade stand days, my first business tapped into the premium shoe resale market.”
Tapping into the exorbitant demand for premium, limited-release sneakers, he began heading to conventions to acquire these products and resell them with impressive margins. Beyond the financial benefits, Colin gained practical, first-hand business experience and extended his entrepreneurial learning beyond the classroom.
“In an entrepreneurial space, you need more than just a title to be a leader, you need to inspire.”
By all measures, he was an experienced entrepreneur prior to even taking his first entrepreneurship course at the University of Michigan. Though Colin pursues a Biomedical engineering major and business minor, he elected to complement his core work with ENTR courses to add further dimension to his professional development.
“I first took an entrepreneurship class because I knew it would contribute to my growth as a leader.”
After taking ENTR 411: Entrepreneurship Practicum, he was quickly nominated to become an Instructional Aide (IA). As an IA, Colin is a role model and valuable resource for students. During the University’s first hybrid semester in Fall 2020, Colin showed up in person every day, ready to help with technology & the fluidity of instruction.
“My primary focus as an IA was to help students feel more comfortable in an online classroom, and adjust to the new normal.”
Outside the classroom, Colin dedicates his time to the Impact Investing Group, a student organization supporting equitable community revitalization. The club has three branches dedicated to microfinance, consulting, and research. The microfinance branch provides low-interest loans to emerging start-ups, the consulting branch works with the leadership of these companies to assist business growth, and research supports the strategic development.
“We review dozens of local, Detroit-metro area companies, looking for ESG metrics. Then the consulting team, my team, works alongside them for a full semester.”
Colin was placed with Tappan Hill Ventures, an Ann Arbor based venture capital firm founded by a Michigan Ross alumni, Lisa Fingerle. Tappan Hill Ventures brings together Michigan alumni, and invests in software, ubiquitous network connectivity, and the proliferation of computing devices.
“I worked as a consulting analyst with Tappan Hill Ventures, and helped her to manage the 79 investors in the firm… It was an amazing experience.”
He earned a return placement as an intern at the firm for summer 2021 and is strongly considering consulting as a full-time career. Today, he remains with Impact Investment Group as a Consulting Project Manager and is excited to join Health Advances as an Analyst intern in Summer 2022
“Entrepreneurship has provided me with the foundation for creativity and success and the confidence to do anything I could ever dream of.”