The University of Michigan Launches Desai Family Accelerator
Tom Frank, Center for Entrepreneurship, College of Engineering; Kelly LaPierre, Desai Family Accelerator; Stewart Thornhill, Zell Lurie Institute, Ross School of Business (PRNewsFoto/The Zell Lurie Institute)
The Desai Family Accelerator, a joint venture of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering, announced its launch today. The Accelerator is dedicated to helping Michigan startups gain ground. It will provide the physical infrastructure, financial resources and mentorship to support early-stage ventures as they reach the critical phase between early-stage development and the point at which they seek external investors. Funding and support for the Accelerator is being provided by the Desai Sethi (DS) Family Foundation and the Davidson Foundation.
The Desai Family Accelerator will be managed by the Ross School’s Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and the College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship. The addition of the Accelerator will expand on existing entrepreneurial programs and courses offered by both entrepreneurial programs that include a wide array of action-based learning opportunities and support, such as business plan competitions, grants, seminars and the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (M-TRAC) program.
“Support for entrepreneurship and education are core to the mission of the DS Foundation, and the Desai Family Accelerator brings these two elements together in perfect harmony,” said Bharat Desai, U-M Ross MBA (’81) and founder of Syntel, Inc., a global technology services company. “This is a very personal cause for me, since I have first-hand experience navigating the challenging journey from student to entrepreneur.”
“We look forward to seeing significant success stories emerging from this Accelerator, and believe this initiative will provide a boost to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and encourage the establishment of new and innovative ventures in Michigan,” said Desai.
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