An ecosystem of curricular and co-curricular entrepreneurship offerings have contributed to the University of Michigan’s #2 ranking in the Midwest region for undergraduate entrepreneurship, #8 globally, recently announced by the Princeton Review. At the graduate level, the Stephen M. Ross School of Business is also #2 for entrepreneurship in the Midwest and #4 globally.

“We are fortunate at the University of Michigan to have programs that span the spectrum from fostering the entrepreneurial mindset to launching student ventures,” said Dr. Jonathan Fay, Dixon and Carol Doll Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship programs across the University of Michigan make up a collaborative and robust ecosystem that focuses on transformative experience at both the curricular and co-curricular levels. 

Offerings throughout this ecosystem have continued to grow as interest increases among students from all disciplines. Through these programs, students are exposed to entrepreneurial ideals and practice them through transdisciplinary teams aimed at exploring dynamic, immersive experiences with the intent to develop and refine skills for both leading and being led in creative, technical, and business collaborations. 

Partners in the U-M ecosystem include the Entrepreneurship Minor, the Ross School of Business’s Zell Lurie Institute, the School of Literature, Science and Arts’ optiMize, the College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship, the School of Information, the School of Education’s CEDER, the School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s EXCEL Lab, the Center of Socially Engaged Design’s Innovation in Action, and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy’s Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project

Throughout this ecosystem, 99 faculty members teach 127 classes that have a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. These faculty members represent 50 U-M departments and more than 40 percent have run or founded a business themselves. 

The University’s most differentiating aspect is its breadth and accessibility of programs. Some courses are designed for students who are curious about entrepreneurship, other courses and programming are more intensive in order to provide the most innovation-driven students with mentorship and skills training needed to transform their ideas into successes. 

More than 4,600 students, representing 119 different majors across campus, were enrolled in these courses during the past year. 

Of the nearly 600 students who declared the campus-wide Entrepreneurship Minor, 100 percent have developed an actionable plan for assumption testing to launch.

“Fostering the entrepreneurial mindset in our students has gone from an impactful add-on activity to being seen as a core aspect of our teaching,” said Alec D. Gallimore, Robert J. Vlasic, Dean of Engineering at the University of Michigan. “This shift parallels our expansion from focusing on student ventures to focusing on the entrepreneurial mindset recognizing that our students will impact the world through their work in industry, academia, government, and startups.”

The ecosystem’s approach provides a rich portfolio of programs, leveraging an unparalleled alumni network and global resources unique to the University of Michigan. These programs are coupled with project-based, experiential learning accessible to students in all 19 schools and colleges. 

Funds raised by undergraduate students who graduated in the past five years total more than $91,000,000, and more than 314 ventures were launched during the same time period. 

Overall, U-M gives students the opportunity to apply entrepreneurship in order to carve out creative, stimulating futures that offer economic security and the opportunity to contribute positively to society. 

Interested in learning more about what the University of Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has to offer? Visit to explore.

A Thriving Entrepreneurial Ecosystem


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