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Zell Lurie Institute Entrepreneurial Education Approach: Six Critical Skills Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed

Since 1999, the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies has led the nation, the state and the University of Michigan in pioneering award-winning entrepreneurial courses and programs. During that time, it has served as a catalyst in creating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem on and off the U-M campus. Through the Institute’s cross-disciplinary outreach, entrepreneurship has planted a firm foothold at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, the College of Engineering, the School of Medicine and, most recently, the Law School. This synergy has created a Michigan model of entrepreneurship education that sets the University apart from its peers.

The Institute’s success arises from its identification of and focus on six core entrepreneurial skills—
opportunity identification; designing, assessing, planning, and resourcing the business; and managing growth — which it teaches through a matrix of multidisciplinary coursework, action-based learning, staff and faculty seminars, and alumni networking. This approach entails:

  • Engaging students early and consistently over a period of time
  • Providing multiple experiences at each skill level
  • Catalyzing diverse teams across academic disciplines
  • Offering continually accessible one-on-one coaching

“The actual experiences of entrepreneurs engaged in technology, life sciences, online sales or social causes may be different, but the skills they need to succeed are still the same,” says Timothy Faley, the Institute’s managing director. “We deliver courses and programs along a continuum to help students acquire those foundational skills.”