Meet Zell Lurie Institute
The globally recognized Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute
for Entrepreneurial Studies provides the curriculum, program initiatives,
community involvement, and alumni outreach activities that deliver
exclusive resources for future entrepreneurs at the University
The Institute's innovative real-world approach and the Business
School's traditional management excellence encourages and nurtures
students in preparing for entrepreneurial careers to succeed,
autonomously or in a corporate setting, as leaders for new venture
creation and growth. Under the guidance of Professor Stewart Thornhill, the Institute provides access to capital, competitions,
and other means of significant support and resources for students
to take the knowledge learned in the classroom, build a business
plan, and actually launch a business while earning their degree.
In addition, the Institute works with other acclaimed University
research units, such as the Medical Center and College of Engineering,
to introduce students to new venture opportunities and to accelerate
the commercialization process for University of Michigan ideas
A video introducing prospective students to the Institute can be viewed here.
Extending its reach beyond the University, the Institute plays
an active role in the management of several statewide initiatives, and supports regional entrepreneurial organizations that serve as a catalyst for economic development. The Institute's outreach
efforts further enhance the student learning experience through
symposia, internships, entrepreneurial clubs and organizations,
and alumni events that serve to provide a viable entrepreneurial
network and engage the business community.
The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial
Studies was established at the University of Michigan Business
School with an endowment of $10 million from
Samuel Zell and Ann Lurie, on behalf of her late husband Robert H. Lurie,
in 1999. Advisory Board members include: Mr. Zell, Chairman of Equity Group
Investments; Michael Hallman, former COO of Microsoft Corporation; and Eugene Applebaum,
founder of Arbor Drugs.
Profile of Courses,
Programs and Research
The Business School offers students a superb educational opportunity
to combine theoretical and experiential learning. A broad range
of over 20 Entrepreneurial electives provides students with instruction
on the formation, financing, and management of ventures, and
on special topics, including urban entrepreneurship, turnaround
management, franchising, legal, and non-profit aspects of entrepreneurship.
The 18-member faculty, composed of academics and proven leaders
in the entrepreneurial community, prepare students in their
areas of interest.
Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP)
As part of the core curriculum, Entrepreneurial projects are available to first-year MBA students. The seven-week program teams students
with international incubators and domestic companies that have demonstrated a challenging business
problem. Sponsors providing MAP projects view students' final recommendations as practical, professional and ready for implementation.
Wolverine Venture Fund (WVF)
The Institute emphasizes experiential learning and promotes
the $3 million Wolverine Venture Fund to invest primarily in
early stage, emerging growth companies. One of the world's first
VC funds run by business students, the WVF's participants seek,
screen, and negotiate investments, developing significant experience
in these areas and in dealing with VCs and entrepreneurs. Business
School faculty and alumni, working as venture capitalists and
entrepreneurs, collaborate with 18 MBA students to manage the
Dare to Dream Grant Program
This program provides the financial resources for University students to engage in entrepreneurial
activity and risk-taking while earning their degree. University of Michigan
teams are encouraged to apply
for financial assistance of up to $5,000 to explore and advance their businesses through various development stages.
The case writing program provides a unique opportunity for MBA students to contribute to the education of
future entrepreneurial leaders by researching, developing, and
writing the case and its supporting teaching notes. Successful cases discuss specific
dynamics of an entrepreneurial company's growth, management,
or marketplace positioning. These published cases also serve
to highlight and promote companies within the Business
School's global community.
Marcel Gani Internship Program
The summer internship program provides tremendous learning
opportunities where MBA students are afforded the benefit of exclusive placement at domestic start-up and venture capital firms, and
firms are provided the opportunity to access talented, highly
motivated students committed to entrepreneurship.
Following a long storied tradition, University of Michigan student teams test
themselves in the campus-wide Michigan Business Challenge business plan competition.
In addition, the Institute sponsors and supports motivated student
teams to attend the nation's premier business plan, venture
capital, and entrepreneurial case competitions. These events
offer teams invaluable feedback; networking opportunities with
venture capital, strategy, and finance professionals; access
to capital with awards of up to $100,000, and real-time business
The Institute leads two annual events that feature prominent
speakers that attract over 400 participants. Entrepalooza
and the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium cover a range of entrepreneurial
topics and bring together students, nationally recognized business
leaders, and alumni. The Institute also partners with community
organizations and other University of Michigan schools on numerous events throughout
the year, giving students exposure to entrepreneurial activity,
technology, and people in emerging companies.
The School's student led High-Tech Club and Entrepreneur
and Venture Club offers members exclusive networking
opportunities with potential employers and alumni. The Institute
maintains ties with these clubs through the sponsorship of events
and activities to further promote the interest of entrepreneurship
and venture capital.
The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for
Entrepreneurial Studies aims to develop and
enhance the entrepreneurial skill set and mindset of tomorrow’s
business leaders. While
entrepreneurial skills can be leveraged in a variety of business
settings, they are most effectively
learned in an entrepreneurial environment. That is why the Zell
Lurie Institute augments
Michigan’s business courses by placing MBA student interns
and project teams inside small,
high-growth companies where they work on real problems with
real people in real time. More information can be found here
The Business School actively contributes to entrepreneurial
research in the areas of venture capital and private equity
finance through the efforts of Professor David J. Brophy. As Executive Director of the Center for Venture Capital and
Private Equity Finance, Dr. Brophy and colleagues pursue the
latest developments in these areas in collaboration with the
Institute. Books and case studies, published by leading
University of Michigan faculty, explore other areas of research
pertinent to entrepreneurs. The University of Michigan
also contributes to ongoing entrepreneurial-focused research
conducted through the Kauffman Foundation.