Innovate Blue, the university’s initiative to make entrepreneurship education available to all undergraduates beginning this fall, has officially launched with a one-stop-shop website designed to inform and inspire.
“We think the platform really showcases the impressive variety of organizations and partners that make entrepreneurship and innovation what it is here today,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, senior counselor for entrepreneurial education in the Provost’s Office and associate dean for entrepreneurial programs at the College of Engineering.
The site lays out students’ options for incorporating this type of training and exploration into their studies or their free time. It includes information about classes and academic programs across campus, and also about clubs, mentorship opportunities and students already working on their own startups. There are more than 50 on campus right now.
“We hope students visit the site and see themselves there,” Zurbuchen said.
The culture of innovation and entrepreneurship has become embedded at U-M in recent years. The university offers close to 40 undergraduate entrepreneurship classes taught by professors from 17 different departments. An estimated 600 undergrads are enrolled in these classes or university-sponsored offerings such as the nine-credit-hour Program in Entrepreneurship, TechArb, the Michigan Business Challenge competition and the Dare to Dream grant program.
In addition, thousands more each year take part in extracurricular and student-led endeavors. The annual 1,000 Pitches idea competition organized by student organization MPowered Entrepreneurship gathered more than 5,300 submissions in 2014, for example.