Ross School initiative aims to prepare students for digital economy


The Stephen M. Ross School of Business has launched a new initiative to prepare students for careers at the intersection of business and technology.


The Business+Tech initiative will offer innovative, action-based learning and co-curricular experiences for undergraduate and graduate students at Ross and beyond to equip them with tech knowledge and skills they can use to make a positive impact in business and society.

For years, the Ross School and several of its centers and institutes have invested in developing a robust portfolio of opportunities exploring the intersection of business and technology. These include forums with industry executives, action-based projects and learning engagements for students on topics such as data analytics, digital marketing, fintech, and digital operations.

The new Business+Tech initiative will bring these offerings together and create new opportunities for student engagement as well as direct connections to industry leaders and innovators. 

“Technology is playing an increasingly significant role in transforming business models and every aspect of value creation, including how products and services are developed and offered, and how customers interact with companies and organizations. We recognize that our graduates need to be literate, competent, and ultimately masters of the ways in which tech is transforming business,” said M.S. Krishnan, Accenture Professor of Computer Information Systems and professor of technology and operations, who will serve as the initiative’s faculty director.

“The market has made a seismic shift toward technology in every industry,” said Phil Brabbs, the initiative’s managing director. “Michigan Ross students recognize that career opportunities at the intersection of technology and business functions are expanding across industries. Business+Tech aims to be a platform that prepares our students to emerge as effective leaders in the emerging technology-enabled business world.”

The Business+Tech initiative will function similarly to the business school’s Business+Impact initiative, which serves as the business school’s center for impact-related resources, action-based courses, co-curricular experiences, and events.

Similarly, Business+Tech will focus on building and enhancing cross-campus collaboration to promote tech at U-M. The initiative’s interdisciplinary programming and events will bring together students and faculty from schools across campus to leverage the skills and expertise that can be found throughout the university.

Along with hosting established annual events, such as the Datathon, FinTech Challenge and SportsTech Conference, Business+Tech is organizing many new events and programs this year, including a +Tech Innovation Jam, which will take place in October and November.

The +Tech Literacy Download at the beginning of October allowed students to develop their tech literacy skills from a selection of 25 sessions.

In addition, Business+Tech will house a new paid opportunity for Ross students to get involved in its offerings through the Michigan Ross Tech Scholars and Analysts Program.

This year, there are eight graduate Ross Tech Scholars and eight undergraduate Ross Tech Analysts, who are researching new and emerging tech trends and working with leading U-M faculty researchers.


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