When all of the applications for student portion of the Accelerate
Michigan Innovation Competition were counted, one school stood out as
arguably the most fertile place for studentpreneurs –
Wayne State University
students from Wayne State entered the competition with a business idea
than any other of the state's places of higher education. The University of Michigan
wasn't too far away at second. The $50,000 competition received nearly
300 student entries, accounting for about half of the 570 entries. Wayne
State students also scored four of the 28 semi-finalist spaces.
Organizers for both the Accelerate Michigan
competition and Wayne State's entrepreneurial programs credited the
surge in applications to the number of existing events and organizations
that spotlight entrepreneurship as a career option. Among those events
are the E2 Challenge
and the university's office of technology transfer. Eric Stief
, technology principal for Wayne State's Office of Tech Commercialization
, notes he had a long list of students to draw upon when he and other university officials began recruiting for the competition.
was surprised to hear we were at parity with larger institutions,"
Stief says. "You shouldn't be surprised the grass is growing where you
have been watering it."
The Accelerate Michigan competition is headed up by the Business Accelerator Network
which is composed of southeast Michigan's major business accelerator
agencies. The Top 10 student teams will be selected just before the
event on Dec. 11. It is being hosted around the Big Chill
hockey game in Ann Arbor.
Source: Eric Stief, technology principal of Wayne State's Office of Technology Commercialization
Writer: Jon Zemke