For Entrepreneurship Leaders at U-M, a Balance Between Teaching Innovation and Capitalizing On It

12/8/10

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many of his students don’t necessarily go on to develop their own companies after graduation, but the skills that they’ve learned help them to be innovators within larger companies.

“We want to teach them how to form many businesses as opposed to coaching them to the formation of one,” he says.

That said, Faley, believes that students learn better when working on real companies as opposed to theoretical business plans. “They learn so much more when its real and the intensity is so much great when its theirs,” he says. “We’ll use your idea as a platform for learning and if that idea ends up spinning out as a successful company that’s fabulous.”

Doug Neal, managing director for the Center of Entrepreneurship, an organization housed in U-M’s College of Engineering that teaches classes on entrepreneurship and helps students actualize their startup ideas, says his organization also prioritizes teaching students the techniques for creating a viable startup over actually spinning out companies.

“We focus much more on helping them navigate the experience,” he says. “If they have an idea they want to pursue we want to help them quickly figure out how to fail fast on that idea or launch it forward.”

He continued: “We want them to engage it as if they’re putting their own money into it because they’re putting their own time into it.”

Though leaders at both centers say their primary goal is educating entrepreneurs rather than creating new enterprises, Tom Kinnear, Eugene Applebaum professor of entrepreneurial studies and the executive director of Zell Lurie, says there’s been a push … Next Page »

Jillian Berman is an intern for Xconomy Detroit. Follow @

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