Welcome to the new blog all about Michigan State University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. In my relatively new position as Director of Alumni and Entrepreneur Engagement, I serve to connect accomplished alumni and friends of the University to the wide spectrum of programs, places, and people involved in entrepreneurship and innovation at MSU. Particularly, I’m interested in finding alumni who are interested in supporting our student entrepreneurs across campus. This new blog will be one of our primary vehicles for sharing stories about the remarkable student entrepreneurs we’re educating, the new initiatives underway to support innovation, and last but certainly not least, our entrepreneurial alumni who are founders, leaders, and innovators across the globe.
In the first 8 months on the job in this new role, I recognized that the vast majority of MSU alumni weren’t always familiar with all of the advancements made by the institution to further support entrepreneurship and innovation. That’s because many of the programs and places that comprise our ecosystem are relatively new. Places like the MSU Innovation Center, the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Hive (our “Idea Laboratory”), or the Hatch (MSU’s student startup incubator), have mostly taken shape in the last 5-7 years. Even more recently, we started a related degree program – students from any discipline or major at MSU can now pursue an academic minor in entrepreneurship and innovation.
As MSU as invested in supporting student entrepreneurs, student engagement in our programs and initiatives has skyrocketed. With a growing ecosystem, we aim to tap into the Spartan Network and engage alumni with an interest in helping grow our network. Alumni entrepreneurs can engage in our ecosystem in a multitude of ways – they can guest lecture in a classroom full of students, they can participate in our Innovate State speaker series, they can serve as a coach to a student team, they can mentor startups in our annual Conquer Accelerator program…you get the idea.
With all of the progress we’ve made at MSU as of late, we know there is still more room for advancement. And we also recognize that the University has been graduating dynamic and successful alumni who have gone on to become incredible entrepreneurs for a long time. In fact, our knack for educating entrepreneurs is reflected in our Land Grant mission and agricultural roots. Alumni will play a critical role in MSU’s ability to further support our students and realize our vision for creating a world-class entrepreneurial ecosystem.
This blog will feature content about our students, staff, initiatives, and alumni. Guest bloggers will regularly find a home at this site, too. If you ever have an idea for a story regarding a successful Spartan entrepreneur, don’t hesitate to contact me. And you’re welcome to contact me or my colleagues if this blog ever triggers an interest in engaging with our programs and supporting our students. Go Green!