Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Zell Lurie Institute awards student entrepreneurs more than $50,000 in grants

The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business has announced the recipients of the Fall 2009 Eugene Applebaum Dare to Dream Grant Program, where students apply for funding to advance their innovative, high-potential business concepts toward launch.

View the full list of Dare to Dream Grant recipients.

The 30 grant recipients submitted projects that range from a light sport aircraft design and manufacturing firm to an online fundraising platform for performers to a stationary bicycle that generates electricity.

Each received a share of funding and resources totaling $50,000 based on business concepts and plans submitted to panels of judges made up of faculty and members of the entrepreneurial and venture capital communities.

In addition to the financial awards, grant recipients will receive counsel from leading business experts on business plan development and funding strategies.

“The innovation and industries represented by this year’s Dare to Dream student teams reflect the unique, research-rich environment the university offers to aspiring entrepreneurs,” says Tom Kinnear, executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute.

“Participating in the competition is a fantastic learning experience for our students. They are forced to evaluate market potential for their ideas, develop a business case and conduct due diligence. Selected teams benefit not only from the financing but they also gain access to business experts and venture capital leaders to determine next steps in the development of their business concepts.”

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Zell Lurie Institute has awarded more than $692,000 to 993 students in Dare to Dream grants for student start-ups since the program’s inception. Grants are administered at three funding levels: business design grants at $500, assessment grants at $1,500, and up to $10,000 for integration grants.

The Dare to Dream program has been aiding student-run, high-growth business concepts since 2002. The program distributes up to $100,000 per academic year to Ross School of Business students. The program benefits students, as well as the local and university community, by stimulating entrepreneurial efforts and starting new businesses.