New microgrant program designed to boost student entrepreneurs
A new university-sponsored grant program aims to give a quarter of a million dollars to 250 students or student teams over the next five years to help them launch an entrepreneurial venture or gain entrepreneurial skills.
The Jump Start grants will provide approximately 50 young entrepreneurs per year with between $250 and $1,500 to help pay for travel, legal services, prototype development or participation in Ann Arbor SPARK's Entrepreneur Boot Camp.
"Not only will these grants remove critical barriers for hundreds of student entrepreneurs across campus, we believe they will support the growth of the entrepreneurial culture across the university," says Philip Hanlon, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
The grant program is funded by the Office of the Provost and administered through the College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship. The grants are available to current students and recent graduates from any university school or department in good academic standing.
Applications for the first round of funding now are being accepted.
The spirit of innovation has been spreading from the grassroots level across the university, largely as a result of student-led initiatives and organizations. MPowered, a student entrepreneurship organization, founded 1,000 Pitches, one of the largest student-run venture idea competitions held on a college campus. Last year, students submitted a record 3,000 pitches.
U-M offers more than 30 entrepreneurship-related courses taught by faculty in the College of Engineering, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, School of Information, Law School and LSA.