Halfway over, Month of Entrepreneurship still going strong

By Amrutha Sivakumar, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 19, 2013

The University's designation of March as the Month of Entrepreneurship marks the first time a U.S. university has dedicated an entire month to the topic.

In February, Entrepreneurship Commission Chair Scott Christopher hoped that the Month of Entrepreneurship would serve to “remove the stigma that entrepreneurship is only for business and engineering students.”

The Entrepreneurship Commission of the Central Student Government was created last semester to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among the student body. Formed as a result of CSG President Manish Parikh’s campaign promise, the members of the ECommission are leaders of student organizations that focus on innovation.

The commission coordinated the various events that have taken place this month, but individual, entrepreneurially minded student groups were responsible for organizing their own programs.

Engineering Prof. Thomas Zurbuchen, the ECommission's faculty advisor and associate Engineering dean for entrepreneurial programs, said the month serves to “support student organizations and governments with their idea to highlight entrepreneurship.”

Parikh said although the events are being publicized as a calendar month, it will likely continue into April as a result of student interest.

Although events on the website include those that took place before the official release of the Month of Entrepreneurship platform, Parikh said there would be more to come.

The month will also include speeches by Dale J. Stephens, founder of UnCollege, an initiative promoting unconventional education, and Shawn Dougherty, founder of Mophie, a brand of in-case mobile chargers.

Student organization ventures will include EDUpreneurship, an initiative to develop new educational ventures, and MPowered Connect, which brings entrepreneurship to Detroit.

With the help of various administrators, including University President Mary Sue Coleman and Martha Pollack, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, and through networking with individual University schools and colleges and their respective student governments, Parikh said he hoped students would be “fired up about entrepreneurship.”

“Our goal through the entire month is to touch every single student on campus either through an e-mail, an event or a project,” Parikh said. “We know this is bit of an ambitious goal, but with the plan we think we will be able to (reach it).”

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