On Friday, dozens of students listened and engaged in a panel on entrepreneurship in The Michigan Daily’s newsroom.
“Innovators and Best: A Student Entrepreneurship Panel,” sponsored by the Daily and the Michigan Association of Communication Studies, covered how students could be involved in entrepreneurship, teamwork dynamics and Detroit and Ann Arbor’s role as a startup hub. Attendees enjoyed vegan sandwiches from The Lunch Room and Iorio’s Gelato.
Panelists included Business Prof. Tom Kinnear; Aerospace Engineering Prof. Thomas Zurbuchen, associate dean for Entrepreneurial Programs; members of MHacks; University alum Omeid Serafi-Pour, co-founder of MyFab5 and University student Nick Lemmer, co-founder of Iorio’s Gelateria. They discussed how they became involved in entrepreneurship and what it means to be an innovator, mentioning how their interest expressed itself even in high school as founders of clubs and sports teams.
“I can’t get it (entrepreneurship) out of my system at this point,” said Business senior Nancy Xiao, discussion panelist and general manager and cofounder of Creators Co-op, a space in which entrepreneurial residents live and collaborate.
The discussion also addressed Detroit’s revitalization in light of QuickenLoans CEO Dan Gilbert’s projects throughout the city and initiatives like TechTown. A few panelists agreed that Detroit had great potential, but others noted its low population density and lack of venture capital as potential hindrances to economic growth and startup success. These naysayers pointed to Ann Arbor’s superiority for its proximity to the University and its pool of smart students.