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Promoting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Michigan State University is at the early stages of undergraduate student innovation and entrepreneurship and has yet to engage in any graduate student promotion in the field. The bulk of the undergraduate student promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship is occurring in the later stages of the entrepreneurial process, namely the application and venture forth stages, and is including primarily older students and has yet to reach the underclassmen in an effective way.

In terms of undergraduate facilities Michigan State University sponsors a variety of incubators such as The Hatch and has many office spaces for young entrepreneurs to venture forth from such as the Neo Center and the Technology Innovation Center. From here Michigan State has a variety of sources for funding and continued support such as a wide network of alumni and business relations which the department eagerly connects with promising University entrepreneurs. Before students reach the point of incubators and work spaces, however, Michigan state also has a variety of applied entrepreneurial activities from a "Design Day", a pitch competition and entrepreneurial clubs.

Michigan state is most clearly lacking in their promotion of the early stages of the entrepreneurial process. While the tools are there for entrepreneurs to realize their concepts and make them a reality students are often unaware of the resources available to them, intimidated by the idea of entrepreneurship, uneducated in the basics of entrepreneurial efforts or too strongly encouraged down the industry path to even consider entrepreneurship. This is an area which requires massive improvement on campus. Hackathons, TED talks and entrepreneurial workshops desperately need to be brought into Michigan State's culture while the tools and accessibility of entrepreneurship needs to be better marketed to the students starting early in their academic career. Efforts are currently being made to adjust the curriculum and add more inspirational programs to the university but much more work can still be done in the area.

Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Faculty Innovation is strong at Michigan State University. The pipeline for idea to startup for faculty is well developed and supported by the university. From patent development to funding and business model development Michigan gives their faculty all the tools they need to become startup CEOs.

Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function

The Technology Transfer offices at Michigan State are new, less than two years old, but rapidly growing and supporting students in a significant way. As of today the Innovation Center houses 80 undergraduate entrepreneurial groups through funding, incubation space, office space and professional connections. They also fund networking events and conference trips. Michigan State University also has a strong pipeline for strong faculty ideas through patent and technology support and resident CEOs which can assist them in the preliminary startup of their company and expanding their technology into a larger scale.

Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

If there is only one thing to take away from this page it is this: Michigan State University has unparalleled University-Industry Collaboration. The University constantly strives to give their students the best opportunities industry has to offer them. From constantly involving industry representatives in the designing of their curriculum, especially so in the college of engineering, to holding massive career fairs with all forms of companies represented, Michigan State is extremely good at connecting students with industry. Much of the curriculum even includes different strategies for students to independently connect with industry representatives through resume building, classes on proper social media usage and pre-career gallery coaching. Many colleges even include centers for connecting students to faculty, one of which is the college of engineering which has an extremely strong career center.

Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts

Much of the funding for startup entrepreneurs at Michigan State comes from regional development efforts and economic support grants. The community is actively involved in increasing the entrepreneurship coming out of the university in an effort to strengthen the area economically. In response Michigan State gives a lot back to the community through increasing startup company activity.

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