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Empowering the next generation of entrepreneurial innovation.

More than ever, entrepreneurship sparks the growth engine of the global economy. Without professionals willing to take the risk of new venture creation, innovation stagnates and wealth creation halts. That’s why we’re here: to empower emerging innovators to take action on their ventures through experiential learning opportunities and research in entrepreneurial development.

The Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is the hub for entrepreneurship activities within the Broad College of Business and, as part of MSU campus-wide entrepreneurship programs, collaborates with the Office of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship and Spartan Innovations. We are the leader in entrepreneurial strategy that transforms students’ ideas into innovations.

Burgess Institute Information Sheet

Our Focus

The institute leads formal curriculum based on real-time research, which ranges from basics of business model development to capstone projects, encouraging the launch of a new product or service to the marketplace.

The institute’s foundation in experiential learning encourages action in a student’s own venture or in service to startups.



The Burgess Institute focuses its efforts in three areas:

Entrepreneurial education

Growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems at MSU and in Michigan

Efficacy of business models and business model innovation

A student entrepreneur explains his business model to an audience member.

Burgess New Venture Challenge logo

A new partnership for amplified investment.

The Burgess New Venture Challenge (NVC) is MSU’s premier student entrepreneurial showcase. The program represents best-in-class experiential learning, focused on innovation, business planning and taking proactive initiative. The goal of the challenge is to empower the entrepreneurial mindset and create lasting impact with our students as they transition to their careers in the global marketplace. The total purse for the event is $56,000.

Explore the Burgess NVC

Profile shot of student looking down intently at his laptop screen.

Our education translates to real-world applications.

We lead formal curriculum based on real-time research, which ranges from basics of business model development to capstone projects, encouraging the launch of a new product or service to the marketplace.

Students utilize related programs and activities in MSU’s minor in entrepreneurship and innovation as well as in the Full-Time MBA program at Broad.

Descriptions of some undergraduate course offerings in entrepreneurship are below.

  • MGT 352 Entrepreneurship: New Venture Process

    3 Credits

    An introduction to entrepreneurial practices with an emphasis on learning to find business ideas, to evaluate their potential and to recognize the barriers to success. Designed for individuals with a strong desire to become entrepreneurs, work for startups or learn more about venture capital.

    View full course description at the Office of the Registrar.

  • MKT 355 Entrepreneurship: Strategic Marketing Planning and Launch

    3 Credits

    This course reintroduces and reframes the principles of marketing. It takes the view that “entrepreneurship” involves the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of opportunities through the creation of something new that has value, without regard to available resources, and is highly applicable to both corporate and startup environments. Specifically, the course covers the following conceptual and skill areas:

    • Value creation (finding an uncontested market space and then developing or repositioning a product or service to fill that space)
    • Customer creation (validating that the ‘right’ market has been found for the product or service developed, and that significant value has been added)
    • Community creation (developing and then populating a brand community around a product or service)
    • Transaction creation (the review of various entrepreneurial marketing strategies that can be executed to generate sales)

    The course provides significant content in these areas with respect to ‘most recommended practices,’ but is primarily experiential. Students work in teams to identify an opportunity for a new product or a new product category and then develop an entrepreneurial marketing strategy to exploit that opportunity.

    View full course description at the Office of the Registrar.

  • MKT 480 Entrepreneurship Capstone Experience

    3 Credits

    The ramifications of a global market, rapidly changing technology and volatile macro-market conditions have made true entrepreneurship critically important. True entrepreneurship goes beyond simply starting a business to starting an innovative business that rethinks, restructures or reallocates the way resources are used to produce products and services that better solve problems societies face.

    The fundamental objective of this course is to assist students seeking to engage in this type of entrepreneurship. This is the final course required for a minor in entrepreneurship. It is expected that students have at least one business concept developed and vetted in its other courses. The primary focus of this course is to aid those students in getting their business concept as close to launch as possible, or if already launched, getting as close as possible to accelerated growth. In addition, as with any capstone course, key concepts and best practices showcased by all the courses in the entrepreneurship minor will be reviewed and used where applicable.

    View full course description at the Office of the Registrar.

Ken Szymusiak delivers instruction on creating business models, his hand raised to a projector screen.

Our outreach strengthens Michigan’s competitive future.

A core focus of the Burgess Institute is to help stimulate economic development in the state of Michigan and to support the commercialization of Michigan State University’s own innovative ideas based on a wide range of research projects.

We assist startups in successfully launching and work with established companies to help them become more competitive in both domestic and global markets. Although priority is given to entities with promising technology innovations, we are willing to explore all opportunities to help increase employment in Michigan.

Some past projects include:

  • Collaborated alongside the Urban Economic Policy and Revitalization Committee of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce to provide a framework of solutions for Detroit’s current fiscal problems, in response to governor’s request.
  • Assisted the development of a market launch strategy for a Grand Rapids company, which was recognized as one of the top 50 Michigan companies to watch.
  • Developed a social media marketing program for a local Japanese restaurant.
  • Worked with the State of Michigan’s Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives to develop an example of an application of its Urban Agenda.

Engagement Opportunities

We serve as an access point to several types of university resources and services for aspiring or established entrepreneurs and small business owners. These resources and tools to help students and local businesses meet a variety of business needs and opportunities.

We offer two distinct opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses to utilize the services and resources available at the institute:


Businesses with a specific 3–4 month project can apply to become “course-clients” for our entrepreneurship capstone courses.

Project Teams

Businesses with less-defined or longer-term projects can arrange to create faculty-student project teams or internship opportunities.

Female student turns around and smiles while writing business model details on a dry erase board.

MSU Entrepreneurship Resources

MSU Undergraduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Connects venture and social entrepreneurs with education, knowledge, resources, mentors, advocates and funding.

Spartan Innovations

Provides the educational and financial support to turn MSU research technologies into successful Michigan businesses.

MSU Business-Connect

Directs businesses to the right MSU resources and enables two-way strategic communications and planning for business customers.

The Hatch

MSU student business incubator, provided by Michigan State University, LEAP, the City of East Lansing and Spartan Innovations.

Michigan State University Product Center

Helps develop and commercialize high-value, consumer-responsive products and businesses in the agriculture and natural resource sectors.

Spartan Consulting

Professional consulting firm composed of current Broad MBA students.

Michigan State University Black Chamber of  Commerce (MSUBCC)

Cultivates the entrepreneurial spirit of MSU undergraduate students by sharing professional networks, resources and experience.

Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations

Offers consulting services to area nonprofits and nonprofit startups.

Marketing faculty member Sam Carter interacts with student inside the Hatch entrepreneurship lab.

Institute Leadership

Robert Burgess listens to a student entrepreneur at the business model competition.

Supporting the Institute

The Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation seeks funding from corporations, foundations and private donors.

Sponsors can contribute to the institute in a number of ways. Donors can contribute funds for general use (teaching, research, operations) or select a specific purpose for a gift. To learn more about how you can support entrepreneurship at Broad, contact our development team today.

Individuals wishing to support the institute with their time or talent can volunteer as guest speakers for entrepreneurship classes and educational events. Please contact managing director Ken Szymusiak for more information about guest speaker opportunities.


The Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation was founded with a grant from the Robert K. Burgess Faculty Endowment for New Venture Development and Entrepreneurship. The endowment supports faculty working in these areas. The institute continues to be supported by Robert K. and Georgia A. Burgess and Craig D. and Vicki L. Brown.

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