Michigan State University’s Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has been recognized as a leader in entrepreneurship education by the Princeton Review for a fourth consecutive year. 

MSU comes in at No. 17 among top 20 undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation, according to The Princeton Review’s new rankings.Significant investment in MSU’s program since its inception in 2012 has fostered a culture of innovation at the University, attracting the attention of talented, motivated students and alumni venturers alike. 

“Providing students with real-world opportunities to take action on their ideas is a serious undertaking,” said Lori Fischer, the Burgess Institute’s director of operations. “Since 2012, we’ve helped Spartans build courage to take calculated risks and provide tangible resources to those willing to take a chance on their ideas. Our programs are designed not only to assist students in launching successful ventures, but also aid them in refining an entrepreneurial mindset.” 

MSU’s minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation began in 2016 and continues to be one of the fastest-growing minors in the university’s history. With nearly 800 students currently enrolled, the minor includes undergraduates from every MSU college and area of study. 

“When we started the undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship and innovation, our vision homed in on cultivating a culture of entrepreneurship at MSU. Being recognized for a fourth consecutive year confirms we’re doing something right,” said Ken Szymusiak, the Burgess Institute’s managing director of academic programs. 

“This recognition,” continued Szymusiak, “highlights the depth and breadth of what we offer students — from an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship and innovation to a student-exclusive incubator to a summer pre-accelerator to a venture capital fund — students will find a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem at Michigan State.” 

Year over year, participation in the Burgess Institute’s programming has seen exponential growth. Over the last five years alone, student venturers have launched 827 startups and gone on to raise a staggering $25.8M in follow-on funding. 

Beyond the entrepreneurship and innovation minor, which boasts 50 entrepreneurship-related undergraduate courses, MSU’s student offerings include: participation in national startup competitions, like South by Southwest and the Consumer Electronic Show; mentoring opportunities with successful entrepreneurial alumni; student organizations and clubs; as well as dynamic spaces where students can create.  

“We had over 5,000 students participate in our academic entrepreneurship courses last year, representing 154 unique majors across all colleges. This is what sets Michigan State apart,” Szymusiak said. 

In 2020, the Burgess Institute embarked on new programming, partnering up with MSU Athletics to run Entrepreneurial Mindset Training Courses. Working with student-athletes, the Burgess Institute team is focused on preparing student-athletes with tools and resources to leverage updates to NCAA Name, Image and Likeness policies. 

“This partnership is a great resource for our players and helps teach them life skills they can use both during their time here on campus, and after graduation,” said MSU head football coach Mel Tucker. “We are incredibly fortunate to have a world-class business school at Michigan State and the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation offers valuable tools, including personal branding strategies, vast networking opportunities and access to the MSU Hatch, which will prepare our players for future success. I’m excited that our entire team will have access to this groundbreaking course.” 

“The colleges on our list have truly superb entrepreneurship programs,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief. “Their faculties are genuinely engaged in entrepreneurism. Their courses are rich with in-class and out-of-class experiential components, and the financial and networking support their students receive via donors and alumni is extraordinary.” 

To compile the 2021 ranking, the Princeton Review surveyed more than 300 schools offering entrepreneurial studies across data points related to scholarships and grants, successful alumni entrepreneurs, and faculty support.