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Michigan State entrepreneurship program ranks in the top 25 nationwide

By Aaryn Richard
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

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

MSU comes in at No. 21 on the Princeton Review’s new rankings and stands among the top 25 undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the nation. 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.

“Providing students with real-world opportunities to take action on their ideas is a serious undertaking,” Lori Fischer, the Burgess Institute’s director of operations, said. “Since 2012, we’ve helped Spartans build courage to take calculated risks and provided tangible resources to those willing to take a chance on their ideas. Our programs are designed to not only assist students in launching successful ventures but also aid them in defining 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 fifth consecutive year confirms we’re doing something right,” Ken Szymusiak, the Burgess Institute’s managing director of academic programs, said.

“This recognition highlights the depth and breadth of what we offer students, from an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship and innovation to a student-exclusive startup 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 915 startups and gone on to raise a staggering $57.9 million 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; and 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.

Over the last year, the Burgess Institute expanded programming and events to serve its innovative student community. The newly established Venture Kitchen, located in the MSU Union, provides a commercially licensed space for students launching food-based and cosmetics startups. Also at the MSU Union, a new Spartan Student Startup Popup Shop has been created, where student venturers can sell their goods and products.

In September, the Burgess Institute hosted its first annual Venture Summit. This year’s event invited students, alumni, faculty and staff to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the MSU Hatch, the Burgess Institute’s student startup incubator. Showcasing the growth of Burgess Institute programs, this event celebrated student scholarship recipients while setting the stage for the Venture Summit’s future.

“Big things have small beginnings,” Laurel Ofstein, the Burgess Institute’s faculty director, said. “We launched the Hatch in 2012 with a handful of students. Today, we see over 200 students in our Discovery program annually. We are excited to share our growth with the alumni who helped build this program throughout the decade. This recognition from the Princeton Review shows what dedicated communities of innovators can build together to support generations of students to come.”

“This recognition from the Princeton Review shows what dedicated communities of innovators can build together to support generations of students to come.”

“The colleges on our list have truly superb entrepreneurship programs,” Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor in chief, said. “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 2022 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.

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