Michigan State University’s position as an entrepreneurship and innovation hub earned global accolades by the 2018 Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, or GCEC.

MSU – represented by the MSU Hatch, MSU Undergraduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Spartan Innovations – received the GCEC’s prize for Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation at its annual conference, outpunching competition from nationally recognized entrepreneurship centers.

The GCEC includes over 225 university-based entrepreneurship centers, ranging from the well-established and nationally ranked to new and emerging centers. The GCEC’s annual awards both showcase and celebrate the very best of university entrepreneurship by recognizing top entrepreneurship programs in seven categories.

“This award is six years in the making,” said Paul Jaques, director of student and community engagement at Spartan Innovations. “Our team is laser-focused on creating value-driven academic programming, collaborative incubation spaces and a summer business accelerator. These programs cultivate a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem at MSU that serves our students, faculty and researchers committed to creating new ventures.”

Hosted by GCEC members DePaul University and Illinois Institute of Technology, the 2018 conference was held Oct. 18-20 in Chicago. The annual event focuses on entrepreneurial ecosystems across the nation that support starting and building businesses.

Lori Fischer, Spartan Innovations’ program and student manager, served as lead for a panel on student perspective and leadership. She was joined by student startup founders Bri Makaric of BRITE Bites, Bailey Paxton of AgileCare Solutions, Ashton Keys of Ninety6 and Katie Musial, director of outreach for MSU’s student organization, Women in Entrepreneurship.

“At Spartan Innovations, we are committed to providing our student and faculty entrepreneurs with the mentorship and financial support they need to thrive,” Fischer said.

Preceding MSU, the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation received GCEC’s 2017 award for Outstanding Contribution to Venture Creation.