Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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January 25, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News 2 | From around the U.S.

From the University of Michigan:

The University of Michigan’s Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP), which has helped nearly 700 small businesses since its introduction in 2016, has moved to the Ross School of Business from its long-time home at the Ford School of Public Policy.

The move better connects Detroit’s budding businesses to all the entrepreneurial offerings available at one of the country’s premier business schools, said Christie Ayotte Baer, Managing Director of the project, in this news release.

“DNEP was successfully incubated at the Ford School as a race/wealth gap intervention as about 90 percent of the businesses we work with are minority-owned. Ford gave us an economic and community development lens for our work,” she said. “As the program grew, it made sense to shift the focus to tapping greater entrepreneurship expertise, and move to Ross. Plus, our accounting services and our summer internship program both originated at Ross and are housed at Ross.”

Ross is highly rated for its entrepreneurship programs and runs the Impact Studio, an incubator focused on student-led impact businesses. It’s home to an award-winning grad course focused on spawning green businesses in Detroit, and hosts a DNEP/Impact Studio summer internship program that supports Detroit businesses.

From Rice University:

The University’s Office of Innovation has named Brad Burke as Associate Vice President for Industry and New Ventures. It is a new role that creates alignment with initiatives in the Office of Innovation and enables the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship to further Rice’s industry relationships and accelerate the scaling of Rice start-ups.

Over the past two decades, Burke has led and grown the Rice Alliance to its key role in the global university innovation ecosystem, reaching the rank of the top university incubator in 2013 and 2014, and contributing to Rice and the Jones Graduate School of Business’ rise as global leading entrepreneurship programs (#1 graduate entrepreneurship program for five years in a row). Since inception, more than 3,355 start-ups have participated in Rice Alliance programs and raised more than $25.8 billion in funding.

In addition to his appointment as Associate Vice President, Burke will continue to serve as Executive Director of the Rice Alliance.

From the University of Oklahoma:

A University of Oklahoma organization continues to impact the state’s investment scene, which continues to grow despite the worldwide ecosystem experiencing a slump. That’s according to this article published in The Journal Record, an Oklahoma-based business and legal publication.

Founded in 2006 under former President David Boren, the Ronnie K. Irani Center for Creation of Economic Wealth (I-CCEW) brings students, entrepreneurs, and mentor alumni together to help move the ideas of entrepreneurs forward. According to the university website, the economic development organization specializes in technology commercialization, software business development, social entrepreneurship, and agile product design.

Jeff Moore, Executive Director of the I-CCEW, said the organization has largely stuck to that premise over the last 15 years, but has grown to approximately 100 students that work on small consulting teams on behalf of businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits throughout Oklahoma and beyond. The team works on real-world management, consulting, and investment analysis of early-stage ideas that need help moving forward. I-CCEW expanded in 2010 by adding the Software Business Accelerator and Social Entrepreneurship Program, which have spurred the growth of additional community development initiatives, such as Oklahoma Funding Accelerator, The Mine, and OK Coders.

The programming is funded by Irani as the main donor, along with alumni who write intellectual checks to the university to help students get the learning experience. Moore said the university benefits from technology that spins out of the university as well as economic development broadly.

From St. Louis University:

The University’s Chaifetz Center for Entrepreneurship has been named the best emerging entrepreneurship program by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The Center bested the other two finalists: the Arnold Center for Entrepreneurship at Stephen F. Austin State University and the University of Buffalo.

“With over 800 members, it is an honor to have our program recognized by USASBE as a leader in entrepreneurship education. It is a win for the Center, but more importantly our students,” said Lewis Sheats, Executive Director of the Chaifetz Center for Entrepreneurship.

Originally founded in 1987, the Chaifetz Center was relaunched in 2021 a years-long hiatus. It develops and delivers innovative programs to promote entrepreneurship through education. In the past two years, the Center has launched new programming, hosted 50-plus events, and created a new space for student interaction. The Chaifetz Center also started a new mentorship program, which includes events where participants can engage with each other and the program topic and an online platform for students to interact with SLU alums and mentors worldwide.

From Cornell University:

A consortium organized by Cornell and four other New York-based leaders in semiconductor research and development has been awarded $40 million by the U.S. Department of Defense to advance microelectronics innovation and manufacturing.

The award establishes NORDTECH – the Northeast Regional Defense Technology Hub – as part of the Defense Department’s Microelectronics Commons, a national network of eight regional innovation hubs dedicated to expanding the United States’ global leadership in microelectronics.

The five founding members of the hub are Cornell; the New York Center for Research, Economic Advancement, Technology, Engineering and Science (NY CREATES); the University at Albany College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering (CNSE); Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI); and IBM.

To learn more, read the Cornell news release.

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