Wayne State University

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URC universities excel at nurturing new business

URC universities excel at nurturing new business

Michigan's University Research Corridor (URC) is playing a dramatically increased role in nurturing start-ups and providing a boost to aspiring entrepreneurs, a new report shows.

The Embracing Entrepreneurship report, recently prepared by the Anderson Economic Group, shows that graduates of the three URC universities – Wayne State University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan — have started or acquired businesses at double the national average among college graduates since 1996.

The graduates are also one-and-a-half times as successful as the average U.S. business owner at keeping those start-ups and acquisitions alive in the past five years.  

Part of the success is attributed to the fact that URC universities have revamped their curriculum in recent years and taken other steps to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in students and graduates.

They now offer more than 40 programs and resources for students, alumni and faculty, including classes and degrees in entrepreneurship, business incubators, special advisers and gap funding to help start-ups get off the ground.

WSU’s Blackstone LaunchPad is just one of the tools URC universities are using to help entrepreneurs succeed. 

The survey included responses from more than 40,000 of the three schools’ 1.2 million alumni. The responses revealed that more than 19 percent of those surveyed have started a company, and some have created more than one.