MSU Appoints First Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship

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Michigan State University has named Neil Kane its first director of undergraduate entrepreneurship, responsible for introducing new programs, classes, and initiatives focused on entrepreneurship and innovation.

“The long-term goal is to create a culture of entrepreneurship at MSU,” Kane says.

Kane, who holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s in business administration from the University of Chicago, started his career in sales at IBM and Microsoft. He was the founding CEO of venture capital-backed companies in fields such as consumer products, energy storage, and nano-materials. He has held entrepreneurship positions at Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Northern Illinois University.

Kane will work with Michigan State’s colleges, the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Hive and Hatch (student idea incubators), and Spartan Innovations, which turns research technologies into businesses.

Michigan State has also created a new website, entrepreneurship.msu.edu, which will house all information about the university’s entrepreneurial programs and events.

IN OTHER MSU NEWS, the Michigan State University College of Law Detroit Food Law Clinic has received a $150,000 grant from Troy-based Kresge Foundation to provide legal advice to entrepreneurs launching their food businesses at Detroit’s Eastern Market.

“Detroit-based entrepreneurs – especially low-income individuals – that focus on Detroit’s food system need strong advocates to cut through the red tape and clarify the gray areas of law,” says Wendy Lewis Jackson, deputy director of The Kresge Foundation’s Detroit program. “Detroit can only benefit by having MSU leverage its deep expertise in food and agriculture here.”

The law clinic, staffed by second- and third-year Michigan State law students, will help local food entrepreneurs navigate health, safety, and agricultural regulations.           

“The Detroit Food Law Clinic is well positioned to anticipate and work through the complex legal and regulatory issues that could otherwise hamper this important field,” Jackson says. 

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