The Ross School of Business’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Center of Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering today announced the appointment of Angela Kujava as the managing director for the Desai Accelerator, which supports new ventures at a critical stage in their development with funding, office space, and mentorship, among other resources and guidance.
Kujava will be responsible for the execution and development of the program, including mentoring and counseling the startups in the program and selecting and managing investments. She will also work closely with the region’s business and campus communities to further existing relationships for the benefit of not only the participating startups but also the broader entrepreneurial landscape.
“Entrepreneurs are running fast in many different directions fueled by creativity and energy. Receiving guidance and support at the right time is key to becoming a successful entrepreneur,” says Kujava. “We have exceptional startups in our Desai community, including several founded by Michigan alumni, and I am excited to begin the work of helping them reach the next stage.”
A University of Michigan graduate, Kujava most recently served as the director of innovation for global application development firm, Logic Solutions, where she led teams in nurturing, assisting and growing both developing and maturing companies. Her passion for entrepreneurship has extended to community initiatives including the Women’s Exchange of Washtenaw, Young Professionals Underground and 826michigan.
"The success of the Desai Accelerator demonstrates the impact of the collaboration between U-M and the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem," says Jonathan Fay, interim executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. "We look forward to the continued success of the program, including opportunities for our students, under the direction of Angela."
More than 60 companies applied for the 2017 winter cohort, the most promising five – based in Michigan, New York, and Boston – were invited to join the program to take advantage of the financial and mentoring resources available.