University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute Unveils Lineup for Annual Entrepreneurship Symposium


ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Bringing together members of the business community and leaders in entrepreneurship and venture capital, The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business will host Entrepalooza, its annual Entrepreneurial Symposium, Sept. 16-17 at the University’s Blau Auditorium. This year’s expanded event will offer attendees inspirational success stories from serial entrepreneurs, Fortune 100 executives and venture capital leaders. Panel discussions and keynote presentations will provide insight into the current exit climate, opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurial success, as well as perspectives on emerging trends such as social entrepreneurship and alternative financing.

The public symposium brings the best and the brightest business minds to the University of Michigan campus to share the secrets behind their success with students, alumni, faculty and members of the broader business community. Networking opportunities are also built into the program to enable entrepreneurial minded students the opportunity to make personal contacts with potential advisors and backers.

Entrepalooza will open on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 16 with a keynote address from Vishen Lakhiani, University of Michigan graduate and co-founder of Malaysian-based MindValley. A world-renowned expert on the importance of company culture, Lakhiani’s presentation will focus on best practices for building an Internet business with particular emphasis on creative methods for fostering a strong corporate culture.

A student pitch competition will follow the opening keynote where participants will have 90 seconds to pitch their business idea to an audience and a panel of judges comprised of investors. The winner will receive a cash prize of $250 and the opportunity for lunch with successful Michigan entrepreneur, Jeffrey Williams (MBA ’92).

Friday, Sept. 17 kicks-off with a keynote address from Williams, president and CEO of Accuri Cytometers. Williams will present on ‘The Art of the Exit’ and share insights from his recent successes. Prior to Accuri, Williams served as the president and CEO of Ann Arbor-based HandyLab, Inc., where he led the growth and venture financing of the company, ultimately resulting in a sale to Becton Dickinson for $275 million in November of last year.

Friday’s line-up will also feature a series of panel discussions on the following topics:

  • Launching & Growing Your Business
  • Financing Your Business
  • Economically Viable Social Start-ups
  • Cleantech Ventures

Panelists will include entrepreneurs, business executives and venture capitalists from organizations such as: Aardvark, Accio Ventures, Ambiq Micro, Ann Arbor SPARK, Beringea Venture Capital, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company, DTE Energy, Early Stage Partners, Genscape, Huron River Ventures, International Development Collaborative, Quest Management, Sakti3, Sweet Riot, Inc., and Windward Associates.

Entrepalooza is co-presented by the Ross School of Business Entrepreneur and Venture Club and the School’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. The public symposium is free to attendees. For more information or to register to attend the event, please go to

About the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies / Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

The Institute and its Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance bring together a potent mix of knowledge, experience and opportunities from the front lines of entrepreneurship and alternative investments. The student learning experience is further enhanced through internships, entrepreneurial clubs and organization and events that serve to provide viable networks and engage the business community. The School’s three student-led investment funds, with over $5M in management, immerse students in the business assessment and investment process. Members of the Advisory Board include Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments; Michael Hallman, former COO of Microsoft Corporation; and Eugene Applebaum, Founder of Arbor Drugs, Inc. For more information, visit the Institute at

Source: The Zell Lurie Institute

CONTACT: Mary Nickson of The Zell Lurie Institute, 734-615-4424,;
or Jean Serra, +1-617-426-2222,, for The Zell Lurie Institute