|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
February 28, 2001
Contact: Kathleen McMahon
MEDC Awards Emerging Technology Challenge Grant to Central Michigan University
University Receives $149,000 for the LaBelle Entrepreneurial Center
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has awarded Central Michigan University (CMU) $149,000 over the next two years to support the LaBelle Entrepreneurial Center’s Entrepreneurship Internship Program.
CMU’s LaBelle Entrepreneurial Center is devoted to uniting students and faculty, current and potential small owners in a learning partnership.A major tool used to accomplish this goal is the Entrepreneurship Internship Program.
“Exposing our students to real world business situations is key to developing a skilled workforce that will allow Michigan to compete in the global economy,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“The LaBelle Entrepreneurial Center offers students an invaluable chance to work side by side with entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of industry.”
The $149,000 Emerging Technology Fund grant will be used to finance 30 internships and expand the number of businesses that participate in CMU’s program.
In this internship, students majoring in entrepreneurship are matched with start-up companies and venture capital organizations.This program provides students with 400 hours or more of work in an entrepreneurial enterprise giving students exposure to real world, problem-solving experiences and entrepreneurs who start and build companies.
“In the 2 1/2 years since our entrepreneurship program was started, we have grown to the point that we now have 180 students with signed majors in Entrepreneurship,” said Dr. James W. Damitio, director of the LaBelle Entrepreneurial Center.“This grant allows us to take our entrepreneurship program to an even higher level.We are now in a better position to partner our students with successful entrepreneurs in the State of Michigan."
The Emerging Technology Challenge Fund was designed to spur local creativity and leadership at Michigan’s higher education institutions.Over the next three years, the MEDC will grant $1 million per year from this fund to help increase the number of development opportunities that arise from the research and technology developed at Michigan universities.
Emerging Technology Challenge Fund grants are reviewed by an advisory group made up of seven private sector members.Advisory group members that make funding recommendations to the MEDC include:
· Ric Geyer, Senior Manager, Deloitte & Touche;
· Tom Chirgwin, Regional Bank President, Comerica Bank;
· George Levy, President, AMPS, Inc.;
· Albert W. Schrader, Retired Professor, University of Michigan;
· Carol Seidl, Entrepreneur, Starbase, Inc.;
· Don Walker, Managing Director, Arbor Partners, Inc.;
· and Ray Waters, Managing Partner, BBC Ventures, Ann Arbor.
For more information on the Emerging Technology Challenge Fund, including the request for proposals, visit the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s website at www.michigan.org.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.