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Wayne State University: A history of innovation and entrepreneurship

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January 25, 2017

Over the coming months, look for videos, stories and events that feature some of the many Wayne State initiatives and passionate individuals committed to impacting their communities through innovation and entrepreneurship. This content is part of WSU's Warriors in Action campaign highlighting how Wayne State is making a difference.

For nearly 150 years, Wayne State University has served as a place of innovation, opportunity and support for students, faculty, alumni, community members and partners looking to turn ideas into reality and improve quality of life.

From being the first to use a mechanical heart pump in open-heart surgery and developing the first FDA-approved drug to treat AIDS patients, to changing the face of automotive safety through seatbelts, windshield wipers and crash test dummies, Warriors are dedicated to making a positive impact on the world around them.

Wayne State’s commitment to supporting and growing innovation and entrepreneurship efforts across campus continues to grow.

Nationally recognized as an innovation and economic prosperity university by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Wayne State has a robust research enterprise and offers a wide array of entrepreneurship programs and resources for K-12, college and graduate students; faculty; community members; industry leaders; and CEOs seeking innovative resources.

Wayne State students can now study entrepreneurship through a growing number of degree and certificate programs, courses and clinics in business, engineering, fine arts and law. In the last few months alone, Wayne State announced a new undergraduate certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation through the Mike Ilitch School of Business and a new, highly innovative Master of Science in Data Science and Business Analytics (MSDSBA) program, offered jointly by the College of Engineering and the Mike Ilitch School of Business. 

Students also can work with campus resources such as Innovation Warriors — home of Blackstone Launchpad, which has helped turn more than 188 student ventures into viable businesses — to obtain free advice on starting and growing new ventures.

Wayne State students can now study entrepreneurship through degree and certificate programs, courses and clinics in business, engineering, fine arts and law. They also can work with campus resources such as Innovation Warriors — home of Blackstone Launchpad, which has helped turn more than 188 student ventures into viable businesses — to obtain free advice on starting and growing new ventures.

The Warrior community can learn more about launching or growing a company through business accelerators and incubators such as Wayne State’s TechTown, which has served 1,465 companies since 2007. Since 2009, 1,190 jobs have been created through TechTown.

Institutes, clinics and offices such as the James and Patricia Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute, the Patent Procurement Clinic and Technology Commercialization Office can help members of the Wayne State community pursue their entrepreneurial ventures. Since 2009, Wayne State has assisted students and faculty innovators in submitting more than 550 patent applications.

In Detroit, WSU partners with many businesses and organizations to generate ideas and impact communities. The Detroit Revitalization Fellows, a program of WSU’s Office of Economic Development, has hosted 67 Fellows since 2011. Fellows are talented mid-career leaders stimulating progress within Detroit’s civic, community and economic development landscape who engage in a rigorous two-year leadership development program while serving full time at organizations.

The university’s economic impact and presence, however, is not limited to Detroit. For instance, Wayne State is a partner in the University Research Corridor, along with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, generating 94 percent of the research in Michigan and accounting for a $2.5 billion overall economic impact in Detroit. Since 2002, there have been 210 URC startups. Additionally, with nearly 75 percent of its 260,000 alumni living in Michigan, Wayne State Warriors contribute greatly to the state’s economic renewal.

Woven into the heart of the university’s recently adopted “Distinctively Wayne State University” strategic plan, innovation and entrepreneurship will continue to play a key role, ensuring that Wayne State leaves its growing footprint of research, economic development and educational excellence throughout the region and around the world.

Over the coming months, look for stories that feature some of the many Wayne State initiatives and pioneering individuals committed to innovation and entrepreneurship. This content is part of WSU's Warriors in Action campaign highlighting how Wayne State is making a difference.

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