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MAP Teams Put Classroom Learning into Practice at Start-ups Overseas

Len Middleton
Faculty, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Through Michigan Ross’s signature MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects) program, MBA students travel to Ireland and Israel to work collaboratively with start-up founders and entrepreneurial high-tech companies in a real-world setting. “Students have to roll up their sleeves and become part of the founding team in order to understand what it is like to start and grow a company with limited resources,” explains Len Middleton, who brings extensive personal experience in building start-ups and managing a family-run business to his MAP advisory role and teaching position in both the Strategy and Entrepreneurship departments. “MAP teams take what they have learned in class about marketing, strategy, finance and accounting and apply it to real-time projects. Through this hands-on approach, students are able to see how all the pieces fit together and experience what it means to be an entrepreneur.”

Middleton teaches an elective EMBA course, Entrepreneurial Ventures, and is now in his 16th year as a faculty advisor with MAP, which is offered year-round for graduate students in Ross’s daytime, evening, exec and weekend MBA degree programs. “Students bring extra hands, brains and insights to the founding team and provide whatever the company needs at the time, whether it’s a business plan, a growth plan or a market-entry strategy,” he says. “Our MAP teams are able to make an impact and drive these companies forward.”