Zell Founders Fund

Zell Entrepreneur Program University of Michigan Ross Zell Lurie InstituteThe Zell Founders Fund is a $10M seed fund, managed by Stewart Thornhill, Executive Director of the Zell Lurie Institute, and an investment review advisory committee comprised of four Michigan Ross students, one student from each of the four remaining ZLI funds. The committee evaluates and invests in extraordinary student entrepreneurs whose business venture needs a helping hand to move from idea to profitability. 

The Fund is designed for all University of Michigan students, graduating or in their final year of their undergraduate or graduate program, who are seeking funding to support a startup they wish to continue after graduation. The investment amount will depend on the need and stage of the business. 

Students who are interested can submit a two-page summary of their business to the Zell Lurie Institute: founders.fund@umich.edu. Applications are open and on a rolling basis.  Students can apply to the fund up to 12 months after graduation from the University of Michigan.

Upcoming Events

Current Events


MBA 1’s: Learn how to join one of Ross' student-led investment funds! Are you interested in getting hands-on experience investing in emerging ventures? Michigan Ross student-run funds expose students to investing at different stages of a company’s growth cycle and across different focal areas.


The 2023-24 Zell Lurie Institute scholarship program application is due Friday, July 14, at 8:00 a.m. A complete application will include your resume (as page 1) and your essays (pages 2 and 3) combined into a single PDF, plus a copy of your unofficial transcript as a separate upload.