The Zell Lurie Institute at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business Launches Venture Shaping Program

Shannon Beeman
January 20, 2012

For aspiring entrepreneurs, one of the most exciting—and challenging—parts of an MBA program can be putting the initial framework around a potential business idea. Well known Ann Arbor-based entrepreneur Tim Mayleben realized this and, along with his wife, have generously donated to the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies to create the Mayleben Family Venture Shaping Program, a grant program that teaches student teams from across the University how to transform identified opportunities into businesses.

The Venture Shaping program will serve as a perfect stepping stone between two of the University’s top existing entrepreneurial grant programs. As the newest part of the Institute’s well-established Dare to Dream grant program, Venture Shaping will allow student teams to participate in an action-based, three-step process to measure the potential value of their business in the market.  These measurements include: a directed discovery, value system synthesis and profiting from capabilities (PFC) framework evaluation.  At the end of the iterative process, students will have a clear description of a business that will solve a validated market need, as well as tangible insight into its commercial promise.

Twenty-five student teams will be awarded cash prizes to take their idea to the next step in the business development process, with guidance from Institute faculty and potential cash infusions from more advanced phases of the Dare to Dream program. Visit for further details on upcoming deadlines and how to participate.