Tim Faley on Entrepreneurial Education

Shannon Beeman
June 3, 2013

Can you study to be an entrepreneur?  According to Tim Faley, managing director of the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, yes. Tim recently sat down with Gary Anglebrandt of Crain’s Detroit Business to share his thoughts on  why people should study entrepreneurship, how the Institute has evolved over the years, and the growing emphasis on entrepreneurship more generally.

Check out an excerpt from the interview below, and you can find the full article here.

The classic entrepreneur eschews formal education. Why should anyone study entrepreneurship?

What are they spending $100,000 to get an MBA for? We get questioned on that all the time. It’s about failure and it’s about the probability of being more successful sooner. You can certainly learn it the hard way, … but there’s a systematic approach we teach that will increase your probability of success.

How has the institute changed over the years?

This is how we used to teach entrepreneurship: You had an idea, let’s go write a business plan. We’ll talk about how you resource it, and this is how you manage its growth. … And then we found something interesting. The new students weren’t coming to us with preformulated business ideas. Ten years ago, if an engineering student was coming over here, they’d say, “I’m working on a MEMS device that could be a timing device for a computer, and I want to commercialize that.” Now they’re coming to us and they’re saying: “You know what? I really love art history. I would like to make a living out of that. Tell me how.”