University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute Offers Entrepreneurial Ventures Course to EMBA Students

August 6, 2015

University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute Offers Entrepreneurial Ventures Course to EMBA Students

New course highlights how to identify new venture opportunities and leverage entrepreneurship manifestation in startup, corporate, social and public sectors

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Dec. 9, 2014 –The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business is once again raising the standard in entrepreneurial education and action-based learning by offering a new course, EMBA 606 – Entrepreneurial Ventures, which will enable participants to sharpen their ability to find and evaluate opportunities for a new venture, as well as to think creatively and solve problems in highly unstructured situations. Back by popular demand after its trial offering, the course is available to executive MBA (EMBA) students in the 2015 winter term.

Taught by Professor Len Middleton, the course will cover a broad range of topics essential to leading entrepreneurial ventures, including idea generation, feasibility analysis, starting a company, raising capital, building a business plan, attracting a team, preparing for growth, corporate innovation and buying a business. During the course, teams will develop a feasibility and business model with a venture capital pitch presentation. The course will draw on a broad selection of readings, class lectures and discussions, case studies, guest speakers and videos.

“CEOs today are worried about keeping up with the changing business world – they want to work with entrepreneurs to feed the innovation beast,” said Len Middleton, faculty member in the Strategy and Entrepreneurial Studies department at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. “Most corporations are looking for individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset who can create and build new products and services in order to stay competitive – this new mindset will require EMBAs to have entrepreneurial skills. This course will help executives develop skills that will help them compete in an agile, creative workforce, whether it’s in their own ventures or as part of an established organization.”

Ross student leverages entrepreneurial EMBA course
Dr. Ali Safiedine, EMBA ’14 and a student of the initial Entrepreneurial Ventures course, currently serves as CEO of NEMO Capital Partners. Prior to the course, Safiedine invested in a distressed electronic health record (EHR) and revenue management company that was on the verge of shutting down and leaving thousands of physicians in the lurch. He and his business partners had to move very quickly, and became a sponsor company of Ross’ Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP), where students of the course worked side by side with Middleton and Safiedine to devise a business plan for the company.

“As both the EMBA student and the CEO of the sponsored company, I experienced a very unique situation where I was encouraged to learn and lead at the same time,” Safiedine said. “My biggest take away from the course – aside from the invaluable business planning help my partners and I received – was the confidence it instilled in me. Because of my work with Ross, I feel more self assured in my business decisions and capabilities as a leader.”

There are currently 83 students enrolled in the 2015 winter course. For more information about the course, please view the Ross course list..

About the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Institute and its Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance, at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business, bring together a potent mix of knowledge, experience and opportunities from the front lines of entrepreneurship and alternative investments. The student learning experience is further enhanced through internships, entrepreneurial clubs and events that serve to provide viable networks and engage the business community. The School’s three student-led investment funds, with over $7M under management, immerse students in the business assessment and investment process. Founding Board Members include Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments, and Eugene Applebaum, Founder of Arbor Drugs, Inc. For more information, visit the Institute at

About the Stephen M. Ross School of Business
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today’s dynamic global economy. At the Ross School of Business, our mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society. The Ross School is consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the Full-time MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, BBA, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers non-degree, open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.