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EXCEL Among Programs that Helped U-M Secure Top Rankings by Princeton Review

Nov 17, 2020 | Awards & Accolades, News

Students seated around a table speakingThe Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine announced today that the University of Michigan is a top school for entrepreneurship in 2021. U-M is ranked #4 for undergraduate entrepreneurship and #5 for graduate entrepreneurship.

Based on data collected from its summer 2020 survey of more than 300 schools with offerings in entrepreneurship studies, The Princeton Review’s ranking lists for 2021 name 50 undergraduate and 50 graduate schools as outstanding choices for students aspiring to become entrepreneurs. The 60-question survey included: the percentage of faculty, students, and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors; the number and reach of mentorship programs, scholarships, and grants for entrepreneurial studies; and the level of support for school-sponsored business plan competitions.

The University of Michigan has been ranked in the Top 5 of The Princeton Review’s list for undergraduate entrepreneurship studies and the Top 10 for graduate entrepreneurship studies for the last five years. 

Partners in the U-M entrepreneurship ecosystem include the School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s EXCEL Lab, the Entrepreneurship Minor, the Ross School of Business’s Zell Lurie Institute, the School of Literature, Science and Arts’ optiMize, the College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship, the School of Information, the School of Education’s CEDER, and the Center of Socially Engaged Design’s Innovation in Action.

Entrepreneurship programs across the University of Michigan have, at their core, a focus on transformative experiences at both the curricular and co-curricular level. Students from all disciplines are exposed to entrepreneurial ideals and practice on transdisciplinary teams to explore dynamic, immersive experiences with the intent to develop and refine skills for both leading and being led in creative, technical, and business collaborations. 

The EXCEL Lab is Michigan’s home base for performing arts entrepreneurship, leadership, and career services. EXCEL offers students access to workshops, immersion experiences, mentorship, and funding opportunities that help them meld their passion for the performing arts with the skills and resources needed to develop innovative projects. Since 2015, EXCEL has provided more than $450,000 to support hundreds of SMTD student-led entrepreneurial projects and internships, and has helped launch or grow 30 student-led ventures through the Performing Arts EXCELerator incubator program. More than 50% of those ventures are still in business.

“Developing the skills to imagine, test, and realize innovative offerings that will catalyze systemic change has never been more important for performing artists,” said Jonathan Kuuskoski, Department Chair of Entrepreneurship & Leadership and Director of the EXCEL Lab. “Artists are hungry to disrupt the status quo, and entrepreneurial training has become increasingly essential to unlocking their confidence and capabilities to do so.”  

Now in its sixth year, EXCEL’s programming is made possible by the Meta Weiser EXCEL fund, thanks to a generous gift from Ronald N. Weiser (BBA ‘66) and Eileen Weiser (MMus. ‘75). Learn more about EXCEL’s student projects, special guests, and other upcoming activities on the EXCEL Log.

More information
Princeton Review Entrepreneurship Rankings
Entrepreneur Rankings


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