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Michigan State Forms Subsidiary to Encourage Start-Ups

Charles Hasemann (Michigan State University)

Charles Hasemann (Michigan State University)

Michigan State University in East Lansing has formed a subsidiary of its MSU Foundation to help faculty and students turn their research discoveries into operating businesses. Spartan Innovations LLC will be part of the university’s Innovation Center located adjacent to the campus.

Spartan Innovations is expected to tap into a $350 million capital fund from the MSU Foundation to provide stipends to help students who start up businesses, as well as funding to bridge gaps between initial start-up and revenue-generating operations, often a problem with companies developing science- or technology-based products. In addition, Spartan Innovations plans to connect new companies at MSU to a network of venture investors. The organization will offer CEO mentors-in-residence that provide start-ups advice on getting started, as well as university-wide education in entrepreneurship.

The university says Spartan Innovations will join two other programs under the rubric of its Innovation Center: the university’s technology transfer operation known as MSU Technologies, and a Web-based portal providing entrepreneurial resources called MSU Business-Connect. Charles Hasemann, executive director of the MSU Innovation Center (pictured right), has been tapped to coordinate the three units.

The Innovation Center is co-located with City of East Lansing’s Technology Innovation Center (TIC), a business accelerator for technology start-ups. In that same location is The Hatch, a joint program between the TIC and MSU to provide a shared-space environment for MSU undergraduate student entrepreneurs to develop their business ventures.

Hasemann says MSU faculty and students, as well as the business community, now will more easily tap into the resources and the networks they need to make new ideas generated by MSU research viable in the marketplace. “By bringing these diverse resources — business outreach, business commercialization, and business creation — into one well-orchestrated effort through the MSU Innovation Center,” says Hasemann, “we feel that we have a very strong program for making the most of MSU’s intellectual capital.”

Read more: University of Michigan to Invest in Campus Start-Ups

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