The University of Michigan has announced a $60 million pledge from the Zell Family Foundation in support of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
The gift will support the institute's continued delivery and development of entrepreneurship programs for students and alumni, with $10 million dedicated to create a fund that invests in new student business ventures. Established in 1999 with a $10 million endowment gift from the Zell Family Foundation and the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Family Foundation, the institute has awarded nearly $4.4 million to budding entrepreneurs; supported the development of hundreds of start-up businesses; and engaged more than fifty-five hundred students through grants, competitions, internships, scholarship awards, and three student-led venture funds, including those focused on early-stage enterprises with a social-impact mission.
Under the leadership of alumni Sam (AB '63, JD '66) and Helen Zell (AB ’64), the Zell Family Foundation has committed more than $150 million in total support to U-M.
"Our goal is to accelerate the learning curve and the opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, as well as to build a powerful alumni network," said Sam Zell, who is chair of Equity Group Investments. "Entrepreneurs have always been a primary driver of growth for this country. I believe that fostering entrepreneurial education is an investment in the future."