Innovators to Gather to Help Serve Michigan’s Urban Communities

By Lauren Ebelt on September 22nd, 2014 / Comments

Calling all business, education, government, and community representatives: On Friday, October 10, many different individuals and companies will gather for the inaugural Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium. This free event is geared towards innovators from across Michigan who wish to serve urban communities.

Hosted by the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (UEI) and the University of Michigan/Innovate Blue, the event will center on formulating strategies for creating sustainable and scalable business solutions for urban communities.

“Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers,” said David Tarver, founder of UEI and Symposium organizer. “I believe that when we engage urban communities to determine their needs, entrepreneurs will innovate sustainable ways to address them. That’s what entrepreneurs do, and UEI is here to make that happen.”

The Symposium will feature a keynote speech from Dr. Jeffery Robinson of the Rutgers University Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. The program is one of the first in the nation that focuses on urban entrepreneurship and economic development, which makes them the perfect fit for the Symposium.

While the UEI is producing the Symposium, the University of Michigan is also lending a helping hand by supporting UEI and hosing the event.

“Our mission at U-M Innovate Blue is to support both individual creativity and multi-disciplinary teams in tackling the world’s most pressing challenges and opportunities. The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative falls solidly within that mission,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, senior counselor for entrepreneurial education at the University of Michigan.

The Symposium will cover a few key topics, including methods for engaging urban communities to determine needs (and ultimately turning those needs into products and services), examples of businesses that are solving important problems, students who are “changing the game” through entrepreneurship, and support systems of all types that are available to urban entrepreneurs.

Ultimately, the Symposium hopes to empower individuals and organizations. As more businesses bring innovation to cities, it could have a long-term benefit of making contributions to the health and wealth of urban communities across not only Michigan, but across the United States and around the world.

The Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium will be held on October 10 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Space is limited for this event, so register soon.

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About the Author

Lauren Ebelt

Lauren is a recent graduate from Michigan State University. She likes traveling, blogging about the food she eats, and correct grammar.