WSU entrepreneur James A. Anderson giving speech

Preamble: We commit to enabling our university to become a bustling hub of innovation, where new ideas are constantly developed into new ventures; students and faculty collaborate through TechTown Detroit to mentor community, urban, and minority entrepreneurs; and industry leaders and startup CEOs seek innovative resources. Our lively exchange of new ideas and our innovative collaboration both on and off campus will allow the translation of research and development into entrepreneurship, which will permeate our campus culture and increase the growth and vitality of the university, the city, and the region.

Goal 1: Create a Thriving Culture Where New Ideas and New Ventures Are Consistently Developed and Rewarded

We will permeate an entrepreneurial spirit throughout the university through its strategic integration into our curricula and increased collaborations with entrepreneurs, TechTown Detroit, the Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute, and other organizations promoting entrepreneurship.


  • Create a Council of Entrepreneurship to coordinate entrepreneurial activities and collaborate with the Office of Technology Commercialization and the Office of Research Development
  • Engage faculty to develop signature forums where new ideas and ventures are discussed, synergies between innovators and entrepreneurs are discovered and expanded, and which champion the university's role as a center of innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Create measurable goals for each stakeholder group that encourage accountability, demonstrably drive entrepreneurship, and award the achievement of their goals
  • Increase opportunities for entrepreneurial and startup CEOs (including minority and urban CEOs) to contribute to the academic life of the university through lectures and seminars, executive-in-residence positions, and on advisory boards
  • Increase opportunities for corporate executives to participate in the academic life of the university
  • Become a thought leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly through collaboration with organizations promoting entrepreneurship and impacting Detroit's revitalization (including the University Research Corridor)
  • Increase the number of our students exposed to the opportunities and challenges of entrepreneurship through internships, co-op programs, and other opportunities 
  • Through TechTown Detroit; the Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute; our colleges; and other entrepreneurial, governmental, and business organizations, enhance relationships with entrepreneurs and the broader business community and create entrepreneurial courses and programs throughout the university

Goal 2: Simplify/Coordinate/Enhance the Process of Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

We will coordinate and enhance innovation and entrepreneurship by enhancing the Office of Technology Commercialization and through greater collaboration.


  • Coordinate and scale current innovation programs across the university through the Office of Technology Commercialization in collaboration with the Council of Entrepreneurship and the Office of Research Development, which are being created
  • Develop a coordinated approach to the engagement of faculty, staff, and students in the creation of a comprehensive entrepreneurship educational and training program, which will include non-degree options, opportunities for urban and minority entrepreneurs, learning delivery options, and social entrepreneurship
  • Ensure the development of entrepreneurial courses
  • Facilitate collaborations and partnerships with industry, foundations, and the venture community to drive innovation and commercialization domestically and globally
  • Ensure that university leadership takes tangible steps to remove institutional impediments to driving innovation and entrepreneurship