Eastern Michigan University Center for Entrepreneurship to launch new executive certificate program in entrepreneurship

Program to begin Jan. 8. 2022; $25,000 in business expense funding to be awarded as part of a venture challenge

Black businesswoman smiles while communicating with her colleagues, a mixed team of entrepreneurs.

YPSILANTI – With funds raised from EMU alumni and community partners, the Center for Entrepreneurship at Eastern Michigan University is launching a new program to help aspiring entrepreneurs jumpstart their ideas. The Executive Certificate in Entrepreneurship is a unique eight-week in-person and online hybrid program that offers business instruction, professional coaching, mentorship, networking and the chance for participants to pitch their startup ideas for one or two awards sharing a $25,000 business expense fund.

“Entrepreneurship is challenging especially at the very early stage,” said Sanjib Chowdhury, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. "We are thrilled to be able develop this program for passionate entrepreneurs and help them move their ideas forward.”

Also interacting with the participants will be Chris Kaufman, co-founder and chief creative officer with StockX. “As an entrepreneur and EMU grad I understand the impact a program like this will have. I am looking forward to working with the participants and helping them develop their ideas. I am also very glad to be part of the team at the EMU Center for Entrepreneurship that is committed to helping our community and Southeast Michigan.”

The Executive Certificate in Entrepreneurship will include additional industry experts, professional coaches, mentors, startup investors and was developed for aspiring entrepreneurs with growth oriented and scalable business ideas and executives looking to expand their entrepreneurial mindset. The program will consist of eight modules with topics including:

  • Developing and evaluating startup ideas and business concept
  • Discovery and acquisition of customers
  • Forming a company and networking with stakeholders
  • Financial planning
  • Fundraising options and pitching for ventures

The program will include a venture challenge among program participants for business expense funding. One or two awards from a total of $25,000 business expense fund will be given out during each eight-week program, which will have a maximum class size of 20 participants. Kaufman and other established investors and entrepreneurs, will serve as guest speakers and judges throughout the eight-week program.

"We are very grateful for generous contribution of a private donor for the award money and we are also thankful to our alumni Chris Kaufman and Neetu Seth and community partner, Ann Arbor SPARK, for scholarship support in offering this exciting program to entrepreneurs in the Southeast Michigan region," said Dr. Chowdhury. "This program will bring together some of the best minds, offering a learning experience that entrepreneurs can instantly apply to their businesses in the real world.”

Several scholarships are available to participants. The application deadline for the initial program is Nov. 22, 2021. For more information and to apply, visit the Executive Certificate in Entrepreneurship program website.

About the Center for Entrepreneurship

Established in 1986, EMU's Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) strives to enhance a culture of entrepreneurship in the EMU community by supporting a strong entrepreneurship curriculum and offering a variety of co-curricular programs. The CFE also encourages local entrepreneurship by engaging EMU students and faculty in innovation, business creation and growth in southeast Michigan.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

October 21, 2021

Written by:
Sanjib Chowdhury

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher