Elliott Initiative

The Elliott Initiative, launched in 2010, is an inter-disciplinary initiative designed to promote academic quality within the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business. Each year a theme is selected to guide a set of teaching, research, and community service activities. The initiative regularly includes speaker panels and events, an interdisciplinary class, and grants for both academic research and community engagement projects. Edward W. Elliott, Jr. (67 B.B.A.) has made the generous gift for this initiative in memory of his late wife Betty F. Elliott (also 67, B.B.A.).

The Elliott Initiative theme for 2013-2014 is "Doing business in Detroit: Entrepreneurship and Commercialization." This is the second year of the two-year theme on entrepreneurship. Focusing on the steps of business development, this theme will address the strategy, research, and skills needed for the successful commercialization of a product or service. Planned elements include Design Thinking workshop in Fall 2013 which is open to students and community members; an entrepreneurship course in Winter 2014; a business plan pitch competition in April 2014 (open to UM-Dearborn students and alumni); and two grants related to business commercialization, one focused on entrepreneurial research and the other on entrepreneurial engagement activities.

Prior Elliott Initiatives are:

  • Doing Business in Detroit: Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (2013-2014) URL
  • Doing Business in Detroit: Urban entrepreneurship (2012-2013) URL
  • Financial literacy (2011-2012) URL
  • The business of sustainability (2010-2011) URL

Upcoming Events

Event: Business Idea Pitch Competition
Date: April 2, 2014 
Time: 5:00 9:00 PM
Location: Fairlane Center North, Quad E

Student teams will have up to 5 minutes to present their business idea to a panel of judges. Pitches will be evaluated on the quality of the business planning and presentation, with cash prizes of up to $2,500.

Speaker Panel: Exploring Entrepreneurial Funding Options
Date: April 3, 2014
Time: 6:15 8:00 PM
Location: Fairlane Center South Dining Room D

This panel will feature experts discussing funding options for businesses as they move from idea stage to large-scale commercialization.  The panelists will cover local investing, crowdfunding, bank loans, as well as angel and venture funding. 

Pavan Muzumdar, Principal at Revalue
Juliana Perry, VP, Business Banker, Fifth Third Bank
Jeffrey Rinvelt, Principal at Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
Rachel St. James Thompson, VP, SBA Lending Specialist, Bank of Birmingham
Ray Waters, CEO of the Detroit Development Fund 

Richmond Hawkins, Director of Economic Equity at New Detroit, Inc,

Prior Events

Dr. Sally Howell, Mosquing the Marketplace: Business as (Un)Usual in Hamtramck, March 5, 2014

Design Thinking Workshop, Tuesday November 19, 2013

Dr. Elsie Harper-Anderson, Virginia Commonwealth University, Thursday, November 14, 2013