Innovate Blue and Student Orgs

Student organizations have long played a critical role in the educational experience of University of Michigan students. Because of this, student organizations are at the heart of Innovate Blue.  It is often in student organizations where our students’ passions first are turned into action.

We have TEDxUofM which is bringing the elegance and captivity of TED talks to our campus and filling the Power Center for one day each year. We have the Detroit Entrepreneurship Network that seeks to bring entrepreneurial approaches to Detroit’s youth. And, we have Music Matters, a student organization that raises charitable donations by bringing a high-level musical act to campus.

Innovate Blue recognizes the emergence of another type of student organization that partner with academic units to achieve goals that neither of them could achieve independently.  Take OptiMize, a movement focused on social entrepreneurship. OptiMize is a deep partnership between a student team and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. In this partnership, OptiMize becomes a partnership that is as agile as a student organization, but has the academic grounding of an academic unit.

MPowered Entrepreneurship is a student organization that has been a pioneer for entrepreneurial student leadership for almost a decade. I have the honor of being a faculty advisor for MPowered and I am continually amazed by the impact this organization has achieved. Their programs are known campus-wide: 1000pitches is the world’s largest Collegiate Idea competition, the MPowered Career Fair brings 100 startup companies to campus to interview well over 1000 students every single year, and recently, MPowered has been in the news about their record-breaking “hackathon,” MHacks.

Because of their importance for our campus, Innovate Blue is excited to partner with student organizations on campus that focus on innovation and entrepreneurship in a variety of domains.  We encourage student leaders on campus to use #innovateblue to highlight their achievements and programs centrally.

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