Innovation

Carin and Roger Ehrenberg

“Carin and I have a deep passion for helping students pursue their dreams of making the world a better place. This gift is designed to help more students, at a younger age, acquire the tools and experiences to solve important problems by leveraging the world’s rich data. By supporting the creation of a Director of Entrepreneurship within UMSI, there will be a person whose sole focus is to help young students unleash their creativity in line with their analytical skills, not only solving hard problems but developing their own solutions through new businesses.” – Roger Ehrenberg, U-M BBA 1987, member of the UMSI External Advisory Board & UMSI Campaign Council

UMSI faculty have been leading the country and the world in innovative research, scholarship and education since our beginnings in 1926. Our faculty have been on the ground floor of many major innovations in information research.

We established one of the first information schools in the country. Associate Dean for Research and Innovation Douglas Van Houweling helped establish the architecture of the modern Internet – and was chief executive of Internet 2. Our faculty, in partnership with the U-M Library, led the successful pilot program that resulted in JSTOR, a huge storage repository for journal articles worldwide.

And we’ve always done it with the help of our supporters, alumni and partners. Those partners have also helped our efforts to fund and encourage new business enterprises that spring from the work that students and faculty do here.

We recently posted a new position for the Director of Entrepreneurship for the school, thanks to the generous donation of Roger and Carin Ehrenberg. We offer a Google-funded lecture series that focuses on entrepreneurialism, and our students visit startups in New York and elsewhere. Stay tuned for some exciting news about new entrepreneurial offerings, thanks to generous supporters Judith J. and Nathaniel Field and Marc Weiser.

These new opportunities for students are reflected the strides they make on their own. Our surveys show that fully one-fifth of our students are pursuing entrepreneurial careers through co-curricular activities, internships and jobs.

MSI alumnus Nathan Oostendorp, for example, co-founded Slashdot.org, was a software architect for Sourceforge.net and went on to create Sight Machine, an open-source software company featured in Atlantic Magazine that utilizes Internet technologies to solve a broad array of challenges and provide consistent ease of use while reducing the cost of quality-control vision systems for manufacturing and industrial companies. He was the winner of the 2013 UMSI Alumni Entrepreneurial and Innovation Award.

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