ANN ARBOR — Building on its established reputation as a driving force in the entrepreneurial and innovation communities in Michigan and beyond, The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, will host its annual entrepreneurial symposium, Entrepalooza, on Sept. 16 at the university’s Blau Auditorium.

This year’s event theme, The Path Forward, will cover how to advance new business ventures and support entrepreneurial thinking through panel discussions, keynote presentations and networking.

The public symposium brings together the best and brightest members of the business community and leaders in entrepreneurship and venture capital to share the secrets behind their success with students, alumni, faculty and members of the broader business community.

The robust program explores opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurial success, and in this spirit, there will be a Business Model Competition sponsored by the Ross School of Business Entrepreneur and Venture Club the day before Entrepalooza. During the competition, five student teams will have 90 seconds to pitch a business plan, followed by a 90 second Q&A session with a panel of experienced entrepreneurial professionals.

The formal program will begin at 9 a.m. with a keynote address from Brad Keywell, co-founder of deal-of-the-day website Groupon, which in June filed initial paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. University of Michigan BBA ’91 and JD ’93 and a serial entrepreneur, Keywell will tell the story behind the multiple business ventures he has created and provide insights on taking risks and turning visions into success.

Following his keynote, Thomas Kinnear, Executive Director of the Zell Lurie Institute, will present Keywell with the Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a prestigious recognition that honors significant contributions to the entrepreneurial community by a Ross School of Business graduate.

The remainder of the program includes multiple networking opportunities, as well as several panel presentations that will bring together local business and venture capital executives to provide expert advice on key business development and funding topics.

These include:
* Getting Started: Making an Idea Reality
* Growing a Company: How a Startup Becomes a Business
* Inside the Mind of a VC: How They Look at Startups
* Entrepreneurial Careers: Innovating in Startups, Corporations and Beyond

Entrepalooza is co-presented by the Ross School of Business Entrepreneur and Venture Club and the School’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. The public symposium is free to attendees. For more information or to register to attend the event, please go to To receive live event updates or share your thoughts from the symposium, use hashtag #epalooza on Twitter.

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