ANN ARBOR — Applications are now being accepted for the inaugural class of a unique master’s degree program in entrepreneurship offered jointly between the University of Michigan’s top-ranked College of Engineering and its Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

UM is offering this specialized field of study because it’s not available through conventional business or engineering programs. Most business schools focus on the skill set required in larger, more mature organizations, and most engineering programs don’t include market assessment and commercialization skills.

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“Our new program brings these two cultures together in a novel synthesis that is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Bill Lovejoy, a professor at the Michigan Ross School of Business and co-director of the new program.

In fall 2012, the first cohort will begin the intensive, 36-credit hour, 12-month program designed to impart the fundamental entrepreneurial skills and hands-on experience necessary to transform cutting-edge technologies into innovative startup ventures.

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“Ultimately, we are looking for smart, energetic students willing to tackle high-risk, high-return ventures because they believe in the potential of their product and in their ability to achieve their goals,” said Aileen Huang-Saad, the assistant director of academic programs at the College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship and co-director of the new program.

The program will enhance and draw from the thriving entrepreneurial culture at UM and in the region. In 2011 alone, UM’s Tech Transfer office recorded 101 licenses and options, filed for 122 patents and helped launch 11 new startups, putting UM once again in the top 10 U.S. universities in tech transfer performance. In the past decade, technologies developed in faculty labs have spawned 92 start-ups.

UM also has two startup accelerators, three entrepreneurship centers and countless business pitch, plan, and model competitions.

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