To Our Alumni and External Partners,
Let’s have a collective sigh of relief that 2020 is in the rear view mirror. We hope your 2021 is off to a refreshing start. While the last year threw everyone unexpected curveballs, there is a lot to be hopeful for. Vaccines are beginning to reach communities throughout the country, and more research into COVID is informing our ability to safely engage with loved ones and favorite pastimes. We’re anxious to reconnect with you in person as soon as the University permits gatherings (we'll put updates in these newsletters, but nothing to report yet).
So far, the winter semester in Ann Arbor is shaping up similarly to our fall semester, with students mainly attending classes in remote and virtual settings. While departments across the campus were bracing for an enrollment dip, due to reduced in-person course offerings and on-campus activity, the CFE is happy to report that we maintained normal enrollment throughout our courses. We suspect this is, at least partially, due to COVID’s normalizing of virtual engagement; this has allowed us to eliminate physical proximity to Ann Arbor as a barrier to alumni's ability to help students. This has been best demonstrated by the use of our new U-M Entrepreneurs Mentoring Network, which now boasts an impressive 3,000 mentors. Student use of the platform is now part of coursework for our flagship class (Entrepreneurship Hour), through which mentors have provided over 600 responses to student questions over the past month.
Lastly, in January we welcomed 60 new students to our fellowship programs: Entrepreneurs Leadership Program, TechLab at MCity, and TechLab: Climate Change. These students, carefully selected from an impressive list of applicants, represent the next generation of entrepreneurs and startup professionals, with several already working in established companies. Their excitement for entrepreneurship is contagious, and we look forward to introducing and connecting them to you over the coming months.
We are forever appreciative of your support. Thank you for sharing your time, wisdom, and networks with each other and our students.
- Center for Entrepreneurship