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US universities make big bets on startups

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Posted October 14, 2013

Just before graduating from the University of Michigan, Calvin Schemanski began his start-up.

With two classmates, he got free office space on campus and $7,500 in funding from the university’s student startup accelerator, TechArb.

The project, a restaurant recommendation app called MyFab5 using a “favorites” formula, is now preparing a national launch.

The project is among dozens at Michigan and thousands across the United States getting help from “incubators” at US colleges and universities, often with a dream of launching the new Facebook or Google.

“There’s a real spark of entrepreneurship on campus,” said Schemanski, who graduated in 2012 with a business degree.

“There are a lot of entrepreneur clubs and programs and events every couple of weeks,” he told AFP.

The 23-year-old, who had begun his own pedicab service as a freshman, acknowledged that “it’s definitely a sacrifice” to work nights and weekends on these projects while other students attend parties and football games.

But he said “there is a good support network” of professors and mentors to help students and new graduates get their startups going.

Hundreds of US colleges and universities have created incubators, aiming to provide a different kind of educational experience, and a chance for a successful company.

Read more at: Phys.org

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