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The program will host a law clinic to assist student entrepreneurs, and include courses covering representation of start-up companies, and entrepreneurial skills.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate dean for entrepreneurial programs at the university's engineering school was quoted as saying in the September 8th law.com article, ''Zell invests $5 million in entrepreneurial law program at Michigan'': ''What we're trying to do at Michigan is something that no other top school has done: truly connecting and coordinating entrepreneurial efforts across the entire campus to maximize opportunities for all students. This kind of connectedness across disciplines makes [the University of Michigan] truly unique among peers.''
Zell was quoted as saying: ''My goal with entrepreneurial ventures at the university has always been to create cross-pollination across multiple disciplines. We've got top schools in law, engineering, business and medicine. That's an entrepreneurial jackpot just waiting to be cashed in.''
The ‘connectedness' to which Zurbuchen refers includes the engineering school's Center for Entrepreneurship, as well as the Wolverine Venture Fund, run by students, and the Michigan Venture Center.
The university aims to have the program in place by January.
Among Zell's many noteworthy business dealings and real estate transactions are his purchase of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times in 2007. In addition, he, at times with partners, owned the drugstore Revco, Schwinn Bicycle Company, and the mattress company Sealy over the years.
In addition to his business activities, Zell is a noted philanthropist, having help fund the Real Estate Department and the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also created the Zell-Lurie Institute at the University of Michigan, and funded the Zell Center for Risk Research at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.