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Feb. 24, 2021

Spartan Athletics partners with MSU Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Spartan student-athletes will embark on a six-week entrepreneurship training camp with the Burgess Institute.

Spartan Athletics and the Michigan State University Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation have announced a collaborative partnership that will educate student-athletes on how to sharpen their entrepreneurial mindset, master business basics and learn the process of creating new ventures.

Housed within the nationally renowned Michigan State Broad College of Business, the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation empowers students to learn through action by providing programs, courses and resources that are designed to embrace the entrepreneurial mindset and develop skills essential to success in an ever-changing market.

The Burgess Institute, a top-ranking entrepreneurship education center, will teach a six-week training camp on the entrepreneurial mindset to Spartan teams, instructed by faculty and staff from the institute, including programming on life after sports, creativity and emotional intelligence, networking and storytelling, and business model creation. The course will culminate with “Pitch Day” on Week 6 as teams will vote on the winner of the entrepreneurship training camp.

The Spartan football team will be the first team to utilize the training camp, beginning Wednesday, Feb. 24.

“This partnership will be a great resource for our players and help teach them life skills they can use both during their time here on campus, and after graduation,” said MSU head football coach Mel Tucker. “We are incredibly fortunate to have a world-class business school at Michigan State and the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation offers valuable tools, including personal branding strategies, vast networking opportunities and access to the MSU Hatch, which will prepare our players for future success. I’m excited that our entire team will have access to this groundbreaking course.”

Desireé Melfi Bozzo, the institute’s student success and advising manager, is an advocate for student entrepreneurial education. “Student-athletes are conditioned to work hard and driven by expectations of excellence,” she said. “By offering student-athletes concentrated entrepreneurial mindset training, the Burgess Institute’s team is focusing on life skills that will ensure success — long after student-athletes earn their degrees.”

“More and more, students demand learning that is grounded in hands-on experiences and prepares them for a job market that thirsts for innovative thinkers,” said Ken Szumusiak, the Burgess Institute’s managing director for academic programs. “The Entrepreneurship Training Camp is designed with three tangible goals: sharpening the Entrepreneurial Mindset, infusing business acumen and exposing student-athletes to the venture creation process.”

Innovative collaborations and partnerships are a top priority for MSU Athletics and the success of our student-athletes, said Elliott Daniels, associate athletic director for student-athlete engagement. “Through the Eli Broad College of Business, student-athletes have at their fingertips a top-15 nationally recognized program in the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to cultivate entrepreneurial skills for the present and beyond. The combination of best-in-class entrepreneurial leaders and resources with world-class student-athletes will have a tremendous impact on current and future Spartan student-athletes alike. Creative ideas, solutions and ventures are limitless, and we are beyond excited about this campus partnership.”

The Burgess Institute offers a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation through the Broad College of Business, as well as resources and co-working space dedicated to helping Spartans build their ventures. More information can be found at