Ross School of Business Holds Revitalization Conference in Detroit

For many b-school applicants, location is a key consideration. Wall Street hopefuls are naturally drawn to Columbia Business School and NYU Stern, whereas future Silicon Valley entrepreneurs will gravitate toward Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. For MBAs interested in urban renewal, perhaps no program is better situated than the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, given its proximity to Detroit.

Ross students attending the Revitalization & Business Conference: Focus Detroit earlier this month learned about the many post-MBA career opportunities available in the region.

According to a Ross School of Business press release:  The Revitalization and Business Conference grew out of a cross-university effort by students to illuminate the vast opportunities for business growth and innovation in Detroit. The conference included tours and meetings downtown, as well as panels with entrepreneurs, developers and speakers hosted by the Ross School’s Real Estate Club. Presenters included Ford and DTE Energy Chairman Anthony Earley, among others.

The Conference’s keynote address was delivered by Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford, Jr. He naturally focused on opportunities in the motor industry, given new technologies at work in developing electric cars and in-vehicle entertainment systems, boasting, “There’s nothing going on in Silicon Valley or anywhere else that’s as advanced as what’s going on here.”

The region is also attracting its share of venture capital. ePrize founder John Linker recently established Detroit Venture Partners to assist local startups, and the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund has invested heavily in the area.

Anthony Earley perhaps best summed up the big idea of the conference, “If you’re a bright, young person who wants to make a difference, you have the opportunity to do that in Detroit. In another town, you have to pay dues for years and years. If you’re willing to work and if you’re committed, you can make a difference very quickly here.”

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