For some students, starting a business means more than just having a clever idea. It’s a passion, a future career, and a chance to solve industry deficiencies or build a game-changing startup with lasting value.
With that in mind, Kellogg unveiled the Zell Scholars program last year to provide support for students looking to turn their startups into market- and funding-ready businesses, said David Schonthal, program director and a clinical assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Recently, 10 students were named to the 2014-15 class.
The application-only, two-quarter program — funded by Equity Group Investments LLC Chairman Sam Zell — launched in 2013 with nine students elected to its inaugural cohort. In addition to funding from the program, those Zell Scholars have raised more than $2.5 million independently to support their companies, Schonthal said.
But the advantages of becoming a Zell Scholar will last long after graduation, Schonthal added.
“It has more to do with helping people who are entrepreneurially minded be successful founders at some point in their careers,” he said. “When they’re ready to take on the challenge and bring something new to market or start their own company, they have the confidence and experience to draw on.”