Spartan Innovations Venture Fellows

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Many science- and engineering‐focused graduate students will follow a career path in private industry rather than academia. Spartan Innovations offers an opportunity for students to acquire relevant exposure to business concepts and processes during their course of study, and gain experience in technology commercialization as a part of a structured program aimed at advancing MSU-developed technologies.

This annual program will run during the academic year from September to April. SI Venture Fellows will be grouped into three-person teams, a blend of business and STEM concentrations, who will select a project from available early stage technologies. Students will be responsible for developing and executing a plan for moving the technology towards commercialization. It is anticipated that at the end of the period, there will be a clear path towards launching the technology as a startup company.

Applications for the 2017-2018 program year are closed. 2018-2019 applications open Spring 2018.

Program Objectives

There are two main objectives for the Venture Fellows program: to provide an opportunity for MSU graduate students to gain first‐hand business experience in the commercialization of breakthrough technology and to advance the development of MSU technologies with the eventual goal of increasing the number of successful technology startups.


Students are expected to contribute 8 to 10 hours a week to the program. Weekly team progress meetings with the Program Director are required. The majority of the work will be team‐based but there may be occasional individual assignments.

Qualified graduate students will have completed coursework for their PhD, and preferably have finished qualifying exams and will be at least a year from completing their dissertation. Preference is for students in life sciences, physical sciences, computer science, business or communications.


Participants will be paid a fellowship of $6,500 for the eight-month period in addition to their existing support. Additionally, Venture Fellows will gain unparalleled experience in technology commercialization under the supervision of an experienced team of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

2017 - 2018 Venture Fellows:

Aseel Bala Ahmed
Jonathan Dannatt
Joseph Drury
Huijie (Jade) Feng
Jessica Francis
Ryan Guzall
Maria Haugen
Winnie Jeng
Iman Nezam
Amrita Oak
Thanaphong Phongpreecha
Sonal Srivastava
Cory Wilson

Program Contact Information

For more information, please contact Andrew McColm, Managing Director – Venture Creation at Spartan Innovations or call 517.884.4542.

Applications for the 2017-2018 program year are closed. 2018-2019 applications open Spring 2018.