Wayne State University

Wayne State University announces fifth annual E2 Detroit entrepreneurship conference; Keynote speakers include Rick Inatome, Michigan computer pioneer, and Thomas Murphy, former mayor of Pittsburgh

DETROIT—Wayne State University will host the fifth annual E2 Detroit conference on Thursday, Oct. 15. Built upon the foundation of entrepreneurship and excellence, E2 Detroit provides attendees with the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs. Business experts and CEOs of start-ups will share their successes and challenges to provide “real world” insight to entrepreneurs seeking practical knowledge.

Two keynote speakers will headline this year’s event. Rick Inatome, Michigan native, life-long entrepreneur and co-founder of two multi-million dollar companies will talk about the tremendous opportunities available to businesses during times of economic downturn. Inatome, who today is managing director of Sterling Partners, a $4.2 billion private-equity fund with 34 portfolio companies, is considered Michigan’s first computer entrepreneur and has played a key role in helping guide Michigan’s business and education technology infrastructure.

Tom Murphy, former mayor of Pittsburgh, guided the revitalization of Pittsburgh by directing new investment into the city to refurbish neighborhoods, build world-class facilities and boost the economy by transitioning the city from heavy industrial to high technology and life sciences.

E2 Detroit is focused on establishing Michigan as an enterprise hub and Wayne State University as a premier training ground for entrepreneurship. Attendees will gain knowledge to create start-up companies and generate new jobs. From topics like, "Building a Culture of Entrepreneurship" to "Selecting the Right Business Model," attendees will learn important information on timely issues led by nationally and locally recognized leaders in the business development community.

In addition, the event will host a competition for Wayne State students who have an idea for starting a company. The E2 Detroit Elevator Pitch competition will allow students to present 60 second elevator pitches to describe their new company ideas. Students will be judged on their ability to present a business case that appears feasible and profitable; is unique and creative; and has a potential market niche and competitive advantage.

“In addition to giving our students an opportunity to pitch their business ideas, E2 Detroit will help business entrepreneurs come up with new ideas to revitalize their companies which is critical in these difficult economic times,” said Judy Johncox, director of business services at WSU. “Earlier this summer, three major events called ‘FastTrac to the Future’ were held at Wayne State University. They were highly successful; however, this event differs in that the focus is on people who are already in business and seek to grow their business by identifying new sources of funding, new high quality staff as well as new technology that may be available through Wayne State University’s Technology Commercialization office.”
Registration is now open. To learn more about E2 Detroit, visit http://www.e2detroit.wayne.edu today.

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Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu

Media Contact: Julie O’Connor
Voice: (313) 577-8845
E-mail: ag2712@wayne.edu