Zell Institute Portfolio Company Files S-1; First IPO Designate in Funds Batch at MBA School

One of the companies run by an investment fund housed at the University of Michigan has filed for an S-1 at the SEC, meaning that it soon will be launching an IPO.

Intelepeer maps the IP address world to the dial-up home space and provides incremental phone service to companies that want to participate in verticals in that space.

Intelepeer grew out of one of three funds run by the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan, headed up by Tom Kinnear, the Institute's Executive Director.

A bit about the Institute here:

The Institute's innovative real-world approach and the Business School's traditional management excellence encourages and nurtures students in preparing for entrepreneurial careers to succeed, autonomously or in a corporate setting, as leaders for new venture creation and growth. Under the guidance of Professor Thomas Kinnear, the Institute provides access to capital, competitions, and other means of significant support and resources for students to take the knowledge learned in the classroom, build a business plan, and actually launch a business while earning their degree. In addition, the Institute works with other acclaimed University research units, such as the Medical Center and College of Engineering, to introduce students to new venture opportunities and to accelerate the commercialization process for University of Michigan ideas and technologies.

The company was developed and incubated in the Wolverine Venture Fund.

The program runs this and two other funds as lesson material in entrepreneur development. The idea is that executives taking the MBA course will be able to take some of the teachings on innovation and use them to run some of the already well-established companies in operation globally.

The funds--the Wolverine Fund, which has been profitable in past quarters; the Frankel Fund--a pre-seed fund that does real incubation funding; and the Social Venture fund--which models some of the funds in practice right now--are meant to make up for a paucity of good "hands-on" course material in this field, says Kinnear.

"The state and the status quo get in the way of innovating," says Kinnear. "Google shouldn't exist, or a Groupon shouldn't have existed, if companies in that space had been more entrepreneurial.

Kinnear says that the catalyst for operating this was his traditional academic upbringing in Canada and in his exposure to AP classes on economics, which he and his wife taught for quite a few years in the United States. He felt that quite a large number of students coming up through the school system had no idea how businesses are actually run, and had little insight into how business impacts the economy. The same could be said for teachers, who are very good at what they do, but who do not attempt to make any real-world immediate impact in that area.

I think it ought to be part of any curriculum, not just from a philosophical or partisan point of view, but just to indicate the critical nature of that entrepreneurs play in the world," says Kinnear. "People need to understand where wealth comes from."
The idea should be readily available in practice in K12 education in the United States, and even globally. This is especially true now that so many platforms on the Internet now exist for showing how this works.

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