March 28, 2002
CONTACT: Carol Anderson


YPSILANTI -- "Creating Jobs in Michigan through Government and University Partnerships," will be the topic of Rep. John Dingell's (D-Mich.) keynote speech during Eastern Michigan University's First Annual Michigan Collegiate Entrepreneur's Conference, April 5 at the Eagle Crest Marriott in Ypsilanti.

The day-long conference, including a Faculty Roundtable, runs from 8:15 a.m. &endash; 5:30 p.m. with EMU's Juanita Reid, vice president of University Relations, hosting a 5:30 p.m. reception and the keynote address and awards banquet is 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The conference brings together prospective entrepreneurs to learn from and network with several successful business people and experts. According to the Small Business Administration, smaller entrepreneurial firms create about half of the jobs in the economy.

"Networking with experts can make a prospective entrepreneur feel more at home and want to set down roots in Michigan. Our tagline is 'Build Your Success Story in Michigan,'" said Pradeep Chowdhry, director, EMU Center for Entrepreneurship and conference chairman.

During the awards banquet, EMU's Center for Entrepreneurship will honor several local people who have been devoted to promoting the "spirit of entrepreneurship." They are:

John Barfield, founder, Bartech; Steve Gordon, founder, Signature Associates; G. Krishna Kumar, chairman, Forte Systems; Thomas Monaghan, founder, Domino's Pizza; Derrick Oxender, founder, Victory Lane; Thomas S. Porter, general partner, EDF Ventures; John Psarouthakis, founder, JPE Industries; and. Frank Stella, founder, Stella Products.

The conference will look at the importance of socially responsible values and early development of leadership, goal setting, time management, negotiation, and other pertinent personal skills. Session topics include: Identifying Opportunities in Michigan; "Building an "A" Team; Launching Your Start-Up; Financing Your Venture; Finding and Serving Your Customer; Handling Your Intellectual Property and Other Legal Issues; and Putting Together Your Business Plan.


The Faculty Roundtable will explore transfer issues, role of advisory boards, internships and field studies, mentoring, creating deal flow and exploring entrepreneurships as a career option for non-business majors.

For more information or to register, check or call 734.487.6516.

Eastern Michigan University ( is a four-year, comprehensive metropolitan university committed to the needs of its students and communities through teaching, research and service. EMU offers more than 200 programs in the arts, sciences and professionals through traditional classroom settings, on-site continuing education classes and online courses. EMU is the fifth largest university in Michigan, serving 24,500 students from around the world and offers undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate programs.