Factotem, Venture Catalyst
Entrepreneur and Educator
University of Michigan, BSE Electrical and Computer Engineering, 1983
University of Michigan, MSE Industrial and Operations Engineering, 1985
I left an executive career track in a mainframe computer company to join my first startup, founded by a U-M CoE classmate – and I never looked back. A dozen ventures and four exits later, I’m an executive coach and startup angel, living on a prairie 20 miles west of Ann Arbor, and teaching Innovation Leadership and Product Management at the U-M.
How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?
I went back to grad school to study the ways that people, processes, and technology combine to create products that people actually use – that help solve wicked problems and make the world better for everyone. The I&OE program was my Masters in Engineering Administration. It accelerated my career into leadership roles, teaching at the Ross School of Business and InnovateBlue, and running startups.
Advice to Students
Go Broad. Grad students have amazing learning opportunities, in and out of the classroom, across a dozen CoE Departments, 19 U-M schools and colleges, and the vibrant Ann Arbor technology ecosystem. A broader education amplifies the value you bring to the companies and communities you serve. And electives reward your curiosity: a vital asset in innovation and entrepreneurship.