Xconomy: Belinsky Gifts $500k to WSU to Create Lab for Student Entrepreneurs
In August, Wayne State University held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Mike Ilitch School of Business, a $40 million, state-of-the-art facility in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood. The business school announced another piece of good news this summer when alumnus Russ Belinsky donated $500,000 to establish the Belinsky Entrepreneurial Learning Library, which aims to kick-start student and faculty entrepreneurship. Belinsky is a Detroit native who was educated at local public schools. He graduated from Henry Ford High School in the late 1970s. “My first entrepreneurial experience was being a paper boy in Detroit,” he says. “I cut the grass, my brother and I bought and sold houses—entrepreneurship touches my heart and my history. I attended Wayne State on a scholarship, so I wanted to pay it forward at some point.” Belinsky’s funding is meant to provide resources, training, and mentorship to students and faculty in order to help them launch investment-ready startups or startups based on the university’s intellectual property. Wayne State says BELL will closely coordinate with instructors and students taking newly created entrepreneurship and innovation certificate programs, and will connect with the broader Detroit-area business community to create commercial pathways and attract startup funding. Jeff Stoltman, the university’s director of entrepreneurship and innovation programs, will manage BELL.