Nicole Horger

Nicole Horger


Part-Time Faculty in Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Academic Programs

  • Entrepreneurship

Nicole Horger


Nicole has spent over 15 years dedicated to community building and supporting entrepreneurs within the Midwest region. As a Techstars Community Leader she led the planning and launch of numerous pitch contests, which brought hundreds of entrepreneurs together to launch a business in just 54 hours. She founded the first ever Social Enterprise Startup Weekend in 2015, which culminated in the launch of several ventures and supported the efforts of local entrepreneurs. Through her efforts in the social enterprise sector she has been recognized as a Leader to Watch by American Express and the Social Enterprise Alliance. She was a founding member of the Michigan Social Enterprise Alliance board and founded the Social Entrepreneurs Meetup group with over 1,000 local social entrepreneurs.

Nicole launched her first businesses in 2013. As an entrepreneur, Nicole scaled her events business by 60% in just two years while implementing a lean approach to growth. Her first fundraise was in 2019 with a successful crowdfunding campaign, fully funded in just ten days. She has accumulated tens of thousands in pitch contests winnings. She has since launched a private practice to support entrepreneurs and parents through their entrepreneurial journey- paying attention to the physical and mental burnout that can plague entrepreneurs.

She has supported aspiring entrepreneurs through her teaching career as the Assistant Director of iLabs, the Center for Innovation Research at the University of Michigan Dearborn. There she managed experiential learning initiatives geared towards researching job growth, innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development. In this role she worked with entrepreneurs, think tanks, and local and state governments to support data-driven efforts to grow Michigan talent and business. She also supported the Build Institute - a local non-profit - as a facilitator for an accelerated 9-week lean business class. She spent several years working closely with small groups to cycle through this intensive to launch or grow their business. Most recently, she has taught entrepreneurship, innovation, and management at Wayne State University since 2019.

Being an entrepreneur is challenging. Your inadequacies are displayed for you, your team, and your clients to pick apart. It is this constant prodding that creates the discomfort necessary for growth. It is a personal journey. As such, my philosophy is that entrepreneurship needs to be practiced… needs to be experienced. Certain aspects can be taught, but mentorship is my preferred method of supporting aspiring and growing entrepreneurs. You can never know what to do until you’re in the moment. That is where the growth and wisdom is nurtured.





Master's Degree, Urban & Regional Planning, University of Michigan, 2012

Bachelor's Degree, Political Science, Wayne State University, 2009

Courses taught by Nicole Horger

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Winter Term 2024

Fall Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022