Michigan State University has officially opened the Venture Kitchen, a fully licensed commercial kitchen, as a space for students to develop startups and food products. The space, located at MSU Union, is a joint effort between MSU’s Burgess Institutethe Environmental Study Residential Initiative and Land Grant Goods. It is open to all students in the entrepreneurship and innovation minor.
“We designed and continue to support the Venture Kitchen because students need spaces like this to develop their sense of purpose, agency and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Laurie Thorp, Director of the RISE program. “We now have several programs and spaces where students can explore the value proposition of a sustainable small business.”
In 2016, RISE and Land Grant Goods, an agricultural enterprise founded and run by MSU students, launched a commercial kitchen food truck as a space to produce their tea, honey, jam, and wraps. The Venture Kitchen is an extension of the truck to further support and encourage innovation and food-based student enterprises.
“The Venture Kitchen is another part of our strong entrepreneurship ecosystem at MSU,” said Ken Szymusiak, executive director of academic programming at the Burgess Institute. “The Burgess Institute works with students at all stages of the business creation process, helping them navigate the complexities of bringing an idea to market. Our goal is really to focus on the development of “entrepreneurship”.
MSU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor has become one of the fastest growing minors since it was first offered in 2016. Additionally, since then, more than 1,000 students have committed to the business creation program of the Burgess Institute, creating more than 800 companies. Student teams then raised $25.8 million in follow-on funding to build their businesses.
The Burgess Institute also offers the 2 day adventure learning experience — a 36-hour activity where students arrive with an idea and leave with a business plan.
“Some of our students will work with us in our Entrepreneurship program where we work with them on starting new businesses, while others will dive into experiential programs like 2Day Venture where they will learn the skills associated with rapid innovation and prototype development. We try to support students at all stages of their entrepreneurial growth,” Szymusiak said.