Working with Wayne State

What is the Front Door for Business Engagement?

The Front Door for Business Engagement is a one-stop shop for accessing the world-class resources of Wayne State University. Whether you're seeking research partnerships, core facilities, technology commercialization, professional development, student talent, investment opportunities, or for any other business need, we're here to help you get things done.

How do I work with the Front Door?

Start by emailing Dr. Stephen Lanier at, and we will route your inquiry to the appropriate Front Door staff member. Our industry liaisons will discuss your particular business need with you and connect you to the right people and resources within the university. We will continue to assist you as you build your partnership with Wayne State. If your project requires relationships outside the university, we will help connect you with our community partners.

How do I partner with Wayne State on research or technology commercialization?

There are many ways to begin your partnership with us.

Our Innovation Catalog is a searchable database of technologies listed across multiple categories that are available for license.

Our Directory of Centers and Institutes provides a comprehensive listing of research and policy centers in a range of disciplines across the university.

The Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN) Expertise and Resource Portal is a free, searchable database featuring available university researchers and related resources at Wayne State and Michigan's five other major research universities.

You may use these resources to find researchers and inventors and contact them directly. Or contact the Front Door staff or send us an email. We'll connect you to the right people and resources, then provide additional assistance as needed, as you develop your partnership with Wayne State.

How do I hire and work with Wayne State students?

Wayne State students are talented, driven problem-solvers, and our student body is the most diverse of any university in Michigan. We invite you to recruit on campus for employment and internships, and to partner with our students and faculty on capstone and other innovative projects, such as the EcoCar. To get started, contact the appropriate campus Career Services office or contact The Front Door and we'll help you connect.

The Front Door can also help you design an internship, and receive matching funds up to $3500, through our Small Company Internship Award Program.(SCIA).

I run a small business. What resources are available to me?

The Front Door can connect you to two Michigan Corporate Relations Network matching fund programs specifically for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The Small Company Innovation Program/Technology and Commercialization Assistance (SCIP/TCA) provides matching funds up to $40,000 to help cover the cost of a research project at Wayne State or one of our five MCRN partners. In addition, the university will waive its indirect costs associated with any SCIP/TCA project.

The Small Company Internship Award Program provides up to $3500 in matching funds to help small businesses hire students in the STEM fields.

Small businesses with a minimum of two employees (including the owner) and $100,000 in revenue are eligible to apply for our Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, which provides intensive, real-world education and business coaching to enterprises poised for significant growth.

Wayne State Law School's Business and Community Law Clinic offers free legal services and connections to community resources for qualifying small businesses and start-ups. The Patent Procurement Clinic offers free legal support, based on need. Services include patentability searches, patent application and responses to patent office rejections.

How do I invest in a student, faculty or alumni venture?

Our Innovation Warriors program has helped more than 100 student entrepreneurs launch their businesses, offering numerous investment opportunities. The Warrior Fund provides start-up capital to student businesses through a competitive pitch process. The Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute, launched in January 2015, will provide opportunities to invest in faculty and student enterprises that are ready to move from the laboratory to the marketplace. Contact any of these programs directly, or contact The Front Door and we'll help you connect. We can also connect you to investment opportunities with Wayne State alumni across the country and the world.

What professional development services does Wayne State offer me or my company?

The Wayne State University Executive and Professional Education program offers customized business training, executive education, coaching and consulting services for businesses across Michigan. The university also offers numerous certificate programs. See our list of online certificate programs, search by school or college, or contact The Front Door to learn more.

Our Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses provides intensive education and business advising for second-stage small businesses who are poised for significant growth.

Our Detroit Orientation Institute offers full-day, half-day and lunch-time tours and discussions on places and issues pertinent to the history, present and future of Detroit. It is an excellent way to introduce new employees to the city and region, and to reacquaint those who already live and work here.