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ECMC Group Partners With University of Minnesota to Launch the John DePodesta Leadership Fellowship Program

December 05, 2019

Partnership designed to drive innovation in postsecondary education

MINNEAPOLIS—Minneapolis-based ECMC Group has partnered with the University of Minnesota to launch a leadership fellowship program that will enable graduate students to address fundamental challenges facing postsecondary education. The John DePodesta Education Innovation Fellowship Program launched today, with initial applications being accepted through Jan. 5, 2020.

"As an organization focused on driving innovation in postsecondary education, we are excited to develop the next generation of leaders while supporting their advancements to the space for years to come," said Jeremy Wheaton, president and CEO of ECMC Group. "Our depth of knowledge—specifically in student loan debt and first-generation access and persistence—offers fellows a unique, 'living laboratory' to tackle the issues facing our society today."

The Fellowship is designed for graduate students in business, public policy, sociology or education, who will have the ability to test or develop plans to launch a new venture or co-design new programs in partnership with existing educational organizations that seek to improve the quality of postsecondary education. The Fellowship was developed in recognition of John DePodesta, a founding board member and immediate past chair of ECMC Group, who has spent the past 25 years working to help students succeed.

"Education is a transformative tool that can generate positive change while significantly impacting the lives of future generations," said DePodesta. "I am honored by this Fellowship and look forward to being inspired by the solutions it uncovers."

Initial feasibility grants of $15,000 will be awarded annually for up to four students. Subsequent launch grants of up to $75,000 may be made available to students demonstrating strong progress with their concepts, significant potential impact from their venture and a commitment to operate the venture full-time for at least 12 months post-graduation.

"This Fellowship aligns perfectly with the school's vision of business serving as a force for good while supporting student efforts to address important societal problems," said John Stavig, director of the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. "We hope this program attracts and develops entrepreneurial leaders who will identify meaningful improvements in postsecondary education."

To learn more, contact Stavig at

About Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship—University of Minnesota
The Holmes Center is the hub of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Minnesota that inspires, educates and connects the next generation of Minnesota's entrepreneurs. We mobilize the community and provide support for emerging entrepreneurs, both within and outside the University, through experiential courses and engaging outreach

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