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The Kellogg School of Management recently named nine students to the 2015-16 cohort of Zell Fellows, a program designed to help students develop market-ready businesses by graduation.

The Zell Fellows Program — formerly known as the Zell Scholars Program — provides students who are either founding a startup or beginning to grow their fledging ventures more than $25,000 per student for a variety of business expenses. The program also offers leadership coaching and mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs who have navigated the pitfalls awaiting any new business.

It’s an application-only, two-quarter program funded by Equity Group Investments LLC Chairman Sam Zell. Now in its third year, the Zell Fellows program has already provided executive support to 19 fellows who are running or have founded businesses.

While helping students launch or grow businesses is integral to the program, the crux of the fellowship is to transform students into strong entrepreneurs, said David Schonthal ’09, program director and clinical assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship.

“It’s really about the growth of a student,” Schonthal says. “The business is the medium, but ultimately we want to see people become great entrepreneurs now or at some point in the future.”

Meet this year’s Zell Fellows and learn about their businesses

Learn more about entrepreneurship at Kellogg