April 4, 2014

Jazz, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Since our founding in 1959, we at Northwood University have taught and modeled both the art of business and the business of the arts to current and future enterprise leaders. One example of how this tradition continues to flourish today is on display through the contributions of jazz legend and entrepreneur Bob James, the Inaugural Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Northwood’s Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise.

An originator of smooth jazz and an influence in the world of hip hop music, Bob James is best known for “Angela,” the 1978 instrumental theme from the television sitcom “Taxi.” Following his discovery by Quincy Jones at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in 1963, Mr. James went on to record 58 albums, collect numerous awards, and play or work with some of the most recognized names in the world of music, including Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, Maynard Ferguson, Kenny Loggins and Phil Collins.

Following his visit earlier this semester—highlighted by his classroom visits, small group discussions with students, and his “fireside chat” with the public—Mr. James will be on our Michigan campus again next week. And this time he’s bringing an added and very unique business learning opportunity for our DeVos Graduate School students.

As part of his role as Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Mr. James will work directly with a team of DeVos MBA students to test and develop market strategies for a new alcohol-based beverage he is launching. The students’ efforts will comprise their Field Work Consulting obligation for the MBA program, and includes conducting focus groups, test marketing, and   creating a go-to-market strategy for the mysterious “to be announced” beverage. Following their work, a public tasting event will be held next week Wednesday, April 9, in partnership with the H Hotel in Midland. Click here for details.

Experiential learning events like this point to the value proposition of the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise and the unique opportunities made available to Northwood University students system wide. By connecting proven entrepreneurs with tomorrow’s enterprise leaders, Northwood University is ensuring the partnership between business and the arts remains alive and well for generations to come.

Have a great weekend.

Keith

Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
989.837.4203

pretty@northwood.edu