5/18/11

Calling All Entrepreneurs

Carnegie Mellon alum Jonathan Kaplan (TPR’90) revolutionized the consumer electronics industry with his Flip video camera. Now, he’s energizing the entrepreneurial spirit at his alma mater.

Through a generous gift, Kaplan and his wife, Marci Glazer, created the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund (OFEF) at Carnegie Mellon University. The purpose is to provide early-stage business financing to alumni who have graduated from CMU within the past five years.

The fund is also being supported by fellow alum Peter Stern (E’89), founder of Datek Online and CEO of Bitly.

Kaplan anticipates this fund could reach $25 million within the first five years.

According to Kaplan, it’s not a business plan competition, in which only the best ideas receive funding. Instead, it’s open to all recent CMU grads who have the desire to become entrepreneurs. CMU will create and launch an online application for alumni to submit their proposals later this year.

"Our goal with this effort is to provide Carnegie Mellon graduates with the opportunity to realize their innovative spirit and start new businesses," said Kaplan, former CEO of Pure Digital and five-time entrepreneur. "We'd like to make Carnegie Mellon the destination of choice for young entrepreneurs."

Carnegie Mellon alumni, faculty and students are already creating innovations with impact.

CMU faculty and students have helped to create 200 companies and 9,000 jobs in the last 15 years. And CMU spin-offs represent 34 percent of the total companies created in Pennsylvania based on university technologies in the past five years.

Read the release to find out more>>

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