Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Carnegie Mellon University

Leadership of Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship Announced

In an important step in the development of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Provost Farnam Jahanian has announced that Dave Mawhinney will act as the center’s executive director, with Lenore Blum and Jonathan Cagan as faculty co-directors.

The Swartz Center was made possible last summer by a transformational $31 million gift from alumnus and venture capitalist James R. Swartz (TPR ’66).  Since then, a group of faculty, staff and university leaders have been meeting to chart out the best ways in which the Swartz Center can accelerate our efforts to bring breakthrough ideas and technologies to market, a critical way in which this university makes a difference in the world.

“Dave, Lenore and Jon already have had a profound impact on the entrepreneurial culture at CMU,” said Provost Farnam Jahanian. “I am confident in their ability to take these efforts even further by leading the Swartz Center in its mission to make CMU a destination of choice for world talent in entrepreneurship.”

Jahanian also appointed a Steering Committee, chaired by Dave Mawhinney, to assess the current slate of entrepreneurship programs on campus and to develop an aspirational blueprint for the Swartz Center, with a specific plan for next steps. Members include Lenore Blum; Jonathan Cagan; Robert Dammon, dean of the Tepper School; Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science; Marcel Bruchez, director of the Molecular Biosensors and Imaging Center in the Mellon College of Science; Rick Siger, director of Strategic Initiatives and Engagement; Robert Wooldridge, associate vice provost for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation; and Tim Zak, director of the Institute for Social Innovation in the Heinz College.

A campus-wide launch for the Swartz Center is being planned for Fall 2016.

Banner Photo Caption: Donor and venture capitalist Jim Swartz (seated, center left) met with Swartz Fellows, Innovation Scholars and Graduate Entrepreneurship Club students at his Accel Partners offices in Palo Alto during CMU’s Silicon Valley Trek in January 2016.

The Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Center works with its partners to serve the entire CMU community—departments, colleges, centers and campuses—to accelerate bringing research innovations and promising ideas to the global marketplace and helping all entrepreneurial students, faculty, staff and alumni tap into the 'innovation ecosystem.

The Center's mission is threefold:

  1. defining CMU as the "destination of choice" for all individuals–faculty, staff, and students–interested in entrepreneurship;
  2. fostering an "inside-out" approach to creating winning commercial ventures from cutting-edge research and ingenious ideas for the benefit of society; and
  3. developing an extensive, vibrant network of alumni entrepreneurs.

The CIE's Pipeline of Programs [pdf] serves students, faculty and staff across campus and alumni across the world.

Programs for the 2016-17 academic year:

Project Olympus PROBE Projects for students, faculy and alumni

The Innovation Scholars Program for entrepreneurial undergraduates

The James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows Program for graduate students

The innovation Fellows Program for PhD and post doctoral students

The CMU I-Corps Site for selected entrepreneurial teams

CONNECTS workshops for the CMU community

Inside-Out Commercialization Workshops for faculty, postdocs and senior graduate students


CIE Calendar

Apply to the Swartz Fellows program by Friday, August 26, 2016.

Wildcat Venture Partners

Application for Wildcat Venture Partners’ Scholarships in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Deadline is Friday, September 9, 2016 at 5 PM PST

Apply online

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

2016 Bootcamp

Saturday, September 10, 2016
Time: 1:30-5:30 pm
Location: Rashid Auditorium (GHC 4401)/Project Olympus, 4620 Henry Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Find out more»


View our 2016-2017 CONNECTS schedule

McGinnis Venture Competition

2017 McGinnis Venture Competition registration opens Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Find out more»

CIE Weekly Bulletin

Check out our weekly bulletin for information about upcoming events, opportunities & deadlines.


NSF I-Corps Site

The CIE's Pipeline of Programs [pdf] serves students, faculty and staff across campus and alumni across the world.