Monday, May 16, 2011
CMU debuts entrepreneurship fund for alumni
Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday announced the formation of a new fund to provide early-stage business financing to alumni who have graduated from CMU within the past five years through matching grants of $50,000 and other support.
The lead donor to the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund is CMU alum Jonathan Kaplan, former CEO of Pure Digital and developer of the Flip video camera, with his wife Marci Glazer. Peter Stern, Datek Online founder and Kaplanâ€™s classmate, is also providing financial and advisory support.
Financial commitments were not disclosed, but Kaplan said he expects the fund to eventually reach $25 million over its first five years.
â€œMy colleagues and former classmates are very interested in joining me in our effort to fund young entrepreneurs and help them to create exciting new businesses in all areas and disciplines,â€ Kaplan said in a prepared statement.
An independent advisory committee, which will include Kaplan and Stern, will be appointed annually to approve and mentor applicants. Applicants must present a business plan to the committee for review, outline how they will use Open Field funding and agree to become part of the Open Field Entrepreneurs incubation environment.
The fund is not a business plan competition, in which only entrepreneurs with the best ideas receive funding, Kaplan said. OFEF recipients will gain access to other funding sources, receive personalized mentoring and attend an annual business workshop. CMU will provide legal and accounting support.
Article courtesy of Pittsburgh Business Times