Entrepreneurs Wanted: New Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund To Jumpstart Creation of Innovative Businesses by Carnegie Mellon Graduates-Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund - Carnegie Mellon University

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Entrepreneurs Wanted: New Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund To Jumpstart Creation of Innovative Businesses by Carnegie Mellon Graduates

PITTSBURGH—After revolutionizing the consumer electronics industry with his Flip video camera, Jonathan Kaplan is now further energizing the entrepreneurial spirit at his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University. Carnegie Mellon announced today that Kaplan and his wife, Marci Glazer, have provided a substantial financial gift to create the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund (OFEF) at Carnegie Mellon University, which will provide early-stage business financing to alumni who have graduated from CMU within the past five years. 

"On behalf of Carnegie Mellon, I would like to thank Jonathan Kaplan and his family for their generous gift," said Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon. "This fund is a living gift that will continue to provide benefits far into the future. Through the success of start-up ventures created by our alumni, this gift will play a central role in using innovation to spur economic growth."

"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."

While not disclosing the value of his gift, Kaplan, who earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Carnegie Mellon in 1990, said he anticipates the fund to eventually reach $25 million within the first five years.

"My 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," he said.

Peter Stern, a CMU classmate of Kaplan, founder of Datek Online and another successful serial entrepreneur, also will be providing financial and advisory support for the OFEF.

An independent advisory committee including both Kaplan and Stern will be appointed annually to approve and mentor applicants for the OFEF. 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 OFEF will provide $50,000 in matching funds to recipients...Read more»

By: Ken Walters