Carnegie Mellon University
October 25, 2016

Carnegie Mellon Marks Launch of Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship

swartz center

Carnegie Mellon University will officially launch the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship on Tuesday, Oct. 25, as part of the annual LaunchCMU event.

In addition to remarks from venture capitalist James R. Swartz, CMU President Subra Suresh, and Provost Farnam Jahanian, the event will feature presentations on cutting-edge research and emerging technologies from various CMU startups.

The university created the Swartz Center with support from a $31 million gift by Swartz, a distinguished entrepreneur and founding partner of the global venture capital firm Accel Partners. The center will serve as a hub for the university's entrepreneurship activities, supporting and bringing together students, faculty, researchers, alumni, and local entrepreneurs.

The Swartz Center is a system of programs and activities that offers a unique path of entrepreneurship education, engagement, collaboration and opportunity, creating a truly transformative learning experience. The center is led by Faculty Co-Directors Lenore Blum and Jon Cagan, and Executive Director Dave Mawhinney.

The center's launch comes as the university builds considerable momentum as a leader in new technologies, artistic creativity, learning engineering and transformational discoveries at the crossroads of different academic fields and disciplines. Startup activity among the university's faculty, students and alumni has been robust, with 38 companies created last year alone.

The event, scheduled to begin at 3:45 p.m. in Rangos Hall at CMU's Cohon University Center, is a showcase of cutting-edge research, innovations and startups by CMU students, alumni, faculty and staff under the theme of "Smart Cities."

As founding partner of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Accel Partners, Swartz has led a global venture capital firm that counts many of the most revolutionary technology businesses among its investments, including Facebook, Veritas Software, Riverbed, Etsy and Dropbox. In 2007, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Venture Capital Association.

Swartz is a founding member and chair of President Suresh's Global Advisory Council at CMU, which comprises a distinguished group of about 20 leaders, entrepreneurs and chief executives of major organizations. He also is a member of the Tepper School's Business Board of Advisors. In 2013, the Tepper School honored Swartz with a Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of both his professional accomplishments and his commitment to education.

Tuesday's event also will recognize the newly created Swartz Center Advisory Board. The board consists of members across key constituencies of the national entrepreneurial community with connections to Carnegie Mellon. These business leaders and successful entrepreneurs will provide expertise and guidance for the ongoing activities of the Swartz Center.

The members of the Swartz Center Advisory Board are Lane Bess, principal and founder, Bess Ventures and Advisory; Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande, president and chairman of Sparta Group LLC; Matt Humphrey, co-founder and CEO, LendingHome; Jonathan Kaplan, founder and chairman, The Melt; DJ Kleinbaum, co-founder and co-CEO, Emerald Cloud Laboratory; Susan Koger, co-founder and chief creative officer, ModCloth; Miles Reidy, partner, QED Investors; Matt Rogers, founder and chief product officer, Nest; Ruchi Sanghvi, vice president of operations, Dropbox; Peter Stern, serial tech entrepreneur and CEO; Jim Swartz, founding partner emeritus, Accel Partners; and Shanna Tellerman, co-founder and CEO, Modsy.