Carnegie Mellon University

L Demmler

L Frank Demmler

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

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5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Frank Demmler has served as Adjunct Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University since 1987.

Previously he served as Innovation Works’ Vice President of Entrepreneurial Services, leading the organization’s seed investments of over $75 million in over 300 companies during his tenure. He was also a Managing Director of Riverfront Venture Fund, a $23.7 million fund that invests in the Pittsburgh region.

Mr. Demmler has more than 35 years’ experience advising both entrepreneurs and angel investors. Mr. Demmler has significant experience having served as:

  • President and CEO of the Future Fund
  • General Partner of the Pittsburgh Seed Fund
  • Co-founder and investment advisor of the Western Pennsylvania Adventure Capital Fund
  • Vice President of Venture Development for the Enterprise Corporation of Pittsburgh.
  • Frank holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University, a Masters Degree in General Management from the University of California at Los Angeles Graduate School of Management (UCLA) and pursued post-graduate studies in marketing at the Harvard Business School.
Mr. Demmler has received recognition for:
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association
  • Supporter of Entrepreneurship Finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program
  • Gerald E. McGinnis Chair for Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship
  • Board of Visitors for the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT)
  • President of the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association.


  • University of California at Los Angeles - MBA - 1973
  • Princeton University - BS (Mechanical Engineering) - 1971
  • Harvard Business School, post-graduate studies, no degree, 1973-1975 - (Marketing for not-for-profit organizations)


  • Raising Money from Private Investors
    The Technology Management Handbook

    CRC Press, 1999; 1-11 - 1-16

  • Rapid Transit in Los Angeles
    Public & Nonprofit Marketing: Cases & Readings

    (author(s): L. Demmler, Christopher Lovelock)
    John Wiley & Sons, 1984; 335-352

  • United States Postal Service
    Public & Nonprofit Marketing: Cases & Readings

    (author(s): L. Demmler, Christopher Lovelock)
    John Wiley & Sons, 1984; 297-306

  • United States Postal Service
    Problems in Marketing

    (author(s): L. Demmler, Christopher Lovelock)
    McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1977; 581-597

Awards and Honors

  • Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association - Lifetime Entrepreneurial Achievement Award (2011)
  • CMU, Tepper School of Business - Gerald E. McGinnis Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship (1998)
  • Ernst & Young - Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist (1998)

Public Service

  • Air Force Institute of Technology, Board of Visitors (1992 - 1996)
  • National Technology Initiative, Repeat panelist on forums sponsored by the White House, Panelist on Venture Capital Funding (1991 - 1992)
  • National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC), Venture Capital Funding Advisor (1989 - 1991)
  • NASBIC Venture Capital Institute, Instructor (1989 - 1989)


  • Merging business and funding strategies; prioritization of execution actions; creating focus and urgency
  • various
  • Advisory relationships of all types with almost 3,000 early stage enterprises, their founders, and key management in over 20 years; direct participation in hundreds of investment transactions from both sides of the table totaling about $500 million of cumulative funding. (1970 -)

Professional Activities

  • Board of Directors, Energy Control Systems, Inc. (2003 - 2005)
  • Board of Directors, MindMatters Technologies, Inc. (2000 - 2003)
  • Board of Directors, Coupling Systems, Inc (1996 - 2002)
  • Board of Directors, Laminar Software, Inc. (2000 - 2001)
  • Board of Directors, SneakerLabs, Inc. (1998 - 2000)
  • Board of Advisors, True Commerce, Inc. (1997 - 2000)
  • Board of Directors, Vortex Systems, Inc. (1990 - 1996)
  • Board of Directors, Automated Health Care, Inc (1990 - 1995)
  • Board of Directors, Computer Renaissance, Inc. (1987 - 1992)
  • Board of Directors, Iconnex, Inc. (1986 - 1992)