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Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship is now officially open

On Oct. 25, Carnegie Mellon opened the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. The event took place in Rangos ballroom, on the second floor of the University Center. The launch of the center is a highlight of this year’s biannual LaunchCMU event which showcases entrepreneurial achievements at Carnegie Mellon University. The center was made possible by the gracious $31 million donation by James R. Swartz. Through classes and activities, the Swartz Center will provide an opportunity for collaboration across a range of disciplines through education and engagement.

This year’s LaunchCMU event was focused on the theme of “Smart Cities” and showcased how this idea came through business achievements and through innovation by students, faculty, and alumni.

A place for ideas of students, alumni, and faculty to connect and grow, the Swartz Center will foster business growth on our campus. Carnegie Mellon already sets a great example in business; just last year, an impressive 38 startups were created from Carnegie Mellon University students and faculty members.

The Swartz Center can be a resource for students at any point during their time at Carnegie Mellon to begin the journey to creating a startup. There are programs designed for first-years, such as Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, which could act as a catalyst to creating a startup. Professors can also benefit from the resources of the Swartz Center to build connections to continue research or receive grants. This is a useful resource for those interested in entrepreneurship as it is meant to be useful to students of all disciplines, not just those focusing their studies in business.

In charge of running the center is executive director Dave Mawhinney as well as faculty co-directors Lenore Blum and Jon Cagan. Additionally, a board of members of the national entrepreneurship community has been put together to provide their knowledge and guidance on the Swartz Center’s path to success. Known as the Swartz Center Advisory Board, the members were also revealed at Tuesday’s event.

James R. Swartz is already a greatly appreciated member of the Carnegie Mellon community. He is also a venerable entrepreneur and a founding member of Accel Partners of Palo Alto, California. For the work he has done as member of Accel partners, a global venture capital firm, Swartz received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Venture Capital Association.

At Carnegie Mellon, Swartz is a member of President Suresh’s Global Advisory Council and the Tepper School of Business’ Board of Advisors. Also, in 2013, Swartz received yet another lifetime achievement award, specifically the Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award from the Tepper School of Business. He received this in honor of his professional attainment and his dedication to education.