Ann and John Doerr donate $50M to develop new leaders at Rice

rice_logoThe next stage of leadership development at Rice U. has arrived! Legendary entrepreneur, VC and startup mentor – and Rice grad – John Doerr and wife Ann Doerr, have donated $50M to establish the The Doerr Institute for New Leaders at my alma mater, Rice U.

Check out the news today: Ann and John Doerr donate $50M to develop new leaders at Rice

This is very welcome news. I spent several years of my life as a stalwart volunteer, creating and teaching the Leadership Rice – Entrepreneurial Leadership class. The class included weekly seminars with entrepreneurs, VCs and other community leaders, as well as a small-scale business plan competition.

20935_252088396854_329863_nEstablishing leadership education and experience as a legitimate area of study and development for undergraduates at Rice U. was a challenge. There was no academic departmental support, no real university sponsorship of the endeavor and I had exactly zero budget. (No kidding.) But we pulled of a great class with great reviews for 4 years, and I’m still in contact with many of the students, some of whom have gone on to lead successful ventures of their own.

Thank you to John and Ann Doerr for recognizing the need for this kind of program at a major university like Rice, and congratulations to the university for attracting this generous donation and important institution!


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This blog is dedicated to providing advice, tools and encouragement from one entrepreneur to another. I want to keep this practical and accessible for the new entrepreneur while also providing enough sophistication and depth to prove useful to the successful serial entrepreneur. My target rests somewhere between the garage and the board room, where the work gets done and the hockey stick emerges.