Entrepreneurial center celebrates financial backing

Dartmouth Alumni Jeff Crowe, right, and Brian Moon welcome Dartmouth community members to a workshop for pre-launch and seed-stage startups as part of the 2019 San Francisco Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forum, put on earlier this month by the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship.

HANOVER — Dartmouth College’s Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship is celebrating $26 million in funding coming from 26 individual $1 million donations.

Jamie Coughlin, director of the Magnuson Center, said as of last week that 26 people had signed on to be part of the Founders Circle of donors for the center that is focused on fostering entrepreneurs in and around the Dartmouth community.

The center takes its name from Rick and Allison Magnuson, who donated $20 million to fund the center after a pilot program started on campus in 2013 showed the potential for such an endeavor, Coughlin said. Rick Magnuson is a Dartmouth alum.

Coughlin said the center targeted raising about $35 million for the venture. So far, including the Magnuson funding, the center has raised more than $50 million, he said. Coughlin said the enthusiasm of the donors willing to give $1 million has been overwhelming.

“It’s a considerable ask, and $20 million is extremely generous and significant, but $1 million is extremely significant as well,” he said.

The center is an academic institution that focuses on entrepreneurship, as well as serving as a support system for potential entrepreneurs, he said. The goal of the center is to support graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff, alumni and people in the greater community looking to start out on an entrepreneurial journey, he said.

“Anyone who has set out on an entrepreneurial journey quickly realizes if you want to go far, you’re gonna need a lot of other people,” he said. “The center brings together a lot of people.”

The Magnuson Center sponsors workshops and speakers series as well as the programs to help people both in Hanover and in San Francisco. The initial announcement about the Founders Circle funding came at the Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forum in San Francisco held earlier this month, which drew more than 600 members of the Dartmouth entrepreneurial community.

Coughlin is making plans for the center’s move into the new Thayer and Computer Science building currently under construction. The $200 million project on the west end of the campus is going to be the perfect home for the Magnuson Center, he said. The center should move in by 2021.

The new location will put the center in a hub that includes the Thayer Engineering School, the Computer Science department, the Tuck School of Business, and the Arthur Irving Center for Energy and Society.

“We’ll be in the mix of all this exciting activity that area,” he said. “The west end is a perfect home for an entrepreneurship center.”{/div}

Monday, January 27, 2020