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November 04, 2015

Center for Entrepreneurship named to recognize Ains


four people and a plaque
University Trustee Mark Ain ’67S (MBA) (left) and his wife, Carolyn, stand with Duncan Moore, vice provost for entrepre  neurship and the Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Professor in Optical Engineering, and Andrew Ainslie, dean of the Simon Business School, at the dedication ceremony for the Ain Center for Entrepreneurship.

University Trustee Mark Ain ’67S (MBA) and his wife, Carolyn, have made a multimillion-dollar commitment in support of entrepreneurship education at the University, bringing their total support to The Meliora Challenge to $5 million. In recognition of the Ains’ collective philanthropy, the Center for Entrepreneurship will be named the Ain Center for Entrepreneurship.

“We are deeply grateful to Mark and Carolyn for their continued generous support of entrepreneurship education at the University of Rochester,” says President and CEO Joel Seligman.

“This generous gift will allow us to continue our momentum in building a cutting-edge entrepreneurial program.”

Mark Ain is the former chairman and CEO of Kronos Incorporated, the Chelmsford, Massachusetts–based workforce management company he ounded in 1977.

“Mark Ain has been a steadfast supporter of entrepreneurship throughout the University,” says Duncan Moore, vice provost for entrepreneurship and the Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Professor in Optical Engineering. “It is fitting that the Ain name will forever be associated with educating the entrepreneurs of the future.”

Since 2007, aspiring undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneurs at Rochester have had the opportunity to present their business models to a panel of judges during the Mark Ain Business Model Competition. Many of the winning business models have gone on to become successful entrepreneurial ventures. The Ains have also given internship and scholarship support, as well as funding for the high-profile Mark Ain Workshop Series hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship. Additionally, Mark Ain has personally provided career counseling and guidance to students and has successfully placed Simon MBA graduates within his business network.

The Student Incubator at High Tech Rochester is another area where the Ains are helping students contribute to the region’s economic development. For the past five years, their support of the incubator, which advances student-run enterprises of all kinds, emphasizing a broad definition of entrepreneurship, has enabled many students to go on to create successful startups.

They include NullSpace VR, the first low-cost wearable virtual reality system; LighTopTech Corp., a women-owned optical technology company for noninvasive imaging in medical and industrial fields; and Health Care Originals, which is currently focused on providing an Asthma Management System capable of identifying precursor symptoms of an asthmatic episode.

“Mark Ain is a tremendously successful entrepreneur, and his success is a testament to the value of a Simon education,” says Andrew Ainslie, dean of the Simon Business School. “Thanks to Mark and Carolyn’s generosity, we will continue to provide education and support for our students interested in starting their own businesses or working for entrepreneurial companies.”

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