$25,000 Gift Establishes Weiss/Caldwell Entrepreneurs Society at School of Business and Economics

reach.pngA gift of $25,000 to establish the Weiss/Caldwell Entrepreneurs Society at Sonoma State University has been made to the School of Business and Economics. The Weiss/Caldwell Entrepreneurship Society will help launch new businesses in the North Bay by providing mentoring, business planning support, and entrepreneurship education to faculty and students considering a commercial venture.

It will be comprised of members of the North Bay Angels and other volunteers who will share their expertise with students and faculty across the Sonoma State campus. This seed investment will launch the Sonoma State University Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program and help lay the foundation to build a permanent Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center.

Other aspects of the Program include the development of an entrepreneurship class, the creation of hands-on learning experiences with student-run enterprises, establishment of an annual business plan competition, and funding for research projects that explore entrepreneurial success, innovation, and business strategies for growth.

"As a scientist, as an entrepreneur, and as an investor I've learned that success often has as much, if not more, to do with people and with mentoring along the way as it does with the product. Seeding an Entrepreneurship Society is a way to invest in developing both new talent and innovative businesses," says Steve Weiss.

Steve Weiss and Mary Caldwell know a lot about success. Their respective careers in the health care, technology, and investment fields are filled with examples. Weiss, now chairman emeritus of the North Bay Angels, holds patents on cataract and neurosurgery technology he developed with sales in excess of $10 billion, and has invested dollars and leadership in dozens of young companies over the years.

Dr. Caldwell has held positions in marketing management for medical device firms, as a senior healthcare analyst for a large consulting and research firm, and in venture capital, in addition to holding numerous leadership positions in professional associations and community initiatives.

"The North Bay is a place that deserves an excellent business school to encourage great talent, seed entrepreneurial efforts, infuse our economy with best business practices, and help shine a light toward the unique way the North Bay goes about its business," School of Business and Economics Dean Bill Silver says.

For more information, please contact Annemarie Brown, (707) 664-2221, annemarie.brown@sonoma.edu.

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