Local technology execs support scholarships for entrepreneurial students at UMass Boston
Two local technology executives have made gifts to UMass Boston to support scholarships and mentorship for entrepreneurial students — the first of their kind in the university’s history, and ones that will benefit hundreds of promising students.
UMass Boston has established the Entrepreneur Scholarship and Workforce Development Program with the support of founding donor Dan Phillips, chairman of CloudHealth Technologies and an advisor to the university’s Venture Development Center. Former MBA student Sean Maney has also made a gift. Maney is the owner of Salon & Spa Ultimate, a salon management and marketing software company.
The Entrepreneur Scholarship and Workforce Development Program will be administered jointly by the Venture Development Center and Academic Support Services.
"It will benefit hundreds of students and impact our local workforce for years to come," said William Brah, founder and executive director of the Venture Development Center.
Entrepreneur Scholarships are open to juniors and beyond from any major who have a desire to work for a venture capital-backed startup, and potentially start their own company someday. The scholarships, valued at up to $5,000, are open to five students per year. Phillips will mentor the scholarship recipients on a regular basis to guide them down this path.
The program will offer Entrepreneur Workforce Development Workshops in the fall and spring semesters for all students interested in career opportunities in the venture capital-backed startup environment. Phillips will run the workshops along with recent graduates who are actively building their careers in this field. Students will be offered mentoring to learn the skills required for them to get an internship and ultimately their first job.
College of Management Interim Dean Arindam Bandopadhyaya called Phillips a "wonderful champion of the university."
After selling Silverback Technologies to Dell Inc., and before co-founding CloudHealth Technologies, Phillips founded the Entrepreneurship Center in the College of Management, guiding over 125 UMass Boston students into paid internships at venture-backed startup companies. Maney served as an advisor to the center.
"UMass Boston students are exactly the type I like to hire at my companies. They can handle adversity, want ownership, and require and expect little supervision. They have been exceptional," Phillips said. "I am committed to making opportunities possible for more of them."
One of those students is Evan Iannuzzi (Spanish and International Business, '14), a regional sales manager in London at CloudHealth Technologies.
"I was taking six classes at UMass Boston and working part-time. I first met Dan Phillips at the Venture Development Center," he said. "He helped me secure my first internship. This is when my life changed forever."
Brah expects many more members of the venture capital startup community, as well as UMass Boston alumni, will participate in the Entrepreneur Scholarship and Workforce Development Program.