SOURCE: Singularity University

Singularity University

August 27, 2010 09:00 ET

Kauffman Foundation Partners With Singularity University as Corporate Founder

Partnership to Address Global "Grand Challenges" With a Focus on New Models of Entrepreneurship, Technological Innovation

MOFFETT FIELD, CA and KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwire - August 27, 2010) -  Singularity University (SU) -- the academic institution with the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders to address "humanity's grand challenges" -- today announced the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has joined as Corporate Founder. The partnership will leverage Singularity University programs and Kauffman Foundation research and initiatives to support entrepreneurship and innovation focused on the "grand challenges," such as sustainable water, energy and poverty. The Kauffman Foundation joins Google, Autodesk and ePlanet Ventures as key supporters of Singularity University's efforts.

The Kauffman Foundation is the world's largest foundation promoting entrepreneurship and recently launched a new approach to starting and growing high-growth firms through its Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation initiative. Recent studies from Kauffman's esteemed economists and researchers have found that start-up companies, especially those with a scientific or technological focus, will be key to spurring economic growth, job creation and recovery from the current global recession. In addition to financial sponsorship, the Kauffman Foundation will work closely with Singularity University to test new business ideas and models, initiate and leverage partnerships, and mentor students to work toward the shared goal of addressing the grand challenges through entrepreneurship and technological innovation.

"Singularity University is founded on many of the same principles that are fundamental to the vision of the Kauffman Foundation, and the partnership was a natural fit," said Bo Fishback, Kauffman's Vice President of Entrepreneurship. "In less than two years, Singularity University has made significant progress in disrupting the traditional 'research-to-company' channel that has stifled innovation for too long. Its focus on global grand challenges and smart, ambitious entrepreneurs has already hatched new business models and numerous start-ups. This is an exciting partnership with unlimited potential."

Kauffman's partnership supports development of Singularity University programs, led by world-renowned faculty, to help students understand and harness the impact of exponential technologies. The annual Graduate Studies Program is a 10-week graduate-level interdisciplinary curriculum, designed to facilitate understanding, collaboration and innovation across a broad range of carefully chosen scientific and technological disciplines whose developments are exponentially accelerating. The keystone of the program is the Ten To the Ninth Power (10^9+) projects that challenge students to develop an idea to positively affect at least one billion people within 10 years. Held throughout the year, the four- and nine-day Executive Programs are designed to educate, inform and prepare executives for the imminent disruption and opportunities resulting from these technologies and more effectively navigate today's dynamic business realities. To date, at least 10 start-up companies have been born from SU programs beginning June 2009.

"The Kauffman Foundation deeply understands how the convergence of entrepreneurship and exponential technologies will drive growth in the global economy," said Salim Ismail, Executive Director and CEO at Singularity University. "The opportunities are seemingly endless for keen entrepreneurs to disrupt entrenched industries and cause positive change to the world's grand challenges. With Kauffman's support and its unique programs and research, students of Singularity University will have access to resources to support long-term business success. We look forward to working with the Foundation to develop entrepreneurs and create positive global change."

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. It also works to prepare students to be innovators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers in the 21st century economy through initiatives designed to improve learning in math, engineering, science and technology. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. More information, visit, and follow the Foundation on and

Singularity University (SU) is an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies in order to address humanity's grand challenges. With the support of a broad range of leaders in academia, business and government, SU hopes to stimulate groundbreaking, disruptive thinking and solutions aimed at solving some of the planet's most pressing challenges. SU is based at the NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley. For more information, go to and follow SU on and at

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