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Mount St. Mary’s University Announces The Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship: Center Created With a $1 Million Donation


Paul PalmieriMount St. Mary’s University Interim President Tim Trainor announced today that successful alumni Paul Palmieri and Diane Loiello Palmieri will donate $1 million to establish the Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship - an innovative student resource that will provide students with skills, mentorship and experiences vital to entrepreneurship. The center will open later this year after hiring a director and will provide students with co-curricular experiences such as workshops, exclusive networking and mentorship, innovative startup immersion, and business plan competitions.

“Diane and I are grateful for the educational experiences Mount St. Mary’s has provided our family for three generations,” said Paul Palmieri, class of ’92, who is also a member of the university’s board of trustees. “We believe the Mount is the perfect place to establish the center because it has a rich history of graduates who have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs - it’s in the university’s DNA.”

The center seeks to integrate real-world entrepreneurial skills across all disciplines. “Individuals who take risk to find new horizons - for industry, the arts, the sciences - are all entrepreneurs,” said Diane Loiello Palmieri, class of ’83. “All students can benefit from the risk-taking skills, activities and design thinking that lead to entrepreneurial accomplishment.”

“We are extremely excited about the Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship and grateful for the generosity and innovative ideas of the Palmieris,” said Trainor. “Through the center, students will have access to hands-on, experiential learning opportunities, testing their ideas and gathering feedback in real situations. It’s truly a program for those interested in changing the world.”

“Entrepreneurs are the backbone of Maryland’s economy,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “Through the Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship, generations of Mount St. Mary’s students – those with an idea, a dream, a goal – will learn the skills and gain the expertise they need to succeed. Paul and Diane Palmieri’s generous donation is indeed an investment in the future of these students and ultimately, in the future of our state.”

The Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship will provide interdisciplinary, co-curricular programs focused on entrepreneurship. The university is developing both a major and minor in entrepreneurship that will provide novel programming and a practical approach to venture development, innovation and design thinking. The center will challenge and embolden all students regardless of their major to develop the skills and resources necessary to achieve their goals.

The Palmieris have had an entrepreneurial mindset for decades. Diane Loiello Palmieri has held positions across the fields of marketing and advertising, and currently sits on the board of the American Red Cross. Paul Palmieri is credited with helping to develop and establish the beginnings of the mobile internet, as well as the app economy. He was the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Millennial Media, the leading independent mobile advertising platform, which he grew from startup through its public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. A few years later, he stepped down to launch his efforts to help other entrepreneurs as an investor and advisor. He is currently a general partner at Grit Capital, an early stage venture capital firm that he co-founded; a venture partner with Blue Run Ventures in Menlo Park, California, and he sits on the boards of Link Labs and Scorestream. He is a past regional winner and current national judge for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year program, was named Influential Marylander twice, and received a lifetime achievement award in 2016 for impact on the Baltimore entrepreneurial community.

Mr. Palmieri has also worked with Mount students for several years, taking entrepreneurship classes to a two-day workshop known as BIZHACK. During this event, students tour the internet startup scene in Baltimore, learning from CEOs, technologists and designers, as well as networking with successful entrepreneurs. During the program, teams work in a lab setting to generate viable ideas for internet startup companies. This program of startup culture immersion, exposure to successful founders and experts, and participation in a team competition for startup ideas will continue through the center.

 
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