Major Gift from Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation Supports Entrepreneurship, Promenade
The gift was announced during a dedication ceremony for the Finker-Frenkel Family Promenade.
MIAMI, Fla., November 14, 2017 — The University of Miami School of Business received a major gift today from the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation to fund its annual Business Plan Competition. The donation will provide permanent funding for the annual competition – now in its 16th year – and will provide countless future University of Miami students with the financial resources they need to help them grow or launch startup ventures. The gift was announced during a dedication ceremony for the Finker-Frenkel Family Promenade, an outdoor meeting and study space named in honor the Foundation.
“My family came here 25 years ago with $100 in their pockets and were able to build a major multinational business because of their entrepreneurial spirit and the business opportunities afforded to them by this country,” said Eugene Frenkel (MBA ’12), Director of the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is extremely important, and we want to foster those values and create that environment for the students at the university,” he added, addressing a crowd that included University of Miami President Julio Frenk, School of Business Dean John Quelch and several past Business Plan Competition winners, school students, faculty and staff.
Last year’s Business Plan Competition winners were David Gantt (BBA ’18) and Chester Montefering (BSIE ’18), cofounders of Therion PC. The two students won the $10,000 Grand Prize in the undergraduate student category for their idea to build and market water-cooled PCs to gamers. Gantt and Montefering used their winnings to diversify their product line and build more powerful computers. They are now developing a website platform to sell their products.
“The computers we are building are expensive, and I didn’t have $5,000 in my pocket to develop them,” Gantt said. “We’re designing the computers from the ground up and that takes trial and error. The money enabled us to go all out in the design process to make it look as cool and powerful as possible!”
During the dedication, Frenkel shared that his favorite addition to the Finker-Frenkel Promenade is an oversized screen to keep students informed of events on campus and learning opportunities – one of the largest at any business school in the U.S.
Standing in front of the screen, he recounted memories of his days as a student, singling out his favorite professor, Anuj Mehrotra, the university’s senior vice dean, faculty development and research vice dean, Leslie O. Barnes Scholar and professor of management science. Mehrotra later told the crowd, “As a professor, I take great pride in his success, and this gift is particularly impactful because it (gift to the BPC) supports student ideas and innovations.”