Hans Swildens

Hans Swildens ’95

Founder, Industry Ventures

Starting Out

“After business school I returned to the West Coast, and my brother and I founded Microline Software. We sold it in 1997, started Speedera Networks, then formed Industry Ventures in 2000 to invest in technology-related investments. When the dot-com bubble burst, we saw an opportunity to create a secondary venture capital market and began buying the investment portfolios, private shares, and partnership interests from their original investors who needed liquidity. Now, Industry Ventures has more than $3 billion in assets under management.”

A Commitment

Swildens is taking part in one of Columbia’s new giving opportunities by generously pledging a percentage of the interest and capital commitment he makes as a general partner in one of Industry Ventures’ secondary funds. When the investment yields distributions, they’ll go to the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at the School.

When I go to the office, I feel like I'm working not only for myself and my family, but also for Columbia Business School.

Why It Makes Sense

“Making a gift of business interests is ideal for me. Since a substantial percentage of my money is tied up in my funds, being philanthropic in this way allows me to make gifts while I’m still building my business. In Silicon Valley, pledging a portion of your wealth to philanthropy is viewed as something everyone should do for the benefit of the community.”

Sharing the Success

“Columbia was a foundational component of my education. When I attended, entrepreneurship wasn’t as much of a focus; I was one of the few people from my class who followed that path. Now that Columbia has such active entrepreneurship programs, supporting the Lang Center lets me connect the dots between my education and career. I hope my fellow alumni entrepreneurs will take this opportunity to align their success with the School’s future by pledging their support in this meaningful way.”

Making a gift of business interests* is one of two new ways to link your success to Columbia Business School. Entrepreneurs may also participate in the Founders’ Pledge by promising a percentage of the future proceeds of their company. To learn more, contact Lynne Winter, executive director, major gifts, at lmw2162@gsb.columbia.edu or 212-854-6891.

* Gifts of business interests with LP, LLC interests, or privately held S & C corp. restricted stock fulfill multiple philanthropic goals and provide tax benefits, including reduction or elimination of capital gains taxes. Consult your financial adviser to discuss your unique situation.

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