This award salutes successful entrepreneurs who, in turn, are important role models for the students of Rensselaer.
Those honored with the award bring the world of entrepreneurship into Rensselaer’s classrooms and laboratories, sharing their experience and wisdom with all students. Given the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit in Rensselaer’s past present and future, it is indeed a singular honor Rensselaer bestows in selecting the Entrepreneur of the Year.
The 2012 honor will be awarded to:
Harry Ruda '68, '69
A serial entrepreneur whose journey from technical specialist to serial entrepreneur has brought many advanced technologies to the market for the benefit of society.
He has founded and/or served as Chief Executive Officer of six high-tech start-ups, raising more than $100 million in investments from venture capital, angel networks and corporate strategic investors. These investments have returned in excess of $350 million through strategic acquisitions.
He is co-founder and Chairman of Desktone, a leading provider of cloud-based virtual desktops sold to small and medium sized corporations. Prior to Desktone, Mr. Ruda co-founded Softricity, an application virtualization provider later acquired by Microsoft in one of the largest software transactions in New England, valued at greater than 17 times previous year's revenue.
Mr. Ruda is presently President and CEO of Wing Power Energy, an early stage developer of wind power energy solutions sold to major consumer brands that have distributed retail sites.
The Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes Ruda’s work over the last 35 years of his career.
The Paul J. '69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship (SCTE), established in 1988, helps foster new generations of entrepreneurs through outreach programs, education and research. Centered in Rensselaer’s Lally School of Management, The Severino Center lies at the core of Lally’s commitment to Entrepreneurship. The mission of the SCTE is to integrate educational and research programs by exposing every Rensselaer student to the practices and principles of entrepreneurship, to infuse the fundamentals of entrepreneurship throughout the Rensselaer curriculum, and to extend Rensselaer’s leadership and national prominence in technological entrepreneurship.