Paul Palmieri (’92) and Diane Loiello Palmieri (’83) will donate $1 million to the Mount to fund the Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship. This new resource will provide students with skills, mentorship and entrepreneurship experiences and incorporate real-world entrepreneurial skills across all disciplines.
Palmieri says that the Center will seek to be a “center of practice” that will allow entrepreneurs to learn both through their studies and by practicing techniques outside of the classroom. The vision for the Center is to help students build a set of experiences, which will prepare them to become entrepreneurs, by providing resources such as workshops, exclusive networking, mentorship, innovative startup immersion and business plan competitions.
As the Mount develops a new major and minor in entrepreneurship, the Palmieris hope that their center will serve as a companion that will allow students to get hands-on experience.
“This will help students learn how to pitch an idea, build business plans, understand and experience the process of product design, learn to inspire others and hopefully much more,” says Palmieri.
Both Palmieris have extensive backgrounds in the entrepreneurial field. Loiello Palmieri has worked in marketing and advertising, and currently serves on the board of the American Red Cross. Paul Palmieri was the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Millennial Media, the leading mobile advertising platform. Currently, he is a general partner at Grit Capital, a venture partner with Blue Run Ventures in Menlo Park, California, and a board member for both Link Labs and Scorestream.
Palmieri states that, as Mount graduates, he and his wife have observed the extraordinary number of Mount graduates that have become entrepreneurs. With his experience in entrepreneurship, Palmieri has seen the power of entrepreneurial thinking in teams of people doing many different things.
With the success stories of Mount graduates in entrepreneurship, Palmieri believes the Center “can deliver a tangible program around the simple power of taking an idea, and motivating the human, financial, and technical resources to achieve a certain goal.” There is currently a search for a Founding Center Director, which Palmieri states is a “great first step.”
The Center will not just be available for students in the entrepreneurship major. Palmieri believes that it can be a differentiating minor for students with any major as they seek employment after graduation. The Palmieris hope that the Center will provide growth experiences for students, such as Shark Tank-like competitions with cash prizes, no matter their major or minor.
“All students can benefit from risk-taking skills, activities and design thinking that lead to entrepreneurial accomplishment,” adds Loiello Palmieri.
The goal is to have the Center challenge and encourage students to develop their skills and utilize the resources that will allow them to achieve their goals. The Palmieri duo hopes that their gift can leave a lasting impact on the university, and will provide students with opportunities to have hands-on experiences.