The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania this week announced a $10 million donation from Richard E. Perlman, a 1968 undergraduate, and his wife, Ellen Hanson Perlman.
The money will go toward a new program called Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) and support for Venture Lab, a student center for entrepreneurship.
The grant will also enable recent graduates to become Perlman Fellows, who can learn from alumni mentoring and create their own entrepreneurial opportunities.
“The future of business is reliant on forward-thinking, innovative leaders who will challenge norms, and bring fresh, new ideas and approaches to the world,” Perlman said in a press release.
Perlman is a long-time business executive who has led several companies that were ultimately acquired.
Most recently, he has been ExamWorks executive chairman since 2010. Previously, Perlman served as co-CEO from 2008. Perlman is also head of Compass Partners, L.L.C. merchant banking and financial advisory firm he founded in 1995 that specializes in middle market companies and corporate restructuring.
Perlman served as chairman of TurboChef Technologies, a commercial food equipment manufacturer, from October 2003 until 2009, when TurboChef was acquired by the Middleby Corp. Perlman was also chairman of PracticeWorks, a dental software company, from March 2001 until it was acquired by Eastman Kodak in 2003.
Before that, Perlman was involved in acquiring and operating several private companies in the home furnishings, automobile replacement parts, and real estate sectors. Perlman serves on the executive advisory board of the Wharton undergraduate school, the advisory board of The Wharton School Entrepreneurship Program as well as being the 2013 sponsor of The Perlman Grand Prize for the winner of The Annual Wharton School Business Plan Contest. Perlman received a B.S. in economics from Wharton and an MBA from Columbia University.