Endowed gift creates new entrepreneurs hub for Miami Herbert Business School students

The donation by alumnus Dean M. Fogel establishes a dedicated facility for aspiring business school entrepreneurs to test and develop their startups and scaleups.
Endowed gift creates new entrepreneurs hub for Miami Herbert Business School students

Entrepreneurial energy across industries like technology, trade, and venture capitalism is bolstering Miami’s status as an international hotspot with a thriving business climate. The city has emerged as a leading region in the nation for new businesses, especially as startup activity boomed during the pandemic. Helping to foster the same entrepreneurial momentum at the University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School, alumnus Dean M. Fogel, B.B.A. ’70, has made a significant gift to establish a new space for entrepreneurship, named in his honor as the Dean M. Fogel Entrepreneurs Hub.

An entrepreneur himself, having led his own commercial real estate firm for 30 years, Fogel is making sure Miami Herbert Business School students with for-profit and social impact ideas are well equipped for Miami’s dynamic startup landscape. He worked with Director of Entrepreneurship Initiatives Susan Amat to shape his vision, which includes, as he describes, “a facility where business students could meet and share startup ideas; a place where students could practice everything from an elevator pitch to Series A funding; a place where students could meet and discuss startup ideas with business leaders visiting Miami Herbert.”

The Dean M. Fogel Endowed Entrepreneurs Hub will create a space at Miami Herbert for entrepreneur and innovator support through group projects, programs, lectures, seminars, and receptions to allow aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs at the Business School to flourish outside of the classroom. A portion of the donation will also establish a spending fund to support the renovation and maintenance of the hub.

“We are deeply grateful to Dean Fogel for his generous gift and for his steadfast support throughout the years,” John Quelch, dean of Miami Herbert, says. “His gift gives us the resources to expand the Herbert School’s entrepreneurship program and bring in future company founders, which will allow for a collective sharing of knowledge and a more powerful learning environment to prepare inventive and well-rounded startup leaders.”

The donation adds to Fogel’s previous contributions to his alma mater. Having attended the University of Miami under a veteran’s program in the late 60s, the alumnus established an endowed Business Scholarship for Veterans in 1998. He also supported the campaign for the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility, which opened its doors in 2018, and has served as a guest speaker in the Global Executive MBA program and a judge for Miami Herbert’s Business Plan Competition, celebrating its 21st year in 2023.

Fogel is eager that entrepreneurship grows as a viable option for young business leaders – a path that was not as easily accessible during his time as a business student.

“Post-graduation strategy was to find a good job with a Fortune 500 company, work for several years learning how businesses are run, then jump into the world of startups,” he recalls. “The idea of starting a business directly out of college was unheard of.”

Upon graduating with his Bachelor of Business Administration from Miami Herbert in 1970, he followed the strategy. First, in various management positions for a large technology company and then as president of a Nasdaq traded real estate company before starting his own commercial real estate firm.

Current entrepreneurship programs at Miami Herbert include graduate-level classes and a major or minor option for undergraduates, as well as initiatives such as the recently inaugurated UScale accelerator program to bring scaleup founders from around the world to campus for presentations and investor support.

The University of Miami is committed to fostering entrepreneurship as a career path for all its students.  Over a decade ago, it established The Launch Pad, the university-wide entrepreneurship center that has been serving all students, faculty, and alumni from all disciplines.  The Fogel Hub will complement The Launch Pad and Miami Herbert academic programs by giving business students the opportunity to test the feasibility of their ideas and their own commitment to starting and scaling a business. Students will also have access to a strong international network of mentors.

“Test your ideas and retest. See if you have the passion and motivation to follow your business plan,” he advises students. “You’re young, you will go through a lot of setbacks, and you may fail. Learn from this experience and move on to your next great idea.”

Wishing to cultivate student ingenuity and invigorate their drive to develop their business concepts, “I hope my gift will enhance your entrepreneurship skills and upgrade your confidence that you will succeed,” he says.

The donation will be partially matched by the Herbert Challenge Endowment Gift Match to become part of the permanent endowment funds of the University. The gift additionally forms part of the University of Miami’s Ever Brighter: The Campaign for Our Next Century. The most ambitious in the University’s history with a goal of $2.5 billion, the campaign is set to conclude in 2025, when the University will celebrate its centennial.

“Thanks to the generosity of donors like Dean Fogel, we are able to provide even greater entrepreneurial opportunities to Miami Herbert Business School students,” Casey Supple, executive director of development, says. “He understands the importance of philanthropic support in making the business school’s students global, transformative leaders.”

To learn more about the Fogel Hub or get involved with Miami Herbert’s entrepreneurship programming, email UScale@miami.edu. For more information on the University’s entrepreneurship center, The Launch Pad, email hello@thelaunchpad.org.