Inside Rensselaer
* Sean O’Sullivan ’85
Photo by Kris Qua

Sean O’Sullivan ’85 Named Entrepreneur of the Year

Established in 1990, the William F. Glaser ’53 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year Award brings the world of entrepreneurship into Rensselaer classrooms by recognizing successful entrepreneurs and role models who share their wisdom and experiences with students. This year, Sean O’Sullivan ’85, co-founder and managing director of Avego Ltd., has been selected as the 2011 William F. Glaser ’53 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year.

Avego Ltd. is a small technology firm with offices in Ireland, China, and the United States. The organization is a world- leading company in transport technology that introduced the groundbreaking “Shared Transport” iPhone application in 2008, as well as the all-in-one, in-vehicle, ground passenger transport management system “Futurefleet.”

O’Sullivan, who also serves as managing director of SOSventures International, an investment management operation, is the founder of JumpStart International, NetCentric, and MapInfo. He will deliver a keynote address to students, faculty, staff, past recipients, business leaders, and members of the surrounding community. O’Sullivan plans to speak candidly about his successes and failures in launching high-tech startups, and offer a few words of advice to future entrepreneurs.

The program will take place on Friday, Oct. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies auditorium. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship and the Lally School of Management and Technology.

“We are delighted to honor Sean O’Sullivan,” said Gina O’Connor, professor and faculty director of the Severino Center. “From his days as a student until now, he’s been an integral part of the Rensselaer community. The diversity and his savvy approach to the number of ventures that he has founded and supports is a testament to the traits that a true entrepreneur should have. What a role model for our students! The campus community is excited about the upcoming Entrepreneur of the Year celebration, and I am particularly excited that we’ll be honoring Sean during Homecoming and Reunion weekend, when so many alumni will be on campus.”

O’Sullivan’s career has taken him around the world, where he has been involved in launching several high-tech companies and organizations, and creating dozens of high-tech startups. He was the co-founder, president, and chairman of MapInfo Corporation (Nasdaq: MAPS), the industry-leading desktop mapping company, for the company’s first six years. Based in the Capital Region, MapInfo created many groundbreaking innovations in defining the power of combining personal computers with maps. In 2008, the company was purchased by Pitney Bowes, and is currently a $200 million company with nearly 900 employees and offices worldwide.

Additional career highlights include the founding of JumpStart International, a humanitarian organization that focused on providing concrete results and showing visible signs of progress to the people of Iraq, while employing a large number of Iraqis to accomplish the physical work necessary in rebuilding their country.

O’Sullivan has served on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Software Council, net.Genesis, MapInfo, and other private technology companies. He is also founder and chairman of the O’Sullivan Foundation, which since 2003 has given millions of dollars annually to a variety of causes dedicated to economic development and empowerment.

At Rensselaer, O’Sullivan created the “Change the World Challenge,” an initiative to support entrepreneurship education and stimulate ideas to improve the human condition. He also founded and funded, through the O’Sullivan Foundation, the Rensselaer Center for Open Software, which provides stipends for 100 students annually to work on creating open source software solutions for developing countries and the development of civil society. He received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Rensselaer, and a master of fine arts in film production from the University of Southern California.

The William F. Glaser ’53 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year Award has become part of a tradition at Rensselaer. Each year, the award celebrates entrepreneurs whose vision, commitment, and creativity exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit that is Rensselaer’s past, present, and future. O’Sullivan will join 18 other individuals who have been recognized as William F. Glaser ’53 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year recipients.

To RSVP for the event, go to

For more information, contact Kelly Reardon, senior program administrator, at (518) 276-2650 or

* * *
Send comments to:
Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to
Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 13, September 9, 2011
©2011 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Front Page
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | About RPI | Virtual Campus Tour | Academics | Research | Student Life | Admissions | News & Events