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The Paul J.’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for

Technological Entrepreneurship

The Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship (SCTE) helps foster new generations of budding and successful entrepreneurs through outreach programs, education and support systems.

Centered in the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, the Severino Center lies at the core of the commitment of the Lally School to entrepreneurship, providing a broad-based platform for entrepreneurs to make the transition from concept to company.

The mission of the SCTE is to expose every Rensselaer student to the practices and principles of entrepreneurship and to extend the leadership and national prominence of Rensselaer in technological entrepreneurship.

The center implements this mission by:

  • Providing and supporting opportunities to learn fundamental principles of entrepreneurship and study historical cases of successful entrepreneurs;
  • Providing opportunities to listen to, interact with, and work with experienced entrepreneurs;
  • Helping students with ideas for new innovations to find resources for commercializing their ideas, and helping students who are seeking businesses opportunities to find and initiate them;
  • Guiding, mentoring and coaching student-based start-up businesses;
  • Connecting students who are starting businesses to resources and networks within and beyond the Rensselaer community.

The mission also states that the Center will focus on technological entrepreneurship, meaning that attention and resources are primarily, though not solely, directed at entrepreneurial principles, experiences and new business initiatives specifically driven by novel or advanced technology.

History of the Center

The Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer was established in 1988. In 1999, Rensselaer alumnus Paul J. Severino ’69, a successful entrepreneur and co- founder and chairman of Bay Networks, Inc. gave a $5 million gift to endow the center, which was then named the Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship in his honor.

About Paul J. Severino '69

Rensselaer alumnus and serial entrepreneur Paul J. Severino endowed the Severino Center because of his commitment to educating Rensselaer students about entrepreneurship. According to a Rensselaer magazine interview, Severino's Rensselaer education did not prepare him for the business challenges he faced in his career. Unlike today, Rensselaer in the ’60s offered no entrepreneurship courses, no Incubator or Tech Park. Instead, Severino learned about finance and business plans and developing a competitive strategy as he went along. “Technical people, in particular, don't often get that kind of education,” he says. That’s where the Severino Center comes in.

“Understanding the principles, practice, and importance of entrepreneurship is vital to a university education, especially in our top technological schools,” he insists.

Mr. Severino is presently engaged as an investor and advisor to emerging technology companies.

Prior to his present activities, Mr. Severino was a Co- Founder and Chairman of Bay Networks, Inc. Bay Networks was formed in October 1994 by a merger between Synoptics Communications, Inc. and Wellfleet Communications, Inc. Mr. Severino served as Chairman of Bay Networks until November 1996. Bay Networks was acquired by Nortel Networks in 1998.

Mr. Severino was also a Co-Founder and President of both Wellfleet Communications, Inc. in 1986 and Interlan, Inc. in 1981. He was involved in the startup of Data Translation, Inc. in 1976 as Vice President of Engineering. Prior to that, he worked as a product development engineer at both Digital Equipment Corp. and Prime Computer, Inc.

Mr. Severino is currently a director of Sonus Networks (NASDAQ - SONS) and Analog Devices (NYSE-ADI). He also serves in industry and government business groups. He is a former Chairman of the Massachusetts Technology Development Corp. (MTDC) and was a founder and past Chairman of the Massachusetts Network Communications Council in 1997.

Mr. Severino received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1969 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he serves as a trustee. He has received honorary degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and The University of Massachusetts. He also serves as a trustee of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA.


Entrepreneurship Continuum

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