Vice President of Entrepreneurship
United States of America
Thom Ruhe is Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. In this capacity, he directs the Foundation’s programs addressing entrepreneurial education, mentoring, access to capital and fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Thom also leads Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation, a school dedicated to advancing experiential-based entrepreneurial education. Additionally, he oversees collaborative projects with innovative groups such as the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, Kauffman FastTrac, Startup Weekend, the Angel Resource Institute, and Invent Now. Thom also serves on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for fostering Entrepreneurship, is on the Board of Directors for the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program, and is a founding trustee for Innovation Fund America.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Thom was the founding chief marketing officer for JumpStart, a nonprofit economic development organization and seed stage investment fund created to invest in and accelerate the growth of high-potential, early stage companies. Before JumpStart, Ruhe served as president of Optiem LLC, where he led the growth of a nascent marketing practice to a nationally recognized interactive marketing, communications and public relations agency. Earlier in his career, he held positions in technology integration, marketing, finance, sales, and management. His experience spans founding several entrepreneurial endeavors.
Thom is a graduate of Bowling Green State University with a degree in management information systems, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Plant A Fish Foundation.