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A Degree Of Success

EntrepreneursMany Tufts graduates have whetted their entrepreneurial appetites with notable forays into the business world. Here is a sampling of one-time Tufts undergraduates that have recently been in the news for their entrepreneurial ventures.


Vikram Akula (A'90)
Founder, SKS Microfinance
Claim to fame: Founded one of the world's fastest growing microfinance institutions; recognized by TIME magazine as one of the world's most influential people. (Past coverage)

John Bello (A'68)
Founder, South Beach Beverage Company (SoBe)
Claim to fame: Became a leader in the beverage industry through his creation of unique SoBe Beverage Company. (Past coverage)

William Cummings (A'58)
Founder, Cummings Properties, LLC, one of the largest real estate development and management firms in Massachusetts.
Claim to fame: Formed and heads the Cummings Foundation, which invests in organizations that contribute to society, including a $50 million investment in Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. (Past coverage)

Micheal Flaherty and Cary Granat (A'90)
Co-founders, Walden Media
Claim to fame: Produced hit films such as "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," "Holes," "Because of Winn-Dixie," and "Ghosts of the Abyss." (Past coverage)

Meg Hourihan (A'94)
Co-founder, Blogger
Claim to fame: Became an online publishing pioneer thanks to her work on co-producing Blogger. (Past coverage)

Ken Irwin (A'66) and Bill Nowlin (A'66)
Co-founders, Rounder Records
Claim to fame: Help run the third-leading independent record label in the United States, publishing titles in genres such as folk, bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, blues, reggae and rock. (Past coverage)

Vanessa Kirsch (A'87)
Founder of New Profit, a company that provides financial resources and support to nonprofits
Claim to fame: Became an innovative philanthropist giving nonprofits the power to produce social change. (Past coverage)

Robin Liss (A'06)
Founder, camcorderinfo.com
Claim to fame: Runs a website that bills itself as "the largest, most comprehensive publication on the web for camcorder reviews," attracting 12,000-plus visitors daily. (Past coverage)


Should your name be here? Are you a student or graduate who has been involved in an entrepreneurial venture? Share your story here.


Seth Merrin (A'82)
Founder, LiquidNet, which works to streamline stock trading practices
Claim to fame: Transformed Wall Street in the 1990s by automating the stock trading system and by creating LiquidNet, which connects big stock buyers and sellers on the internet. (Past coverage)

Andrew Murstein (A'86)
Founder, Medallion Financial Corporation
Claim to fame: Started his own bank, Medallion Financial Corporation, which has an estimated worth of $800 million. (Past coverage)

Pierre Omidyar (A'88)
Founder, eBay and co-founder Omidyar Network
Claim to fame: Became an innovative investor, and proved that for-profit business can benefit society and make the world a better place, through his founding of eBay and his investment in microfinance. (Past coverage)

Michael Sexton (A'88)
Co-founder, Trump University
Claim to fame: Became a business partner of Donald Trump to create Trump University, an online educational service that trains people to become successful entrepreneurs. (Past coverage)

Amy Simmons (A'82)
Founder, Amy's Ice Cream
Claim to fame: Founded a multi-million dollar chains of ice cream shops based out of Austin, Texas. (Past coverage)


This story originally ran on Sept. 25, 2006.