2011 Honorees

Recognized on Friday, October 14, 2011

Video: 2011 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Event
Video: 2011 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame - Mir Ibrahim Rahman
Video: 2011 Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame - Stephen Spinelli

Mir Ibrahim Rahman ’00
Co-founder and CEO
GEO TV Network

Mir Ibrahim Rahman ’00 is co-founder and CEO of GEO TV Network, Pakistan’s most popular and largest media brand. A former Goldman Sachs investment banker, specializing in media and telecom, Mir has overseen the launch and growth of GEO from a five-member operation out of a hotel to a 2,500+ strong South Asian content producer and broadcaster with 10 channels globally. The scion of Pakistan’s most prominent media family, Jang Group, Rahman had an early exposure to media. According to Rahman, GEO’s mission is “to create an enabling platform for thinking and questioning in Pakistan.” The New York Times has noted that “GEO has changed the media landscape” of the country.

GEO has received the National Association of Broadcaster’s International Excellence Award. The award, given to the channel that has had the most impact in its community, points to GEO’s contribution in some of the most innovative, creative and exposing programming created in Pakistan.

Rahman graduated summa cum laude with honors from Babson College in economics, finance, and entrepreneurship in 2000, and co-founded GEO by age 25. While at Babson, he was a John H. Muller Business Plan Prize finalist and won The Wall Street Journal Award.

Recently, Rahman took a sabbatical and earned his master’s degree in political administration from Harvard University, where he became the first Muslim (and second South Asian) to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service from the Kennedy School of Government. The award recognized his and his team’s contribution in the historical lawyers movement that brought independent judiciary to Pakistan, a historical peace campaign between India and Pakistan, and other groundbreaking work that helps to overcome the differences in religion, culture, and ethnicity.

Rahman is a World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader for 2011, the youngest member of the Young Presidents Organization in Pakistan, and a founding director of Mir Khalil ur Rahman Foundation, an NGO that raised more than 17 million dollars for the devastating flood in the beginning of 2011. In addition to his responsibilities at the TV Network, Rahman also has started Pakistan’s largest record label, as well as GEO Films. GEO Films’ second project, Bol, launched in mid-2011—about women and minority rights—has broken Pakistan’s box-office record. The previous record was held by GEO’s first film, In the Name of God, a film about difference between fundamentals and fundamentalism.

Stephen Spinelli Jr. M’92
President, Philadelphia University

Stephen Spinelli Jr. M’92, became president of Philadelphia University on September 1, 2007, and has many years of leadership experience in academia and business. Under his leadership, Philadelphia University is implementing a bold strategic plan to bolster the university’s position as a transformative force in professional higher education through an innovative curriculum based on transdisciplinary, active, and real-world learning that is infused with the liberal arts.

Previously, Spinelli held a variety of leadership positions at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, including vice provost for entrepreneurship and global management, chair of the entrepreneurship division, and director of The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship. As vice provost, Spinelli was instrumental in strengthening and growing important initiatives, including the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the world’s largest collaborative research project studying entrepreneurship.

Spinelli’s work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Business Venturing, British Management Journal, and Frontiers of Entrepreneurship. He also has been featured in such popular press as the The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Boston Globe, and Entrepreneur magazine. He has authored numerous business cases and co-authored the books Business Plans That Work, Franchising: Pathway to Wealth Creation, How to Raise Capital, Never Bet the Farm, Entrepreneurship: The Engine of Growth, and New Venture Creation for the 21st Century.

Spinelli has consulted for major corporations such as Fidelity Investments, Intel Corporation, IBM, and Allied Domecq. He has served in leadership roles for a number of community, business, and professional associations and, as a professor, has been dedicated to his students, providing countless hours of mentoring, coaching, and support to those studying the entrepreneurial process.

Spinelli co-founded Jiffy Lube International and was chairman and CEO of the American Oil Change Corporation, helping to pioneer the quick lube industry nationwide and turning Jiffy Lube into the nation’s dominant competitor with more than 1,000 service centers.

Spinelli earned his PhD in economics from The Management School, Imperial College, University of London, his MBA from Babson College, and his BA in economics from McDaniel College.

2011 Rising Stars

Global Healthy Living Foundation – Seth Ginsberg ’03
GoGaga – Jill Cartwright M’07
Intern Bridge – Rich Bottner ’07
One Hen – Amma Sefa-Dedeh M’09
P’Kolino – JB Schneider M’05 and Antonio Turco-Rivas M’05
Runkeeper – Jason Jacobs M’05
The Furniture Trust – Christine Mosholder M’03