Neal Dempsey is a California-based Venture Capitalist. However, a large portion of his time and money still play a role right here in the Pacific Northwest where he was raised.
The partner at the Sillicon Valley venture capital firm of Bay Partners gave the University of Washington late last week a gift of $10 million to support the U.W.’s endeavors in both academics and athletics.
The gift by Neal Dempsey, Class of ’64, and his wife Janet, is the largest alumni gift ever to the university, and it follows a $3 million donation the couple made earlier this year.
Half of today’s $10 million donation will go to the Business School’s Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The other $5 million is earmarked for intercollegiate athletics.
Raised in a Tacoma family of modest means, Dempsey earned his UW business degree back in the 60’s on financial aid.
Since 1989, he has been with Bay Partners, financing early-stage technology ventures. The firm receives 3,000 proposals a year, of which it funds 15. Dempsey says he regards the UW as another such worthy investment. And he hopes this UW investment will inspire more people to do the same.
Dempsey hopes to encourage other alumni to support the university – not only financially, but with their time. He serves on four campus bodies: the UW Foundation Board, Business School Advisory Board, Program for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Board and Tyee Board, which advises the athletics department.