Jake Jabs giving $10 million to CU Denver

American Furniture Warehouse CEO Jake Jabs has pledged $10 million to CU Denver.
With the gift, the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship at CU Denver's Business School will be renamed the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship and expand its lauded Business Plan Competition to universities throughout Colorado and the West.
Jabs credits CU Denver's Madhavan Parasarthy, Director of the Center and a marketing professor. "I've been speaking to M.P.'s entrepreneurship class for seven years," he says. "He's really pushing this thing."
The main impetus for the gift is to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs with his "real-world experience," says Jabs.
"The spirit of entrepreneurship is big right now," he explains, "but all of the red tape makes it so much tougher to start a business. Just hiring people you can make a mistake and end up with a lawsuit."
Jabs highlights honesty and good credit as keys to his business success, and he sees the latter as often neglected by today's undergrads. "So many young people ruin their credit at an early age," he says, making it hard for them to realize any of their entrepreneurial dreams.
One of the most recognizable businesspeople in Colorado, Jabs comes from humble beginnings, raised in rural Lodge Grass, Montana, before buying the then-failing American Furniture Warehouse and 1975 and building it into his Front Range empire with 12 stores in about $350 million in annual sales.
With 3,000 total students, the Business School at CU Denver is the largest business school in the Rocky Mountain region.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Eric Peterson with tips and leads for future stories at eric@confluence-denver.com.
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Eric is a Denver-based tech writer and guidebook wiz. Contact him here.
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