I was fortunate to work with Richard Florida and crew is Dayton, OH a few years ago, unfortunately I didn’t get to meet pet food entrepreneur Clay Mathile. He is now spending some of his earnings on providing boot camp for entrepreneurs and his work highlights the breadth of the entrepreneurship education market. From the Forbes interview with Mr. Mathile:
Clay Mathile, pet food billionaire (net worth: roughly $1.8 billion), father of five, and founder of the Aileron Institute, a non-profit boot camp for small business owners looking to take their companies to that coveted next level. Mathile, 70, sold pet food maker Iams Co. to Procter & Gamble for $2.3 billion in 1999. Since then he has spent $130 million to develop a series of training programs for tomorrow’s tycoons, housed in a 70,000-square-foot facility on a sprawling, bucolic campus near Dayton, Ohio. Core to Aileron’s approach: instruction by real businesses owners and experts—not stuffy, unseasoned academics. (For a list of Aileron advisers, click here; for a full course description, click here.)
The interview is worth reading. BTW, from the Aileron homepage:
Aileron was built to help America’s aspiring entrepreneurs of today and for generations to come. I believe that entrepreneurs perform the most noble acts of anyone in a free society. By putting their capital at risk and creating jobs for others, they keep the Great American Dream alive.
We believe that those who engage themselves in all that we endeavor to share will grow in knowledge and passion to take their business and their dreams to the next level.