In October Nikolai Tangen W’92, founder of the London-based investment partnership AKO Capital, donated $25 million to the Wharton School through his philanthropic organization, the AKO Foundation, in hopes of nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit within every Wharton student.
The gift will go into brick and mortar: a 70,000-square-foot entrepreneurship center called Tangen Hall to be built at the corner of 40th and Sansom Streets. Featuring collaboration spaces, a storefront retail space for student ventures, a test kitchen for food-centric startups, a virtual reality “cave,” and a maker space outfitted with 3D printers and laser cutters, the new building will be “a game-changing facility for innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology,” according to Wharton dean Geoffrey Garrett. It will also serve as a central hub for established programs including the Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program, Weiss Tech House, the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center, the Wharton Small Business Development Center, and the master’s level Integrated Product Design Program.
Construction is slated to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2020.
“This physical space will allow faculty to more strongly support students who turn ideas into outcomes that will transform business for years to come,” said Wharton Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Karl Ulrich [“Method Inventor,” Sept|Oct 2016].
The gift will also establish the Katja and Nicolai Tangen International Endowed Scholarship, which will allocate funding to international students who could otherwise not afford tuition.