Ratmir Timashev’s face lights up at the mention of the Center for Software Innovation coming to Ohio State and the game changer it will be for venturesome students and faculty inspired to develop and grow technology enterprises.
Thirty-three years ago, this resource would have helped him — fresh out of grad school — build his own fledgling business, focused first on computer components, then on software. Soon, because of a $110 million gift from Ratmir and Angela Timashev through the Timashev Family Foundation, it will assist those with similar aspirations.
The largest single gift in Ohio State history, announced in mid-February, it will fund unique academic offerings, hands-on industry experience, scholarships and internships for students. It will create endowed professorships in the College of Engineering and Fisher College of Business, support faculty who teach software innovation and create an accelerator to bring new concepts to market.
Of the accelerator, Timashev says: “This is designed for students, faculty and other qualified candidates who have startup ideas and need help to accelerate their ideas to the next level. We are going to bring lots of other startups from around the country and even the world to that accelerator.”
It’s part of a bold vision, one grounded in practicality and fueled by ingenuity.
“We want the Midwest and Central Ohio to be known as the next high-tech mecca — a place where companies, when they think about building or expanding or recruiting, think about Ohio State and Columbus,” he says. “They can come here, open offices and recruit for functions such as sales, marketing and product development.”
The Timashevs’ gift provides initial funding for the center to be housed on two floors of a new building focused on research and entrepreneurship in the Carmenton innovation district. Construction of the building will begin once additional external funding is secured.
The Center for Software Innovation’s first cohort of students is expected to begin study in fall 2024.