Jeff Kearl headshot
ORANGE, Calif. — Chapman University’s Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship will host its fourth annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award Dinner honoring serial entrepreneur, Angel investor, and venture capitalist Jeff Kearl. The dinner will take place Feb. 27, 2014, in Chapman University’s Sandhu Conference Center.

Kearl is on the Board of Skullcandy and a board member at Needle, Julep and Connect SDSI. He also serves on the investment advisory committees at Innoventures Capital Partners and Mercato Partners. In 2012, Kearl co-founded Precedent Investments, a private equity fund with Josh James, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment. Precedent’s portfolio includes BlackJet, Julep, Science, Uber and Viddy. Kearl has also made angel investments in several start-ups including 99 Designs, (NASDAQ: ACOM), Coupa, Domo, Dynamic Signal, Familylink (acquired by MyHeritage),, Lithium, Matuse, Needle, Omniture (IPO then acquired by Adobe), Outright (acquired by GoDaddy), Skullcandy (NASDAQ: SKUL), and ZEFR. He holds a BA from Brigham Young University and lives in San Clemente, CA.

“We are delighted to honor Jeff Kearl as Chapman’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year,” said Richard Sudek, Ph.D., director of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics at Chapman University. “Jeff’s dedication to helping entrepreneurs is a lesson in leadership. His repeated ability to transform companies and create success is why we chose to recognize him as Chapman Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Kearl is the Chairman and CEO of Stance, a company with an original point of view on socks. Prior to that he served as Executive Vice President and on the Board of Directors at Logoworks, an Internet startup backed by Benchmark Capital and Shasta Ventures. In 2006 Logoworks was ranked #66 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies in the US and was successfully acquired by HP in 2007. After the acquisition, Kearl ran strategy and new ventures for HP’s Internet services businesses. Prior to Logoworks, Kearl was involved with several start-ups, including: vSpring Capital where he worked on investments in Altiris (IPO then acquired by Symantec), Cerberian (acquired by Blue Coat Systems), comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR), Control4, Mediconnect Global (acquired by Verisk Analytics) and Senforce (acquired by Novell).

“It is quite an honor to be recognized by Chapman University with this award,” said Kearl. “Working with Chapman’s Leatherby Center is a fun experience – I am inspired by the passion of the students and enjoy being able to learn from them,” Kearl continued.

“This award is designed to acknowledge those who build great companies,” continued Dr. Sudek who is also Chairman Emeritus, Tech Coast Angels. “The Chapman Entrepreneur of the Year encapsulates the dreams, hard work, bold vision, passion and the persistence required to build a successful company.”

This is Chapman’s fourth annual Entrepreneur of the Year award. Past recipients include Kay Napier, CEO of Arbonne International; William Wang, founder and CEO of Vizio; and Richard Woolcott, chairman and CEO of Volcom. Proceeds from this event support student entrepreneurship at Chapman. For sponsorship contact Kirsten Mangers at 714-272-9518, for general tickets contact Nicole Cooper at 714-744-7870.

For more information about the dinner, please visit

About the Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Ethics
Established in 1995, Chapman University’s Leatherby Center offers one of the nation’s most respected programs for entrepreneurial young men and women. The center aims to prepare and inspire principled, dynamic entrepreneurs whose ideas improve lives and solve important problems. Through innovative courses and real-world leadership, the center provides students with access to a range of resources, including professional mentoring, entrepreneurial internships, a multi-university network, community resources, events, speakers, research, professional groups, competitions and boot camps. Ranked as the #13 Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program by Business Week, the Leatherby Center is unique in its approach to connecting students with inventors, investors and real-world entrepreneurs.
Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University provides a uniquely personalized and interdisciplinary educational experience to highly qualified students. Our programs encourage innovation, creativity and collaboration, and focus on developing global citizen-leaders who are distinctively prepared to improve their community and their world. Visit us at

Follow us on Facebook at: Chapman University Facebook
On Twitter at: @ChapmanU
On YouTube at: Chapman University YouTube Channel

Log In
Open Main Menu