IIT Alumnus Ed Kaplan Announces $10 Million Challenge Grant for Planned Institute Focused On Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Illinois Institute of Technology President John L. Anderson announced that alumnus Ed Kaplan, successful entrepreneur, innovator and long-time member of the Board of Trustees, along with his wife Carol, have created a $10 million Challenge Grant to establish the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship.

Construction on the $40 million, 100,000-square-foot facility could begin as early as Summer 2015 with a completion date anticipated in 2017. The new facility will be located on Illinois Tech’s Main Campus in Bronzeville, which was designed by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. The specific site has not been determined yet.

With a focus on innovative thinking and transitioning new ideas into products and processes, the Kaplan Institute will house workshops, media labs, classrooms, collaborative spaces, and offices for the University’s internationally-renowned Institute of Design, Idea Shop, and Entrepreneurship and Leadership Academies.

“The establishment of the Kaplan Institute is a defining milestone in IIT’s history,” Anderson says. “It will be transformational in terms of how we teach our students—and all IIT undergraduates will spend time here as part of their educational experience.”

Kaplan, a Chicagoan who earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT in 1965, co-founded Zebra Technologies, a global leader in bar code technology.

“IIT will be transformed into a center of technical innovation in Chicago, said Kaplan. “The Center will help grow the tech-ecosystem here in Chicago and be a catalyst for innovation.”

Kaplan’s $10 million gift is a challenge grant and is in addition to the $1 million he had previously given to support this initiative.

Ed and Carol Kaplan