Thom Ruhe

Vice President of Entrepreneurship, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Thom Ruhe is director of entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In addition to managing a joint venture between the Foundation and the office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship within the U.S. Department of Commerce, he likewise oversees collaborative projects between the Foundation and other innovative groups such as Invent Now (parent organization of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Camp Invention and the Collegiate Inventors Competition), the Angel Capital Education Foundation and the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative. Ruhe also curates the online content/resources and communities for Kauffman’s flagship resource for entrepreneurs:

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ruhe was the founding chief marketing officer for JumpStart, a nonprofit economic development organization and seed stage investment fund created to invest in and accelerate the growth of high-potential, early stage companies in Northeast Ohio.

Before JumpStart, Ruhe served as president of Optiem LLC, where he led the growth of a nascent marketing practice to a nationally recognized interactive marketing, communications and public relations agency. Earlier in his career, he held positions in technology integration, marketing, finance, sales, and management. His experience spans founding several entrepreneurial endeavors as well as working with Fortune 500 companies.

Thom is a 1988 U.S. Air Force ROTC graduate of Bowling Green State University with a degree in management information systems, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Plant A Fish Foundation.