Founder and Funder: A Conversation on Education, Scale, and Spark
Please join the Social Enterprise Initiative on November 6 for our Social Impact Leadership Series event with Chris Balme and Art Bilger, '77.
Founder and Funder: Chris Balme founded Spark in 2004. Art Bilger has been instrumental in Spark's ability to scale and in 2013, made it possible to open Spark Philadelphia, the first Spark east coast location and the new home of nearly 100 apprenticeships for students. Join us for a conversation on the relationship between founder and funder, what motivates philanthropy, and how an organization thinks about and relates to its stakeholders.
Chris Balme is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spark, a rapidly-scaling national nonprofit working to increase high school graduation rates. Spark's programs address the staggering 25% national dropout rate, serving at-risk students by matching them with apprenticeships in professional workplaces. Chris holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business, and has taught with the Breakthrough Collaborative and in the Philadelphia public schools. For his work at Spark, Chris has been honored with the Bay Area's Jefferson Award for Public Service, the New Leaders Council "Top 40 under 40" Leaders Award, the Draper Richards Kaplan Fellowship, and the Ashoka Fellowship.
Art Bilger is the Managing Member of Shelter Capital Partners, LLC, an entity engaged in venture capital investment management, which he founded while acting as the Vice Chairman of Akamai Technologies, Inc. He is an investor in and director of various private companies engaged in activities where content is integrated with new technologies. He has served as the President, Chief Operating Officer and a Director of New World Communications Group, Inc., and was a founding partner of Apollo Advisors, LP, an institutional private equity firm. Art serves as a member of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School Board of Overseers and Vice Chairman of the Skirball Cultural Center. Art Bilger has his B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and MBA from the University of Chicago.
Immediately following the talk, join us for hors d’oeuvres and beverages.
When & Where
Chicago Booth Social Enterprise Initiative
The Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI) at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business supports the aspirations of students and alumni to impact societal issues and furthers research on how institutions help solve social problems. Through ongoing curricular development, alumni and student programming, and support of faculty pursuits, SEI builds on Chicago Booth's commitment to rigorous analysis and its discipline-based approach to understanding organizations, markets, and policy.