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Record-setting $110M gift will launch the Center for Software Innovation at Ohio State

Gift from Ratmir Timashev and family is largest in university history

A historic, $110 million gift from the Timashev Family Foundation to The Ohio State University will establish the Center for Software Innovation, expanding opportunities for students in entrepreneurship and advancing education in software innovation, product management, sales and marketing.

The center will bring together the College of Engineering, Fisher College of Business and other partners in creative new ways, including through the creation of endowed professorships, cutting-edge academic offerings and hands-on industry experience for students. The Center for Software Innovation aims to catalyze efforts across the region to create a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and product development activity.

“This historic gift will be transformational for our students, faculty and the entire heartland and beyond,” said President Kristina M. Johnson. “Ratmir and Angela met in Columbus, and their generosity has been remarkable. A brilliant entrepreneur, Ratmir launched two globally successful companies right here in Columbus. He embodies the American Dream – study and work hard, become successful and give back to those that supported you along the way.”

The Timashev family’s commitment, announced today by the Board of Trustees, is the largest single gift in Ohio State history.

“It is my privilege to give back to the Buckeye community, which has played a tremendous role throughout my life and career,” said Ratmir Timashev. “Bringing together the best of academia and startup innovation will empower the dreams of future generations of students, and I look forward to helping bring this vision to reality for Ohio State and Columbus.”

The Center for Software Innovation will maintain a fund to assist professors teaching software innovation, offer student scholarships and internships, and create an incubator program to support students and faculty. In addition, the gift provides initial funding for the center to be housed on two floors of a new, state-of-the-art entrepreneurship and research-focused building. The university looks forward to beginning construction in the growing Carmenton community once additional, external funding is secured.

“I want to thank the Timashev family for their historic gift that will accelerate The Ohio State University’s national standing in a critical field of study and help prepare the next generation to succeed here in central Ohio and beyond. We know software innovation and development is central to the knowledge economy, and this endowment will create future opportunities for our students and faculty,” said U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-03).

“Ohio State continues to educate and prepare Ohioans for the careers of tomorrow, and this generous gift from the Timashev Family Foundation recognizes the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship as we all work to grow Ohio’s technology workforce,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Carey (OH-15).

This gift builds on the Timashev Family Foundation’s history of support for education, innovation and the arts at Ohio State. In 2020, the Timashevs gave $17 million for the Timashev Family Music Building, a state-of-the-art facility which opened its doors to students in October 2022. Veeam, a software company Timashev founded, gave the College of Arts and Sciences $5 million in 2016 to support student scholarships, teaching and research in data analytics and chemical physics.

“Ohio State is fortunate to have incredible alumni whose generosity provides a unique opportunity to advance future learning,” said Hiroyuki Fujita, chair of the Board of Trustees. “The Center for Software Innovation will offer new pathways to successful research and careers in a growing digital economy.”

Ratmir Timashev earned his master’s degree in chemical physics at Ohio State in 1996 and went on to build innovative software and computer businesses in Columbus. Choosing to stay in Ohio after graduation, Ratmir’s companies – beginning with Aelita Software and later Veeam – grew to global prominence before they were acquired by Quest Software and Insight Partners, respectively. He built a home for his family in Columbus and credits the opportunities he received at Ohio State with helping him succeed in business, marketing and innovation. Ratmir serves on The Ohio State University Foundation Board of Directors and resides in Connecticut with his family.

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