NC IDEA CEO Thom Ruhe to receive entrepreneurial leadership honor TODAY

Thom Ruhe, president and CEO of NC IDEA, will be presented with the Elon University Medal for Entrepreneurial Leadership on Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. in the LaRose Digital Theatre.

Thom Ruhe, president and CEO of NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to helping North Carolinians realize their full entrepreneurial potential, will receive the Elon University Medal for Entrepreneurial Leadership during a presentation on Oct. 7.

headshot of Thom RuheHosted by the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, the presentation will take place at 5 p.m. in the LaRose Digital Theatre in the Ernest A. Koury, Sr. Business Center. A reception will follow.

The Elon University Medal for Entrepreneurial Leadership recognizes an individual who is a leader in his or her industry and who exemplifies the values of Elon University – integrity, innovation and creativity, passion for lifelong learning, and a commitment to building a dynamic community.

Ruhe works with entrepreneurs, governments, universities and NGOs around the world to embrace the entrepreneurial mindset needed to grow vibrant economies. He spent the first 20 years of his professional life in a variety of startups and high-growth companies, and the last dozen years helping other organizations.

During his seven-year tenure at the Kauffman Foundation, he directed the Foundation’s programs addressing entrepreneurship education, mentoring, access to capital and fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems. He also led Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation, a school dedicated to advancing community deployed experiential-based entrepreneurship education, with a focus on underserved populations.

Ruhe has served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Entrepreneurship, addressed the United Nations Assembly on entrepreneurship, and lectured at conferences around the world, in a variety of capacities.

He currently serves on the Council on Competitiveness, National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers’ Unleashing Capabilities for Work and Entrepreneurship working group, the North Carolina Rural Center’s Small Business Policy Task Force, and the board of advisors for the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.