The Larry Wolfen Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was established so students would have the financial means to work on an entrepreneurial project during the summer between the first and second years at UCLA Anderson.
The award was created in memory of Larry Wolfen, a 1993 graduate of UCLA Anderson. Larry died in August of 1994, two months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. His health began to deteriorate in May of 1994, but since he was so young, cancer was not initially suspected. Larry did not smoke, and the cause of the cancer is unknown. By the time the cancer was diagnosed, chemotherapy was unable to send the cancer into remission. Larry remained in charge of his treatment, always keeping his doctors on their toes. He was rational throughout the treatment, and remained calm, with a strong mind, even in the toughest of moments.
Those who knew Larry cherish their memories. He was very bright, energetic, and generous. Larry was an active skier and scuba diver. He loved tackling difficult problems and implementing his own ingenious solutions. Larry was intensely curious, had a strong desire to learn, and had a genuine love of both life and people.
Larry was a great enthusiast for promising start-up companies, and he poured his efforts into venture capital. He compiled an impressive record of finding outstanding business opportunities, and then involving himself in their operations. Larry began his involvement in venture capital in 1988 when he was asked to resuscitate a failing biotech company. He turned the business around, and the company was sold two years later. Larry enrolled in the MBA program at UCLA Anderson to broaden his business skills and enhance his effectiveness in his entrepreneurial endeavors.
Larry's family and friends believe that the best way to continue his entrepreneurial spirit is to provide financial support to similarly promising candidates at UCLA Anderson. The award is intended to help a student conduct exploratory research into an idea, or otherwise advances an entrepreneurial endeavor.