Forty Acres Founders

SUPPORTERS

Donors to the Forty Acres Founders
Endowed Excellence Fund

Donors to the Forty Acres Founders Endowed Excellence Fund

The Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship Center would like to thank the donors of the Forty Acres Founders Program for their generous support of Texas Entrepreneurs. Our donors fund seats in the accelerator in perpetuity, enabling undergraduate founders to launch startups from a position of strength and confidence. The contributions of these donors will support many generations of Texas Entrepreneurs and will have a significant impact on each founder’s success.

FrankEGordon_Headshot-V3

Gwen and Frank Gordon
Forty Acres Founders
Endowed Excellence Fund

Established May 2021

Created to support excellence in undergraduate student entrepreneurship at
The University of Texas at Austin


Endowed by Frank Gordon

Frank E Gordon

Managing Partner of Crofton Capital

Frank E Gordon serves as the Managing Partner of Crofton Capital, a Nashville, Tennessee based evergreen venture capital fund. Mr. Gordon also serves as a Director of Nashville Capital Network (NCN) and as a member of the Investment Committee for several NCN affiliated venture funds. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s in Business Administration from Georgia State University.

Stephen Maeker, Headshot

Stephen Maeker
Forty Acres Founders
Endowed Excellence Fund

Established August 2021

Created to support excellence in undergraduate student entrepreneurship at
The University of Texas at Austin


Endowed by Stephen Maeker

Stephen Maeker

FranChoice Consultant

Mr. Maeker has extensive director/senior director level experience in franchising with franchising industry leaders Mobil Oil, TGIFriday’s, Jack in the Box and Papa Murphy’s Take N Bake Pizza. He is a nationally published & award winning franchise consultant with industry leader FranChoice. He is a co-author of international best seller Franchising Freedom. He and his wife Christy are also top performing multi-unit franchisees in Sola Salon Studios, one of the 160+ franchisors that he represents. Mr. Maeker has two grown children, Sydney and Barnes, and a French Bulldog named Harold. He and Christy are both elders at Grand Lakes Presbyterian Church in Katy, Texas.

Michael Tucci
Forty Acres Founders
Endowed Excellence Fund

Established December 2021

Created to support excellence in undergraduate student entrepreneurship at
The University of Texas at Austin


Endowed by Michael Tucci

Michael Tucci

Rebel Capital Founder

After 20 years in retail and merchandising executive leadership, Michael Tucci founded Rebel Capital, a growth investment company, in 2016. His previous roles include CEO and managing partner of Rag & Bone, president of North America Group and North America Retail for Coach, Inc., and executive vice president at Gap. Michael began his career at Macy’s, where he became president of specialty store division, Aeropostale. Michael is an advisor for Allbirds, a direct-to-consumer shoe brand and past director of The Fresh Market. He is the chief of corporate development and a board member of the STEER for Student Athletes, a committee member of Trinity College’s The Future of Athletics Campaign. He lives in Rye, New York with his wife Kim and they have four children, including Ellis Tucci, a finance major in McCombs.

Brian Cruver
Forty Acres Founders
Endowed Excellence Fund

Established July 2022

Created to support excellence in undergraduate student entrepreneurship at
The University of Texas at Austin


Endowed by Brian Cruver

Brian Cruver

AlertMedia Founder

Brian is an entrepreneur, investor, author, and is currently the Founder & Executive Chairman of AlertMedia, founded in 2013. AlertMedia is now the world’s leading provider of emergency communication software, used by over 2,500 enterprise companies in 130+ countries. Before AlertMedia, Brian co-founded Xenex, which developed a germ-killing robot now used in over 700 hospitals globally. He is also an investor and adviser to early stage startups through his investment firm, Marketdriver Ventures. Brian’s focus on starting companies with a positive impact stems, in part, from his experience working at Enron, where he was part of mass layoffs when the energy giant went bankrupt in 2001. He turned his Enron experience and the lessons learned into a best-selling book and later a movie. Brian is a graduate of the USC and received his MBA from the University of Texas. 

FrankEGordon_Headshot-V3

Gwen and Frank Gordon
Forty Acres Founders
Endowed Excellence Fund

Established May 2021

Created to support excellence in undergraduate student entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin

Endowed by Frank Gordon

Stephen Maeker
Forty Acres Founders
Endowed Excellence Fund

Established August 2021

Created to support excellence in undergraduate student entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin

Endowed by Stephen Maeker

Michael Tucci
Forty Acres Founders
Endowed Excellence Fund

Established December 2021

Created to support excellence in undergraduate student entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin

Endowed by Michael Tucci

Brian Cruver
Forty Acres Founders
Endowed Excellence Fund

Established July 2022

Created to support excellence in undergraduate student entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin

Endowed by Brian Cruver