Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship

Rock Center was made possible by and named in honor of pioneering venture capitalist Arthur Rock (MBA 1951).

The present-day home of the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship was constructed in 1970 as headquarters for the Harvard Business Review. The modern, three-story 27,782-square-foot concrete and glass structure was designed by Kubitz & Pepi and dedicated in 1974 as Teele Hall, in honor of the late Stanley F. Teele (MBA 1930, DCS 1933), Dean of the HBS Faculty from 1955 to 1962. The building, which housed The Coop, a post office branch, and a barbershop, was repurposed several times as faculty and administrative office space before its extensive renovation and rededication as the hub of the School’s entrepreneurial education activities in 2003. Today, the building provides offices for more than 30 HBS faculty members whose research, teaching, and course development focuses on entrepreneurial management and for Rock administrative staff. Entrepreneurial Management is the second-largest academic unit at the School, and course offerings have multiplied rapidly over the last 10 years, keeping pace with student and faculty interest. Over 50 percent of HBS alumni become entrepreneurs at some point in their careers.

About the Name

The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship was dedicated in 2003 in honor of a generous HBS supporter and pioneering San Francisco-based venture capitalist who helped launch some of the best known entrepreneurial ventures of the 20th century, including Apple, Intel, Teledyne, and Scientific Data Systems. Expressing the School’s gratitude at the dedication ceremony, Dean Kim B. Clark observed, “Arthur has helped make possible products such as microprocessors and computers, which in turn have helped companies create hundreds of thousands of jobs and change our lives, in the workplace and at home.”

Arthur Rock (MBA 1951) graduated from Syracuse University and served in the US Army before earning his MBA. He began his investment career at the New York firm of Hayden, Stone & Company, where he put together the collaborative team that founded Fairchild Semiconductor. After moving to California in 1961, Rock and investor Tommy Davis formed Davis & Rock, which posted an extraordinary 40 percent annual growth rate throughout the 1960s.

In 1968, Rock launched his own firm, Arthur Rock & Company, which was instrumental in the birth of Apple and Intel. Unlike many venture funders, Rock’s formula for success relies on maintaining long-term ties with the companies he finances, often staying on company boards for decades. HBS Professor Emeritus Howard Stevenson once said of Rock: “If someone came to Arthur and said they wanted to make money, he would say he is not interested. But if someone said they wanted to build the foundation of a good company, Arthur would help that person.”

A 1987 Alumni Achievement Award recipient, Rock has been an enthusiastic supporter of entrepreneurial studies at HBS for many years. In 1981, he and classmate Fayez Sarofim funded the Sarofim-Rock Professorship, the School’s first endowed chair in entrepreneurship. From 1997 to 2002, he served as the founding chairman of the advisory board of the HBS California Research Center in the heart of Silicon Valley. His landmark 2003 gift to establish the Rock Center funded not only a home base for entrepreneurship faculty, but also a lasting foundation for innovative course development, MBA and doctoral fellowships, publications, conferences, and research projects in this burgeoning field.

At the time of the gift, Rock noted, “Harvard Business School has long been at the forefront of understanding the many facets of the entrepreneurial process—from the intricacies of finance to the art of leadership. I am delighted to be able to do something that supports those efforts both now and for the future.”

Rock is cofounder, board member, and president emeritus of The BASIC Fund, the Bay Area Scholarships for Inner-city Children Fund, which provides scholarships to inner-city children in the Bay Area. He is also very engaged and plays a significant role as a board member of Teach For America and Leadership for Educational Equality.