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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Todd Wagner, philanthropist and founder of, to keynote IU's Entrepreneur Day

EDITORS: Wagner will be available for media interviews between 11 a.m. and noon on Friday in Bloomington. Contact George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846 or to make arrangements for interviews by phone or in person.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Todd R. Wagner, an Indiana University alumnus, philanthropist and co-founder of one of the most successful Internet initial public offerings in history, will be the keynote speaker at Entrepreneur Day on Friday (April 11) at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business in Bloomington.

Now in its third year, Entrepreneur Day gives IU students and alumni, business leaders and venture capitalists an opportunity to come together for an afternoon of discussion about issues facing high-potential start-up firms.

Wagner, who graduated from IU in 1983 with a degree in business, will speak at 1 p.m. in Room 2059 of the Graduate and Executive Education Center, 1275 E. 10th St. on the Bloomington campus.

The event is free and open to the public. However, registration is required by contacting the Johnson Center on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at 812-855-4248 or For those coming from off-campus, a parking garage is adjacent to the Graduate and Executive Education Center.

Other presenters will be Steve Bryant, vice president of the Indiana Health Industry Forum, who will provide an update on the climate for life science initiatives in the state; and Thomas Miller of Thomas P. Miller and Associates, who will discuss the current state of information technology in Indiana. Students in the Kelley School will present their research in poster sessions, and there wil be ample opportunities for networking. The program is expected to conclude at about 4:30 p.m.

Wagner, of Dallas, Texas, is founder and chief executive officer of the Todd R. Wagner Foundation and 2929 Entertainment. Prior to that, Wagner co-founded and was CEO of, leading it to one of the most successful IPOs in history and selling the company to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in July 1999. At the time of its sale, was the leading Internet destination for multimedia programming.

The company grew in less than four years to more than 350 employees in 11 offices throughout the United States and Canada. Wagner structured the company's private and public financings, including obtaining private financing from companies including Motorola, Intel, Yahoo! and Premiere Radio Networks.

In November 1999, Wagner turned down the opportunity to serve as chief operating officer of Yahoo! to pursue other interests. Wagner created the Todd R. Wagner Foundation to improve the lives of at-risk children and inner-city entrepreneurs.

Wagner also created 2929 Entertainment to leverage his expertise in digital technology and his passion for the movie business. 2929 Entertainment is the parent company of Rysher Entertainment. Rysher owns a substantial film and television programming library, including syndication rights to shows such as "Hogan's Heroes" and "Sex and the City" and the rights to "Star Search." 2929 Entertainment also holds interests in Immortal Entertainment, a diversified music and film production company in Santa Monica, Calif.; Magnolia Pictures, a Denver-based movie exhibition company; and the film Searching for Debra Winger, which was honored at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.

In addition to being an IU graduate, Wagner has a degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

IU's Kelley School of Business is one of the best places in the nation for budding entrepreneurs. It was recognized by the editors of Entrepreneur magazine as one of the 12 top-tier national programs. The IU program was one of just three in the nation ranked in the top 10 by both faculty and alumni.