About Steven N. Kaplan

Steven N. Kaplan is the Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Thomas Cole Distinguished Visiting Professor Chair at the University of Chicago Law School. Professor Kaplan is also the Kessenich E.P. Faculty Director of the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.


Professor Kaplan researches private equity, venture capital, corporate governance, executive talent and income inequality. He has testified to U.S. Senate and U.S. House Committees about his research on private equity and executive compensation. He is the co-creator of the Kaplan-Schoar PME (Public Market Equivalent) private equity benchmarking approach. A Fortune Magazine article referred to him as "probably the foremost private equity scholar in the galaxy.” A JP Morgan report called him “the patron saint of private equity research.” His findings and opinions regularly appear in the business media. Professor Kaplan is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  With Paul Gompers, he has written An Advanced Introduction to Private Equity.


Professor Kaplan teaches advanced MBA, law and executive courses in entrepreneurial finance and private equity, corporate finance, corporate governance, and wealth management. His course in entrepreneurial finance and private equity is consistently among the most popular in the school. BusinessWeek named him one of the top twelve business school teachers in the country and one of the top four teachers of entrepreneurship.

Professor Kaplan co-founded the entrepreneurship program at Booth. With his students, he helped start Booth’s business plan competition, the New Venture Challenge (NVC), which has spawned hundreds of companies. The companies have raised over $1 billion from investors (including Accel, Andreesen Horowitz, Benchmark, Index and Sequoia) and have created at least $8 billion in market value. Companies include GrubHub, Braintree/Venmo, MedSpeed, Foxtrot, Tovala and Simple Mills. The NVC has been rated one of the top two university accelerator programs in the U.S. as well as one of the top eight accelerators of any kind in the U.S.  Professor Kaplan and the Polsky team helped start Hyde Park Angels which has been named one of the top angel groups in the U.S.

Professor Kaplan has been awarded the Phoenix Award four times and the Arthur Kelly Prize twice for exhibiting exceptional dedication to his students outside of the classroom.


Professor Kaplan serves on the board of Morningstar (MORN). He co-created the Lincoln Middle Market Index. He also serves on the advisory boards of several private equity and venture capital funds.


Professor Kaplan earned his PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University. He received his AB, summa cum laude, in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard College.