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
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. He is an
associate editor of the Journal of Financial Economics.
Professor Kaplan teaches advanced MBA, law and executive courses in entrepreneurial finance and
private equity, corporate financial management, 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 almost $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 (sold to Just Eat Takeaway for $7B+), Braintree/Venmo (sold to eBay for
$800 million), MedSpeed, 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. since
2015. He 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.