On May 4, UCLA Anderson held a ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the new James B. Freedman Pitch Deck, which resides within the walls of the recently constructed UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator. Wielding the scissors was Freedman himself, with family and an esteemed group of friends looking on.

The accelerator is a 10,000-square-foot facility that serves as an incubator for nascent UCLA startups. This on-campus space enables vital collaborations among entrepreneurs, researchers and students across disciplines. The accelerator features 24/7 wireless equipped co-working space for as many as 45 people, a presentation area with state-of-the-art audio/video capability, small- and medium-sized conference rooms, copy and printing facilities, a kitchen and access to UCLA Anderson’s research librarians.

The James B. Freedman Pitch Deck is so named because Freedman’s donation will support programmatic and strategic operating efforts in the Anderson Venture Accelerator and provide students the tools they need to incubate game-changing organizations. “The name really grabbed me," Freedman admitted. " I’ve had to pitch my whole life! It’s a valuable skill.”

The ceremony marked another chapter in a long and mutually beneficial relationship between Freedman and his b-school alma mater, which awarded him an M.B.A. in 1978. Freedman is managing director, chairman and founding principal of Intrepid, a Los Angeles-based investment banking firm. Freedman has served on the board of the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation since 1993 and UCLA Anderson’s Board of Advisors since 2001.

“If our students and alumni seek a prime example of continued engagement with UCLA Anderson, they need look no further than Jim Freedman,” said Dean Judy Olian. He has given his time, advice and financial support since shortly after his graduation from Anderson.

Since Freedman walked into Al Osborne’s microeconomics class in 1976, he has gained more than 30 years of investment banking and corporate finance experience. He is an expert in the financial aspects of corporate strategy and has acted as the principal financial advisor in hundreds of capital raisings and mergers and acquisitions transactions ranging in value from $20 million to $1 billion. Osborne, now senior associate dean at UCLA Anderson, has been Freedman’s mentor to this day, 40 years after the investment banker entered his class at Anderson.

Freedman’s gift to the UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator is part of UCLA Anderson’s $300 million Into The Next campaign. This campaign is part of the university’s broader $4.2 billion Centennial Campaign, which culminates in 2019 with the 100th anniversary of UCLA’s founding. Learn more at anderson.ucla.edu/give.

Read the entire story about Freedman in the UCLA Anderson School blog.