🤖🎓 Issue #79: HMC - Claremont's Science & Technology Commitment
The founding history of Harvey Mudd College, the original Mudders that shaped it, and the college's impressive startup and technological success
💬 Welcome to issue #79 of Between the Lines
Good morning & happy Thursday. Welcome to part five in our seven-part series on the entrepreneurial history of the Claremont Colleges — Harvey Mudd College. In case you missed them, parts one, two, three, and four were about the founding stories of Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University, Scripps College, and Claremont McKenna College.
Read on to learn more about the founding history of HMC and the impressive entrepreneurs and startup founders that have graduated from the college…it’s a Claremont world out there. 👇
~ Josh & Miles
📊 6th Street Stats: Claremont’s Science & Technology Commitment
Authors: Josh Tatum & Miles Bird
After CMC was founded in 1946 and added as the fourth installation of The Claremont Colleges, there was still a taste for more in Claremont. Four was great, but why not five? After all, Ellen Browning Scripps’s land donation for the Consortium’s expansion in 1936 was still far from being fully utilized. So, as the 50s got underway, gears were turning, and proposals were starting for a Claremont addition.
During the 1950s, the world was still largely dealing with the aftermath of WWll, and the atomic age was in full swing. The fear of nuclear attack and the promise of nuclear power started to pervade much of American culture. Nuclear science and physics were front and center during the decade, not to mention the brewing space race and the approaching computer age in sight. Needless to say, the 1950s was an exciting time for the advancement of science and technology.
Unsurprisingly, as the talks began about adding a fifth member to the Consortium, a college focussing on science and engineering education was a top priority for those involved…especially for Harvey Steeley Mudd.
After CGU’s founding in 1925, Harvey served for over 20 years as Chairman of its Board of Fellows. He was also heavily involved in helping Professor Story get CMC off the ground. As a long-time engineer himself, Harvey was dead set on making sure Claremont’s newest addition to its consortium would focus on engineering and science.
Unfortunately, Harvey Steeley Mudd tragically died in 1955, but not before laying the groundwork for what would become HMC. Shortly after his death, his wife Mildred Mudd financially supported the planned undergraduate college of science and engineering to be named after her husband. Mildred and other family members contributed over $2M to officially endow Harvey Mudd College, and HMC became the fifth institute in the consortium.
The endowment of HMC in 1955 came at a perfect time for American education. Two years after the endowment in 1957, Sputnik l launched, and the Space Race made technical education a priority for the U.S. HMC was ready with open doors to students interested in pursuing careers in science, mathematics, and engineering.
Since its founding, HMC has produced some of the most impactful engineers, scientists, and leaders and the nation’s highest rates of graduates who go on to earn PhDs. Unsurprisingly, many of these leaders, both past and present, have also pursued entrepreneurial ventures within science and technology and have had no shortage of success.
Historically, over 260 HMC graduates have gone on to found over 240 venture-backable startups in the technology sphere, and since 2012, these startups have raised over $4B in VC funding.
HMC entrepreneurs have also had at least 39 of their startups get acquired for close to $11B in known acquisition amounts. These acquisitions include 11 different HMC-founded startups that sold for $100M or more, like —
GitHub, a well-known developer tooling company co-founded by HMC dropout Tom Preston-Werner and acquired by Microsoft for $7.5B.
InstaMed, a financial healthcare company co-founded by Chris Seib and acquired by JP Morgan for $600M.
Heptio, a cloud-computing company co-founded by Joe Beda and acquired by VMware for $550M.
Mir Protocol, a crypto zero-knowledge proofs company co-founded by Daniel Lubarov and acquired by Polygon for $400M.
Along with impressive acquisitions, HMC founders have also had five different IPOs with current combined public market caps of $7.2B+. These include companies like MaxLinear (a semi-conductor company co-founded by Raymond Montemayor with a ~$2.9B market cap), Extreme Networks (a cloud-networking company co-founded by Gordon Stitt with a ~$2.5B market cap), and Matterport (a digital twin company co-founded by Michael Beebe with a ~$1B market cap).
However, not all of HMC’s massive startups have already gone public or been acquired. Of the 244 venture-backed startups founded by Mudd entrepreneurs, 146 of them still remain private with combined known private valuations of well over $8B. These companies include unicorn startups like Helix (a biotech and genetics company co-founded by Scott Burke) and LaunchDarkly (a developer tooling company co-founded by fellow Mudd classmates John Kodumal and Edith Harbaugh).
260+ founders, 240+ companies, 39 acquisitions, 5 unicorns, 5 IPOs, $4.4B raised, and $17B+ in exit amounts…👇
🤝 Pardon the Introduction: Self-Service Data Tooling
Michael Irvine is a Claremont alumnus and software engineer. As the data lead at Zearn (an EdTech nonprofit), he spent most of his time trying to make Zearn's data easy to use. Tools like Looker claimed to enable "self-service" data but never lived up to it. From talking to other data leaders, he realized it wasn't just his problem — most data teams faced this challenge.
Now, Michael is building Delphi to solve this problem. Delphi adds a natural language layer to existing tools for data teams who struggle with self-service, making them radically easier to use. It lets users ask questions like "why are support requests up the last few days" without waiting on a data analyst. He's built a Slack app prototype and is alpha-testing it with folks from the data community.
It's integrated with dbt and Lightdash, so if you use either one, reach out, and he'll get you an invite. If you don't use those tools, but are interested and want to chat data — book time on his calendar or reach out via email.
💼 Who’s Hiring?: Living Carbon & Coursedog
Living Carbon, co-founded by Claremont graduate and CEO Maddie Hall, is a public benefit corporation with a mission to responsibly rebalance the planet’s carbon cycle using the inherent power of plants. The biotech startup recently raised a $21M Series A led by Temasek, Lowercarbon Capital, and Felicis Ventures. Living Carbon is targeting to have over four million of their hybrid poplar seedlings planted by the spring of 2024 to reduce the carbon footprint of companies and communities across the US and turn land assets into carbon sinks. They’re currently hiring for several open positions:
Claremont alumnus Nicholas Diao is the CTO and co-founder of Coursedog – an integrated academic operations platform. Founded in 2018, Coursedog empowers academic administrators to support on-time completions and operational excellence with integrated academic and event scheduling, course demand projections, curriculum management, and online catalog solutions. Coursedog’s co-founders are Forbes 30 Under 30 Award winners, and the company raised a Series A last year led by First Round Capital and Coatue. They’re looking for a Customer Success Manager to join their team:
Check out the other ~5,000 open jobs at 400+ Claremont-affiliated companies here on our Storyboard. Plus, create a profile and enter your preferences to get alerted to new job postings relevant to you, be they the 1,000+ remote jobs, 100+ internships, or 40+ part-time positions available. We’ve published research that shows that Claremont-founded companies that disproportionately hire Claremont talent outperform — so pay attention, Claremonsters!
If any of these roles catch your eye 👀 , apply and mention Between the Lines. Or, if you are an employer looking to hire tip-top Claremont talent, fill out this form to have your jobs featured.
🗣️ Conversations on the Interwebz:
This week’s must-watch 📺
Claremont alumnus Dan Shapiro joined Foundersuite’s “How I Raised It” podcast to discuss his experience as a serial startup founder and share tips for building better investor relationships. Dan is the co-founder and CEO of Glowforge – makers of user-friendly 3D printers that sit on your desk. The company has raised a total of $70M since its 2015 founding, including the most recent round, a $43M Series E led by DFJ Growth.
This week’s top listen 🎧
Jennifer Holgrem is a Claremont entrepreneur and CEO of LanzaTech – the world leader in gas fermentation and the forefront of carbon-negative biomanufacturing. She was a recent guest on The Net Zero Life, where she talked about a post-pollution world, carbon recycling, and why LanzaTech’s $500M capital raise is so significant.
Everything else you need to know💡
Claremont grad and Samba TV co-founder Ashwin Navin caught up with Beet.TV to share the latest media-measurement trends and Samba TV’s newest partners. These new partnerships will help advance their goal of providing comprehensive insights and audience analytics to advertisers worldwide.
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