University News

Rick Coplin '85 to join RED Frame Lab as entrepreneurship coach

Design Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Student Life
January 9, 2020

Denison University announces entrepreneur and alumnus Rick Coplin ‘85 will join the University as an entrepreneurship coach at the RED Frame Lab, Denison’s center for innovation, design-thinking, and entrepreneurship. Coplin will coach students both one-on-one and in groups. He will coordinate and lead entrepreneurship programming, and help Denison build its entrepreneurial ecosystem. Coplin will join the University on Monday, January 6.

“Joining Denison’s RED Frame Lab team is a tremendous opportunity to contribute to current and future students exploring entrepreneurial opportunities as they prepare to lead lives of personal, professional, and civic success,” says Coplin. “I look forward to helping to shape how students approach challenges from a design-thinking perspective and to guide innovation and entrepreneurial activities on campus and in our Central Ohio community.”

Coplin is a seasoned entrepreneur and has served as a Vice President, Community Partner Ventures with Rev1 Ventures, mentoring entrepreneurs and helping them pitch their businesses, connect with essential resources, and raise funds to fuel growth.

“Since the launch of RED Frame, Rick has been a key partner and supporter, serving as a thought leader and sounding board as we built our entrepreneurship program,” says Julie Tucker, assistant vice president for student development.

“As we continue to accelerate and deepen our entrepreneurship program, Rick emerged as a stellar candidate, given his own entrepreneurial and business acumen, his skill and approach in coaching clients through their own leadership and entrepreneurship challenges, and his love for Denison and deep commitment to what we do. Our team is absolutely thrilled that he’ll be joining us,” she adds.

Coplin advises business owners helping them to be the leaders their company, team, and family deserve. His background includes consulting with Fortune 500/100 companies in manufacturing, finance, marketing, and technology acquisition & deployment with KPMG and Ernst & Young.

Rick is a seasoned entrepreneur, having played a central role in starting, scaling, and exiting a start-up between 2001 and 2007.

Following the sale of the startup, Coplin invested eight years with Rev1 Ventures. In addition to guiding entrepreneurs, he worked closely with regional and local economic development professionals on entrepreneurial initiatives. During this time, he was a leading figure in establishing and operating the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center (DEC) in Dublin, Ohio. The DEC is one of the largest and most successful entrepreneurial centers in the United States, housing over 140 companies. 163 have graduated, 142 are still operating, and 56 are located nearby in Dublin. Rick also contributed to the conception and development of several entrepreneurial centers in the Central Ohio region.

Rick is the author of “Pitch Your Best!” and will publish “Pitch With Purpose: How to Start Your Venture, Secure Your Support, and Supercharge Your Dream” in 2020.

Rick and his wife Kim (’85) have been married for 33 years and have three children, one a recent graduate of Wooster, one a senior at Denison, and a daughter in 10th grade.

Former Denison Entrepreneurship Coach Kerry Shea Penland has launched Whole Living Recovery, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, in response to a need for living spaces in Licking County for women to pursue recovery. She will continue her work at Denison in an entrepreneur-in-residence role with RED Frame as she expands her work in Newark.

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