Steve Kaplan


Steven 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 is one of the world’s top researchers on private equity, venture capital, corporate governance, executive talent and income inequality. His papers on private equity and venture capital are the standard references in the field. He has testified to U.S. Senate and U.S. House Committees about his
research. He ranks among the top 60 in paper downloads and in paper citations (out of over 280,000 authors) on SSRN (Social Science Research Network). 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.



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 over one hundred companies. The companies have raised almost $1 billion from investors (including Accel, Andreesen Horowitz, Benchmark, Index, and Sequoia) and have created billions of dollars in market value. Companies include GrubHub (market cap $5+ billion), Braintree/Venmo (sold to eBay for $800 million), Base CRM (sold to Zendesk), Bump (sold to Google), MedSpeed, and Simple Mills. The NVC was 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. in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. He also helped start Hyde Park Angels which has been named one of the top ten angel groups in the U.S. Professor Kaplan has been awarded the Phoenix Award four times and the Arthur Kelly Prize twice for exhibiting an exceptional dedication to his students outside of the classroom. Non-academic Professor Kaplan serves on the boards of Morningstar (MORN) and Zayo Group (ZAYO). He also serves
on the advisory boards of Access Holdings, Correlation Ventures, Global eProcure, NextGen Growth Partners and Uptake.



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.