Ben Nelson (businessman)

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Ben Nelson
Born (1975-07-13)July 13, 1975
Haifa, Israel
Residence San Francisco, California, US
Alma mater Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Founder, Chairman and CEO, Minerva Project and Minerva Schools at KGI

Ben Nelson is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Minerva Project,[1] a company whose goal is to provide an Ivy League education at a fraction of the price. As the CEO of Minerva Project, Nelson partnered with Keck Graduate Institute, a member of the Claremont University Consortium, to form the Minerva Schools at KGI.[2]

Prior to founding the Minerva Project, he was known for being the president of online photo hosting and printing service Snapfish at the time of its acquisition by HP.[3] Nelson joined Snapfish in 1999. In November 2000, Nelson brought the company to profitability and guided Snapfish's 2001 sale to District Photo. Since 2002, Nelson has been both Snapfish's CFO and the company's leading business strategist. He became president of Snapfish in March 2005, just before the acquisition of the company by Hewlett-Packard.[4] Afterwards, he continued to run the company as an HP subsidiary.[5]

Prior to Snapfish, Nelson was president and CEO of Community Ventures. He also helped start the Mergers & Acquisition practice at Dean & Co, a first tier strategy consulting firm, where he focused on transactions in the competitive telecommunications services industry. Nelson has also worked on launching Disney Regional Entertainment for the Walt Disney Company in Asia, SmithKline Beecham's first foray into the internet, and the growth plan for CDNow in the first months after its founding.[citation needed]

Nelson graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics with Honors.[6][7]


  1. ^ "Debate: In An Online World, Are Brick And Mortar Colleges Obsolete?". National Public Radio. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Farr, Christina (6 January 2014). "This entrepreneur is trying to create a 'perfect university' to displace Harvard & Yale". VentureBeat. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Kaminski, Matthew (9 August 2013). "Ben Nelson: The Man Who Would Overthrow Harvard". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Snapfish Management Team" (PDF). Snapfish. April 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Lidor, Danit (12.02.05). "Nelson's Snapfish Adds Publix To New Partners List". Forbes.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Wood, Graeme (13 August 2014). "The Future of College?" (September). The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Speakers". New York Times Schools for Tomorrow. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.