Cal Poly

Orfalea College of Business

Jonathan York

Jonathan York

Office Virtual
Phone 805-756-5188
Fax 805-756-1473

Professor Emeritus

Jonathan York

Jonathan York is an entrepreneur and educator who has dedicated his career to helping companies succeed and students learn the issues of entrepreneurship. He joined the faculty of the Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly after a career in business as the first professor dedicated to entrepreneurship. At Cal Poly, he is focused on helping students understand and experience the challenges of management and decision-making in growth companies. Since joining Cal Poly, he was the co-founder and initial director of the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – a university-wide effort dedicated to transforming motivated students into resourceful, entrepreneurial and innovative leaders through classroom and hands-on experiences. Dr. York also serves as the advisor to Cal Poly Entrepreneurs, a student-run entrepreneurial organization that engages students campus-wide in entrepreneurial activity and learning.

In addition to his technology venture background, Dr. York brings to the classroom thirty years of CEO experience in health care, economic development, government, politics and technology. He also designed and taught the entrepreneurship course in the Executive MBA Program at Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University.

As a CEO and consultant, he has worked for the last 15 years in entrepreneurial companies facing key strategic and operational issues such as financing and raising capital; marketing and sales development; people and team issues; board and investor relations; and product development.

Dr. York has raised over $150M in funding and participated in the financing and development of over a dozen technology and services companies. He has been on both sides of the venture capital and angel financing equation, as a CEO and recipient of significant investment, and as an active venture investor. In 1996, he started and grew a software company through “Web 1.0.”

Prior to his technology career, Jon was the President and CEO of the Columbus Chamber, one of the country’s largest and most aggressive economic development organizations. Before that, he served as a CEO for twelve years in the health care sector, running large and complex behavioral healthcare systems, in Detroit and Columbus.


  • Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1979
  • B.A., Yale University, 1972
  • Additional Studies:
  • London School of Economics
  • Aspen Institute


  • Principal, Jonathan York & Associates — entrepreneurial and venture capital consulting
  • Managing Partner, Reservoir Venture Partners. early stage venture capital firm
  • Founder and CEO, fourthchannel, inc. – web-based supply chain software company
  • CEO, Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce – economic development organization
  • CEO, Franklin County Mental Health Board, Columbus, OH.
  • CEO, Northeast Centers (healthcare group), Detroit, MI

Recent News

More news


Our Stories

Cal Poly Business Magazine

See More


sample image snippet

Support Learn by Doing