FOUNDER & CEO
Ben Nelson is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Minerva, and a visionary with a passion to reinvent higher education. In 2011, while building the concept of Minerva, Nelson was the Executive Chairman of RedBeacon until its sale to Home Depot in 2012. Prior to RedBeacon, Nelson spent more than 10 years at Snapfish, where he helped catalyze the company’s growth from a startup to become the world’s largest personal publishing service. Serving as CEO from 2005 through 2010, Nelson began his tenure at Snapfish by leading the company’s sale to Hewlett Packard for $300 million. With over 42 million transactions across 22 countries, nearly five times greater than its closest competitor, Snapfish is among the top e-commerce services in the world.
Prior to joining Snapfish, Nelson was President and CEO of Community Ventures, a network of locally branded portals for American communities.
Nelson’s passion for reforming undergraduate education was first sparked at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he received a B.S. in Economics. After creating a blueprint for curricular reform in his first year of school, Nelson went on to become the chair of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education (SCUE), a pedagogical think tank that is the oldest and only non-elected student government body at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the co-author of Building the Intentional University: Minerva and the Future of Higher Education, published by MIT press in 2017.