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Remembering David J. Freschman

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The LIM College community has lost one of its most vibrant members with the recent passing of professor and Fashion Industry Advisory Board member David J. Freschman.

David, or “D.J. Fresch,” as he was affectionately known by many of his students, was a successful venture capitalist, dedicated educator, and beloved mentor.

He began teaching in LIM College’s MBA program in 2010 and joined our Advisory Board in 2012. Throughout his time with the College, David generously and enthusiastically shared his passion for advising and working with startup companies while inspiring his students to develop their own entrepreneurial skills.

David truly embodied the College’s philosophy of “learning by doing” as he provided incredible opportunities for graduate students, including arranging for a group to be part of NASDAQ’s Closing Bell ceremony, as well as allowing them to sit in on startups’ pitch meetings with investors.

Jacqui Jenkins, Director of Graduate Studies, described him as “a visionary who personified the values of collaboration and innovation. With his witty personality and stellar business acumen, David was a key force behind the advancement of many young entrepreneurs.“

Among the highlights of David’s impressive business career was his role as managing principal of Innovation Capital Advisors, where he oversaw its expansion into an influential allocator of seed funding to up-and-coming businesses. He founded the Delaware Innovation Fund — the state’s first venture capital firm — and Early Stage East, a forum that brings together venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. He also served as an advisor for the hit television show “Shark Tank.”  

In 2009, David founded FashInvest, the first community for emerging growth companies within the fashion, fashion tech, retail, and branded goods sectors, bringing together thought leadership, financing strategies, and industry experts.  In yet another demonstration of David’s commitment to helping the next generation of fashion professionals, FashInvest sponsored the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Commencement award for our MBA students as well as receptions for our CEO Speaker Series.

David’s impact on the LIM College community may best be summed up by Lolita Alford, an MBA program alumna and former student and mentee of David’s who is now an adjunct professor in our Marketing, Management & Finance Department, “David saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. He gave me confidence. He was always willing to give students advice, introduce us to people, and push us in the right direction. He believed in helping people.”

In accordance with the Freschman family’s wishes, the College will be making a donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in David’s memory.
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