Venture capitalist and University of Queensland alumnus Graeme Linnett, with wife Deborah-Ann Linnett, are helping foster UQ’s next generation of mathematicians and statisticians.
The CEO and founder of Gödel Capital, a seed investor in digital payment giant PayPal, has created the Linnett Family Mathematics Endowed Scholarship, indefinitely providing scholarship support to mathematical or statistical students every year.
“Mathematics has been the foundation of my career, and it’s a privilege to be able to give back,” Mr Linnett said.
“My sincere hope is that this scholarship will provide meaningful financial support to students with a love of mathematics, who otherwise may not have seen a pathway to studying at UQ.
“In my experience, a UQ mathematics or statistics degree is a great foundation for future success.”
Mr Linnett’s own journey to success was sparked after first attending UQ in 1984.
“I originally intended to be an academic or professional mathematician, but later decided to pursue a commercial career, realising over time that my mathematical study at UQ had provided me with powerful set of commercial skills,” Mr Linnett said.
“Specifically, it provided me with a robust and invaluable framework for analysing real world problems across a wide range of commercial activities.”
Mr Linnett and fellow 4th year UQ honours student Peter Davison, moved to Sydney in 1989 to pursue commercial careers.
“I joined Macquarie Bank to work in quantitative finance, and then spent two years in South Africa to establish a joint venture between Macquarie Bank and Standard Bank of South Africa, providing structured finance to the gold industry,” Mr Linnett said.
“I continued to work in international finance, moving to the US in 1994 to work for the financial services firm AIG.
“And then, in 1998, I team up with Peter Davison to establish a small venture capital firm Gödel Capital – named after Austro-Czech mathematician Kurt Gödel – focused on early stage venture capital in Silicon Valley.
“We were fortunate to be seed investors in PayPal, when it was valued at $2 million – long before it became the $300 billion behemoth it is today.
“I continue to run Gödel Capital, which is involved in investment and transactional opportunities internationally.
“I also have the pleasure to serve on the board of The University of Queensland in America.”
The Linnetts’ are delighted to now be paying it forward, with their scholarship supporting undergraduate students studying in mathematics who have demonstrated financial need.
“I’m well aware of the challenges many students have in being able to pursue study at UQ,” Mr Linnett said.
“Completing a degree is fundamental to one’s entire life, and UQ is one the world’s best universities.
“It is a privilege to be able to play a small part in helping current students to have the same opportunity I had at UQ – I can’t wait to see what they achieve.”
The Linnett Family Mathematics Endowed Scholarship was supported by the Create Change Scholarship Match and is an approximate $270,000 endowment, including both the donation and match component.
Media: Dominic Jarvis, email@example.com, +61 413 334 924.