Mort Collins is the man who founded M. Collins Ventures LLC. Furthermore, he is the man who continues to serve as its managing partner, meaning that he has a fair amount of influence when it comes to certain tech sectors of interest. Having said that, Collins's current role is but one piece in a long, successful career that came after his Princeton education and life beginnings.
1. Went to University of Delaware
Even now, Collins maintains a close relationship with the University of Delaware, which is his alma mater. In short, the school is the biggest institution of its kind that can be found in the state of Delaware. As such, its programs have benefited to a considerable extent thanks to both the chemicals and the pharmaceuticals industries, which have had strong presences in the state for some time.
2. Went to Princeton University
Besides the University of Delaware, Collins has a strong connection with the Princeton University as well. This makes sense because Princeton University is the other school that he went to when he sought out a MS and then a PhD.
3. Studied Chemical Engineering
Given the University of Delaware's specialties, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that Collins studied chemical engineering throughout his entire time in school. In the present time, chemical engineers are very much in-demand, not least because of their potential usefulness for a wide range of tasks at a wide range of companies. However, it is interesting to note that the engineering branch struggled when it started out in the late 19th century because most employers didn't see a need for chemical engineers when they could just hire either chemists or mechanical engineers depending on the exact nature of their need. Over time, industries and industrial needs continued to evolve, thus bringing chemical engineering more and more into the forefront of things.
4. Has a Lifelong Interest in Flying
Collins has a lifelong interest in flying. He has stated that this interest can be traced to his childhood visits to Bader Field where he and his father would watch military pilots practice takeoffs, landings, and other important maneuvers.
5. Had a Rough Childhood
Speaking of which, Collins had what most people would call a very rough childhood. For example, Collins's mother died from a streptococcal infection when he was still at the age of two. Likewise, Collins's father died from injuries sustained while moving a boat when he was still at the age of 12. Afterward, Collins was taken in by his aunt, who proceeded to die just seven months later because of cancer. Thanks to this, Collins became a ward of the state, which caused him to grow up when he was still very young.
6. Influenced By Kenneth Frisbie
One of the people who played a pivotal role in Collins's life was Kenneth Frisbie, the principal of Belhaven Grammar School where Collins was a student. For instance, Frisbie was the one who encouraged Collins to make full use of his exceptional academic abilities by going to college, which was a rather strange concept for the son of an immigrant in the 1940s and 1950s. Moreover, Frisbie was the one who told Collins to be upfront about his financial situation when he was accepted to the University of Delaware, which resulted in the school finding him a job as well as floating him a loan to cover the expenses.
7. Very Familiar with Fishing
People might not expect this based on Collins's current career. However, it is interesting to note that the man has a fair amount of experience with commercial fishing because of his childhood. For example, he spent one summer using a small boat called a sneakbox to catch clams and softshell crabs, which earned him enough money for him to be able to buy a broken-down Ford Club Coupe that he managed to fix up on his own. Likewise, there was the time when he and some other college students formed a cooperative to harvest shellfish, which provided him with enough money to pay off the tuition that he owed and then some.
8. Believes that Good Leaders Delegate But Do Not Abdicate
In Collins's opinion, one of the critical factors that distinguish a good leader from the rest is that they delegate but do not abdicate. He didn't elaborate much on what he meant, but his choice of words makes his meaning very clear nonetheless. Essentially, a good leader is someone who can entrust important responsibilities to other people but will continue to monitor the situation from that point forward, thus enabling them to make further changes as needed for the sake of their overall goals. In contrast, a bad leader will neglect the responsibilities that have been handed out, which can have very dangerous consequences in the long run because of their failure to keep a watchful eye on the situation.
9. Has Been Know to Argue that Venture Capitalism in the United States Started Out with Isabella of Castile
Amusingly, Collins has been known to argue that venture capitalism in the United States started out with Isabella of Castile. For those who don't remember their history, Isabella was the Spanish monarch who financed Christopher Columbus's search for a new route to India, which resulted in the Europeans becoming aware of the Americas because the man had a very different estimate for the size of the world than most of his learned contemporaries. Regardless, the expedition more than paid off for Isabella and her successors because it paved the way for the Spanish empire in the Americas.
10. Influenced By Computerization
Princeton University underwent computerization when Collins went to the school. As a result, Collins became convinced that computers would be the future, which provided him with much of the impetus that led him to invest in computers and related tech sectors. His expectations of the future have proven to be correct, but in the present time, Collins continues to invest in other examples of cutting-edge tech such as quantum computing and ultrafast lasers.
Written by Allen Lee
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