Two students look at an iPad in Thompson Library.

Founding Vision

“Software is eating our world.” Since this phrase was famously remarked in 2011 by entrepreneur and investor Marc Andreessen, entire industries have continued to be fundamentally disrupted or created from scratch by software. Today, virtually no aspect of business goes untouched by software products and solutions. And looking ahead to the not-so-distant future, artificial intelligence, automation, and other pioneering forms of software-enabled technology promise to reshape our way of life in the United States and across the globe.

Amidst this backdrop, the Center for Software Innovation is designed to position The Ohio State University and surrounding region as a global hub for software innovation. The center’s multimodal academic and experiential program will equip students and rising entrepreneurs with critical skills in software innovation, product management, sales and marketing, and more. Together with the Fisher College of Business and the College of Engineering, the center features cutting-edge learning opportunities, internships and connections to industry experts, and an array of educational offerings via academic majors, minors, intensive interdisciplinary programs, short courses, seminars, lectures, electives and conferences. 

The center was made possible by philanthropist and entrepreneur Ratmir Timashev ’96, whose own journey building industry-leading global software companies began right here in Columbus, Ohio. Inspired by Ratmir’s story, and countless other Buckeye examples, the center envisions catalyzing a positive cycle between Ohio State students and innovation — where inside-the-classroom skills combine with industry experiences, connections and opportunities. Learn more about Ratmir Timashev in the Ohio State Alumni Magazine.

About Ratmir Timashev

Portrait of Ratmir Timashev

Ratmir Timashev is a globally recognized entrepreneur, technologist, and philanthropist. He is the founder of Veeam Software — the global leader in cloud data protection and management software founded and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. A champion of education and technological innovation in the Midwest, Ratmir and the Timashev Family Foundation are leading supporters of The Ohio State University.

Ratmir’s career as a software entrepreneur began during his time as a graduate student at Ohio State in 1995. Together with his close friend and partner Andrei Baronov, they built their first company, Aelita Software — which developed software management tools for Windows NT administrators — out of Ratmir’s campus apartment, and then sold Aelita to Quest Software in 2004. The duo later founded Veeam Software in Columbus, and Ratmir served as CEO before the company sold to Insight Partners in 2020. Today, Ratmir is building a new data hardware company, Object First.

Ratmir maintains strong ties to The Ohio State University, where he has established several major initiatives and scholarship funds for undergraduate students and scientific research. Through the Timashev Family Foundation, Ratmir and Angela’s $110 million gift in February 2023 launched the Center for Software Innovation and is the largest single gift in university history. This donation came after their 2020 gift to the College of Arts and Sciences, which supported construction of the state-of-the-art Timashev Family Music Building as part of Ohio State’s emerging Arts District. In 2016, Ratmir endowed the Dr. Terry A. Miller Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Chemical Physics, in honor of his mentor and friend. A member of The Ohio State University Foundation Board of Directors, Ratmir and Angela were recognized in April 2022 with the Distinguished Service Award from Ohio State’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Established in 2017, the Timashev Family Foundation supports communities through education, innovation, the arts, and humanitarian efforts across the United States and globe. The Foundation has closely supported organizations operating on-the-ground in Ukraine in response to the Russian invasion in 2022.

Born into a family of engineers, Ratmir followed his passion for science and earned his first master’s degree in physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. He received his Master of Science in Chemical Physics from Ohio State in 1996. He currently lives in Connecticut with his wife Angela and children.