On April 15, 2009, the Silicon Flatirons Center will present Glenn Jones, one of the finest entrepreneurs to come out of CU Law and a cable industry pioneer, as our featured entrepreneur in our Entrepreneurs Unplugged series. Widely viewed as an important developer of the modern cable industry, Mr. Jones is also pioneering the development of distance education opportunities using the Internet.
Entrepreneurs Unplugged is a meeting place where individuals with technical backgrounds learn about and get involved in entrepreneurship. In particular, the program offers students and faculty an opportunity to learn how a successful start up is created as well as an opportunity to network. Each Entrepreneurs Unplugged meeting features food, drink and – most importantly – an experienced entrepreneur to discuss his/her start-up experiences.
Founder and Former CEO of Jones Intercable, Inc. and Chairman and Chancellor, Jones International University
GLENN R. JONES has spent four decades extending the reach of technology, first by bringing cable television to American homes, then by fusing education with the Internet to deliver education to lifelong learners worldwide.
Along the way, Mr. Jones pioneered Internet technologies, authored several books, and created more than 20 technology companies in the Internet, e-commerce, software, education, entertainment, radio and cable television industries.
In 1961, after graduating from the University of Colorado School of Law, Mr. Jones began his career in cable television by representing cable companies in their acquisition efforts across the country.
In 1964, Mr. Jones put his law career on hold to run for the U.S. Congress in Colorado’s First Congressional District (Denver). After being defeated, he decided to renew his focus on the cable television industry. In 1967, Mr. Jones borrowed $400 against his Volkswagen to purchase his first cable system in Georgetown, Colorado, which was the genesis of his cable operations company, Jones Intercable, Inc.
Mr. Jones was the first person in the industry to organize public limited partnerships to raise capital for cable acquisitions. In fact, Jones’ partnerships raised more than $1.2 billion in equity capital for such purposes. During its 32 years under Mr. Jones’ guidance, Jones Intercable pioneered more than a dozen industry firsts and grew to become one of the ten largest cable television operators in the United States, serving more than 1.5 million customers nationwide.
In 1987, Mr. Jones embarked on his first adventure in distance education and founded the cable network Mind Extension University (ME/U). Until the early 1990s, when it changed its name to Knowledge TV, ME/U delivered college courses to viewers’ television sets, offering them easy access to distance learning programs.
The advancement of Internet technology resulted in the creation of online education entities in the 1990s, most notably, Jones International University (JIU), a university existing completely in cyberspace, which he founded in 1995.
Jones International University has made it possible for students to learn from anywhere in the world, at any time they chose. On March 5, 1999, JIU made history when it became the first fully online university to receive accreditation from a nationally recognized regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association.