Tech CEO Remembered as “Brilliant Strategist,” “Beacon of Light”

A Rachel Jacobs scholarship fund has been created for female social entrepreneurs.

Rachel Jacobs, CEO of ApprenNet, died in the Amtrak train crash.

Rachel Jacobs, CEO of ApprenNet, died in the Amtrak train crash.

In the days since her death, Rachel Jacobs has been called “a beacon of light,” “a giver,” and an “extraordinary person.”

ApprenNet, the Philly tech startup where she served as CEO, called her a “brilliant strategist.”

Our CEO, Rachel Jacobs, was not only a brilliant strategist, but also an extremely kind and loving person. Like a true startup CEO, Rachel dedicated an enormous amount of time, energy, and passion to ApprenNet. In addition to being our CEO, Rachel was our friend. We are going to miss her deeply.

Jacobs, 39, is survived by her husband and two-year-old son. The Jacobs family has asked that donations in her name be given to two causes. One is Columbia Business School (her alma mater) where the family is creating a scholarship in her name, with a preference for aspiring female social entrepreneurs. The other is Detroit Nation, an organization Jacobs co-founded to help the renaissance of her hometown. As of Monday, the Crowdrise campaign raised almost than $13,000.

At a memorial service held at the Hebrew Union College in Manhattan, a former colleague said Jacobs will be sincerely missed. “All I can say is the world went into a net deficit today because this woman was a giver, not a taker, and we’re all at a loss,” he said.

Jacobs will be laid to rest in Southfield, Mich. on Monday.