It is fitting that Spencer Trask—the legendary 19th century financier and progenitor of high-tech venture capitalism—was a principal investor in Thomas Edison's Menlo Park laboratory that invented the electric light bulb...the universal symbol for a bright idea. Among Polytechnic University's earliest alumni, Trask received a certificate of honor, with a first degree, from Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute's Academic Department, which emphasized the technology aspects of the school's curriculum. A frequent attendee at alumni dinners and events, Trask's on-going involvement with B.C.P.I. kept him immersed in cutting edge technological developments of the day. Having formed an early appreciation for the connexion between technology, business and finance, Trask's financial savvy in the technology arena helped him identify General Electric's start up as an early candidate for capital investment. Not one to pay short shrift to the Arts, Trask's financial interests extended beyond technology into cultured society when, in 1900 with his wife, Katrina, he established the Yaddo Arts Community, a prototype for latter day foundation support for artists. Since its founding, Yaddo has provided residencies to hundreds of writers, composers, painters, and other creative artists, who have collectively won 61 Pulitzer Prizes, 56 National Book Awards, 21 National Book Critics Circle Awards, a Nobel Prize and countless other honors.