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As April 25 approaches, Temple students are gearing up for this year’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl© (BYOBB). The 15-year-old, university-wide business plan competition is among the most lucrative and comprehensive in the nation, with nine finalists competing for more than $200,000 in cash, prizes and professional services.
But the business plan competition is only one among many opportunities offered to students by Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) during Temple Entrepreneurship Day.
Vice President of Student Affairs Theresa Powell has declared April 25 Entrepreneurship Day at Temple University to “highlight the importance of entrepreneurship to this generation of Temple students who have the power to launch their own businesses and create their own jobs.”
The day kicks off with a free open house breakfast and idea-coaching session at the IEI (fifth floor of Alter Hall) from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. After the meal, students can visit information tables covering the curricular and co-curricular offerings associated with the Fox School’s various entrepreneurship programs. Temple’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program is ranked No. 8 in the nation and its graduate entrepreneurship program is No. 13, and both are the highest-ranked in Greater Philadelphia.
From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Entrepreneurial Student Association (ESA) is hosting its second annual Tower Takeover, a flea-market style event where entrepreneurs from the university and the city at large set up tables to sell their products around Temple’s iconic Bell Tower. The ESA has doubled in size to approximately 60 students since last year and is actively pursuing potential members from Temple colleges outside the Fox School.
Then, at 2 p.m. in the lower-level auditorium of Alter Hall, BYOBB finalists will present their business plans and receive awards, including a grand prize valued at more than $115,000. Temple Entrepreneurship Day will also include an award ceremony honoring Tyler School of Art alumnus Bill Covaleski, founder of Victory Brewing Company, for his support of entrepreneurial activities.
IEI has invested in many long-term initiatives to underscore Temple’s status as a leading center for innovation. These efforts include the creation of the Innovate and Create Living Learning Community (LLC), a residential community starting this fall for incoming freshmen of any major who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Based at White Hall, students in the Innovate and Create LLC will take a freshman seminar that will outline entrepreneurship and innovation as well as provide a roadmap for entrepreneurship at Temple. Innovate and Create students are also expected to actively participate in Temple’s Entrepreneurial Student Association and attend at least five Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) events – such as entrepreneurial fireside chats and business plan workshops – throughout the year.
Temple also is sharing in a $3 million Blackstone LaunchPad grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to further promote entrepreneurship across campus as a viable career option. Blackstone LaunchPad at Temple is expected to open in August at the Howard Gittis Student Center.