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Building on recent efforts toward funding and commercializing entrepreneurial ideas, Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), based at the Fox School of Business, recently held its first-ever TechConnect Idea to Invoice Workshop to help develop new Temple technologies and increase their likelihood of commercial success.
Temple’s Office of Technology Development and Commercialization (OTDC) and the IEI hosted the first TechConnect on April 26 at Alter Hall. Twenty-four graduate students and faculty from the Fox School, as well as from medicine, engineering, science and law, gathered to discuss seven promising technologies developed by participants, with a view to helping four move past the ideation stage and getting a step closer to achieving market success.
“Most technology developers, including those I have met at Temple, don’t understand the commercialization process and how market considerations should influence the technology development itself,” said entrepreneurship Assistant Professor Andrew Maxwell, who holds a joint appointment with Temple’s College of Engineering. “We perpetuate the myth that the innovation process is linear, that inventors come up with an idea and develop a solution that OTDC can easily commercialize. In reality, most of the successful projects I’ve been involved with took years of development, with market feedback significantly influencing the final technology development.”
Maxwell estimated that most technologies take three to five years of development before they’re ready for market, and he said that inventors should be working that whole time with business aspects in mind.
“You have to be able to look at business issues from the beginning,” he said. “Otherwise you end up with a solution that may be technologically superior but not optimized for market acceptance. This can have a significant impact on commercial success.”
TechConnect was designed to help scientific, medical and engineering participants understand the commercialization process and build the business case for their technology, which is required not only when seeking external equity funding (for example from business angels), but also as part of the application process for various translational research grants from organizations such as National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.
Prior to and during the workshop, participants formed teams that included both technical and business personnel. These teams chose four technologies to assess their value proposition, identify their market potential, consider their business-model options and develop a go-to-market strategy.
The program’s goal is three-pronged: to produce several dozen successful translational research grants, such as NSF’s I-Teams grants ($50,000 for six months) and SBIR’s Phase-I grants ($150,000 for six months); to facilitate collaboration and team development across campus and with other academic institutions; and to increase both the number of Temple technologies commercialized and their success rates.
Some of the ideas identified as having high potential during TechConnect have moved into a mentored independent-study process where government grant applications, feasibility studies or business plans will be completed. Maxwell said there are plans for another TechConnect event for the last week of August.
TechConnect is one of several initiatives at Temple designed to further entrepreneurship. Temple is sharing in a $3 million Blackstone LaunchPad grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to promote entrepreneurship across campus as a viable career option. The school also hosts an annual Innovative Idea Competition and renowned Be Your Own Boss Bowl©,which is among the most lucrative and comprehensive business plan competitions in the nation, with finalists competing for more than $200,000 in cash, prizes and professional services.
In addition, Temple operates Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures, a science and high-technology business cultivator that is the only year-round venture forum program in Greater Philadelphia.
For more information on the various programs the IEI leads in technology commercialization and innovation management, visit http://www.fox.temple.edu/cms_research/institutes-and-centers/innovation-entrepreneurship-institute/technology-commercialization/overview/.
The Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management (RIHM) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business has received a $50,000 grant from the Spencer Educational Foundation via a donation from property insurer FM Global.
The $50,000 Loss Prevention Education Grant will be used to develop course materials to help Temple students understand how engineering plays a role in loss prevention for property and safety risks, said Michael McCloskey, an instructor in the RIHM Department.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with FM Global and Spencer,” said McCloskey, who will develop five modules and video materials that will be included in undergraduate and graduate curricula.
“The foundation’s mission is to fund the education of tomorrow’s industry leaders,” said Peggy Accordino, chairwoman of the Spencer Educational Foundation. “Through this grant and the generosity of FM Global, we are funding the body of knowledge and resources that are available to tomorrow’s leaders.”
FM Global, a Johnston, R.I.-based insurer, in 2008 contributed $525,000 to the Spencer Educational Foundation. The funding aimed to assist universities in developing loss prevention-related courses and to provide scholarships for students pursuing degrees in risk management or insurance.
“We are pleased to fund this grant which will enhance the education of risk management and insurance students regarding loss prevention and safety issues,” said Brion Callori, FM Global’s senior vice president of engineering and research. “By educating students on the value of engineering and how losses are preventable, not inevitable, they can help the organizations they will work for become more resilient.”
At the May 16, 2013, joint commencement ceremony of Temple University’s Fox School of Business and School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM), nearly 725 Fox School undergraduates and 175 graduate students are scheduled to receive their degrees.
The students represent at least 11 countries, as well as 14 states and the District of Columbia.
The event will feature Dean M. Moshe Porat’s address, remarks from keynote speaker Pallam Raju M. Mallipudi, MBA ’86, and Jasmine Narcisse, an undergraduate student who will make her speech before the degrees are awarded to each student.
The degrees to be conferred are: Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Master of Science, Executive Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Business Administration. A posthumous degree will be awarded to the family of Stephen Johnson, a Fox School of Business undergraduate student who died Jan. 1.
Representatives from some of the Fox School’s international partner schools – CEFAM and ENPC, both in France – are planning to attend the ceremony, as are high-ranking Temple administrators and Temple Board of Trustees members.
Keynote speaker Pallam Raju M. Mallipudi currently serves as cabinet minister for education and human resource development of the Government of India, and as such, he oversees the national Department of School Education and Literacy and the Department of Higher Education. At Temple’s university-wide commencement at 10 a.m. May 16, he will be one of three recipients of an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
Narcisse, an international business administration major, will graduate with a position at BREE & Associates, a Durham, N.C.-based engineering and construction-management consulting firm expanding into Philadelphia. As a student, Narcisse served as an international trade associate with the U.S. Department of Commerce, interned at the U.S. Department of Transportation and worked in Temple’s Bursar’s Office.
Geoff Kalish, partner of global private-equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners, entertained the pitch with caution.
James W. Hutchin, an insurance-industry veteran who landed a faculty position at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, was proposing that Aquiline sign on to an experiential learning program, the Enterprise Management Consulting (EMC) Practice, in which MBAs consult for paying clients.
“We pride ourselves on being a specialist investment manager, and we think that the domain knowledge we have is part of the appeal to our limited partners,” Kalish said recently at firm headquarters on Madison Avenue in New York. “The notion of utilizing MBA talent, who may or may not have any background in financial services, to do something useful for us? I was a little skeptical.”
That was 2008 – and five projects ago.
Aquiline, a $2 billion fund, now ranks among EMC’s strongest clients, one that offers a wide variety of projects for students.
“Industry partners such as Aquiline are invaluable to EMC, as they provide the access, guidance and opportunity for our students to meaningfully impact business processes and strategy,” Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat said.
In return, Aquiline and its portfolio companies receive cost-effective consultants who are enthusiastic and driven and who can leverage their student status to get results. Under the guidance of project managers, either full-time faculty or industry executives, the students work to produce professional-grade reports on issues ranging from market-entry strategies to mergers and acquisition opportunities.
“Bright. Got access to people, and in the end information, that we probably wouldn’t have on our own,” Kalish said of EMC students. “Jim’s pitch was, is and will be, I’m sure, that people talk to MBA students differently than professionals who might be gathering information from a competitive standpoint. The MBA students seem to get access to good information.”
How it began
It all started in 2008 with a Full-time MBA project, managed by Hutchin, examining the environmental insurance market and brownfield redevelopment opportunities. The four-person team presented its research findings in a comprehensive 200-page report at the end of its first semester and designed a strategy, in light of its research findings, in a 30-page scenarios report the second semester. The team also developed a 45-page business plan. The team’s project summary noted positive client feedback: “the work was commercial grade and actionable.”
Two years later, a team of International MBAs explored market-expansion opportunities for Wright Risk Management Holding Company, comprised of two subsidiaries: Wright Risk Management, a fee-service insurance agency, brokerage and consultancy arm; and WRM America Indemnity, an insurance underwriting arm.
In 2011, International MBAs consulted for Clear2Pay as it considered introducing ClearPark Payment Processing, a payment gateway service, into the U.S. market, and last year’s Aquiline-commissioned project involved identifying growth opportunities for Fidelity National Flood Insurance. The latest project, ongoing in the Spring 2013 semester, focuses on a market-entry strategy for one of Aquiline’s financial technology holdings.
Walker Tompkins, retired president and CEO of American Express Credit Corp., has more than 35 years of experience in banking, marketing, liability and money management. He oversaw both the Clear2Pay/ClearPark project and Aquiline’s current project.
Tompkins said the ClearPark assignment distinguished itself because, at the time, its focus on mobile-payment technology was brand new and ever changing.
“One week you’d decide on a strategy and the next week it basically blew you up,” he said. “Every time they reached a conclusion or thought they had a direction, they had to change again. So it was very real life. The world around you is fluid, it’s not static, and the fact that things weren’t static, it was a challenge for the students.”
Pooja Bhalla, IMBA ’11, who worked on the project, said the team had to navigate its own group dynamics while managing a relationship with a European client and ultimately deciding whether investment or a strategic closure was the best option.
“EMC is one of the most important experiences you can have at Fox because it forces you to apply everyday coursework with real clients,” said Bhalla, now a segment marketing manager at a global natural catastrophe modeling company based in Boston. “Overcoming obstacles and executing meaningful deliverables at every stage provided a sense of true achievement.”
Teammate Dominick Chillemi, IMBA ’11, saw Aquiline’s ClearPark project as his first choice because he wanted to work in private equity after graduation. He now does, and he credits his preparedness and professional success to Tompkins and Fox faculty.
“Anything that I handed in for the EMC with Walker I was much more nervous about than anything I hand in to my bosses today,” Chillemi said. “The EMC experience was harder on me than anything I do professionally. And I say that with no reservation. I literally pull out a lot of my EMC notes during projects now.”
Chillemi said EMC taught him to ask as many questions as necessary to get the information needed – and to not be afraid while doing it. “The smartest person in the room is often the one who is least concerned about looking stupid,” he said.
He also grew to appreciate the less glamorous side of consulting, describing his EMC experience through the reaction of an immigrant after reaching Ellis Island. “‘I’ve learned three things: the streets aren’t paved with gold; they aren’t paved at all; and they expect me to pave them.’ That’s exactly what it’s like being a consultant.”
The Online MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business ranks fourth nationally in the inaugural ranking of Best Online Graduate Business Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report. Of the 29 business schools ranked, the Fox School is the only one from the Philadelphia region.
“The Fox School of Business is committed to providing convenience, flexibility and superb services to all of our online and distance learners, and that of course includes the valued members of our armed forces and veterans,” Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “We are proud to be nationally recognized in this area and to be leading contributors to Temple University’s strong commitment to supporting students who are active in the military or veterans.”
The 153 online degree programs included in the veterans rankings – released May 7 and featuring bachelor’s programs as well as master’s programs in education, nursing, engineering and business – first had to be numerically ranked in the U.S. News 2013 Best Online Education Programs rankings. Fox was No. 28 among business programs in that survey, including a No. 7 ranking in the category of student services and technology.
For the Best Online Graduate Business Programs for Veterans list, U.S. News collected data between August and October 2012 and based its rankings on factors such as belonging to an institution that is a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium and participates in the GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program, which lowers costs for military personnel.
Lt. Kyle Nabywaniec, an active-duty Naval officer currently assigned as a tactical action officer onboard the USS George H.W. Bush in Norfolk, Va., graduated from the Fox Online MBA program in 2011. While he was a student, Nabywaniec was an operational planner for the 601st Air and Space Operations Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla.
“From day one until the two years later that we graduated, we felt like we were part of something big and that we were in it together,” Nabywaniec said, emphasizing the quality of faculty and administrators. “Getting the face-to-face interaction online – hearing people’s voices and having people virtually raise their hands to answer questions – was key to success.”
In the Fox Online MBA program, students can earn their degree in as little as 20 months; engage in course activities in a 24/7, on-demand, mobile-friendly format; and collaborate with faculty and peers through WebEx web-conferencing technology.
The program begins with a weeklong residency on Temple University’s Main Campus that includes a leadership course, networking, team building, professional development and special events. Each online course is delivered over four weeks, and the program has multiple start dates throughout the year.
Merit scholarships are available, as is a scholarship incentive program for Temple alumni and for corporate partners that have two or more employees enrolled in the program at one time.
This is not the first time Temple has been recognized for its support of military personnel. In fall 2012, Temple was again named to the Military Friendly Schools list honoring the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that do the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and to ensure their success on campus. Temple has been featured on the list, published by G.I. Jobs magazine, each year since its inception four years ago.
For more information on U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 Best Online Graduate Business Programs for Veterans, visit http://bit.ly/15nKWSa. To learn more about the Fox School of Business Online MBA, visit http://onlinemba.temple.edu.
The Executive MBA (EMBA) and MBA concentrating in Health Sector Management at Temple University’s Fox School of Business are the only programs in the Philadelphia region to be ranked Top 25 programs nationwide for physician executives by Modern Healthcare magazine.
Fox is ranked 16th nationally among executive education programs for physicians. The ranking is based on each program’s age, length, tuition and number of graduates, as well as the number of days its students visit campus in an academic year. Data for the ranking were collected during the 2012-13 academic year.
“As much as 25 percent of Fox Executive MBA cohorts are comprised of physicians,” said Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research William E. Aaronson. “Because of this high concentration of physician-executives who are attracted to our EMBA, the Fox School makes every effort to ensure our curriculum is relevant and valuable to the profession.”
Fox’s EMBA is ranked in the Top 20 in the U.S. and the Top 55 in the world by Financial Times. The EMBA curriculum emphasizes strategy, leadership and global studies and allows students to complete the program in only 16 months. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Fox’s MBA in Health Sector Management program among the Top 5 healthcare management graduate programs in schools of business.
Fox EMBA students enjoy a variety of benefits including reduced tuition through Fox’s Corporate Partner Scholarship Program, which provides scholarship opportunities for students when more than one employee from the same company attends the Fox EMBA program in a given year. EMBA students attend weekend classes at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Malvern, Pa. Fox also offers an Alumni Rewards Program, which includes a 5 percent tuition scholarship and a waived application fee, to all Temple graduates admitted into a Fox MBA or specialized masters program.
The Health Sector Management concentration prepares healthcare professionals, as well as those new to the field, for leadership positions in the healthcare industry. With its grounding in the Fox MBA program, students develop necessary business competencies to lead firms and organizations. Strong ties with regional health systems allow the program to provide a Summer Administrative Residency Program, which has achieved 100 percent participation in recent years.
Sixteen students from Temple’s Association for Information Systems (AIS) recently traveled to Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., for the second annual international AIS student chapter competition, and nine of those students were in teams that won first, second or third place in the categories they entered.
In another competition hosted by Walmart shortly thereafter, two Temple AIS students led an intercollegiate team that created a mobile application that won them first prize. That team donated the $5,000 award from Walmart to the Boston Patriot Fund for victims and families affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.
“It is hard to convey the pride we feel about our students,” said Carey O’Donnell, assistant professor of management information systems and Temple AIS faculty advisor, who accompanied the students to Arkansas. “The students have embraced the culture we have created for competitions, and we can expect to see more Temple teams competing in a variety of competitions going forward.”
Students from 82 universities and colleges competed in the preliminary round in December, and 20 teams made it to the finals round for the competition in front of competition track judges from educational institutions and the business world. The AIS event involved institutions such as University of Alabama, Michigan State, University of Arizona, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia State University, Brigham Young University, Utah State and Bentley University.
Josh Wise, Jalen Blot, Kira Greenlee and Cori Shearer took first place in the Interactive Learning Module track. Overnight, they created a video that helped them win first place.
Dave Dupell and Magen Sheeran took second place in the IT Risk track, in a final judging that the track chair told O’Donnell later was too close to call. (He said they almost had to flip a coin.) “It was an impressive performance and a very professional presentation,” he said.
The team that competed in the IT Management track was composed of Gabrielle Lopez, Brittany Hafer and Veer Patel. They took third place.
Walmart then hosted a second competition called the IT Summit Challenge and created ad hoc teams that were challenged to create an innovative technology for presentation to Walmart executives. The students had 24 hours to collaborate and create a working prototype involving the innovative use of technology in retail applications.
The team, led by Temple AIS members Jennifer O’Malley and Cori Shearer, won first place for their submission, which they stayed up nearly all night producing. The mobile app comprised three features: one allowed the shopper to map out the fastest route through the store based on their shopping list, another used store data such as heating information to determine how crowded the store is and which is the fastest way through it, and a third component allowed the shopper to use the app to find a parking space. The judges described it as the “only viable working application of new technology,” O’Donnell said.
This year, Temple students defended the school’s top-tier status earned at last year’s international competition held at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where Temple teams finished twice in first place and once in second place.
Temple’s chapter of AIS is a student professional organization with more than 200 fully engaged students who participate in consulting engagements, workshops and outreach initiatives aimed at the business and alumni community.
“It is a very exciting and heady time for our chapter,” O’Donnell said.
A team of three Fox School of Business MBA students took first place – beating teams from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and other area universities – at the Association for Corporate Growth’s seventh annual ACG Philadelphia Cup competition.
Rinor Gjonbalaj, Perdeep Thind and Tyler Sagardoy competed April 11 against 10 other Fox School teams for the opportunity to represent Temple at the local competition, where they made the winning presentation with their solutions to a complex business case that required a combination of corporate strategy, finance and valuation skills.
The team brought the ACG Philadelphia Cup home to Alter Hall for the next year and a large check for $10,000, which the three team members will split. Participants were graded on three factors: financial data, strategy and presentation style.
“We knew going into ACG that all the teams would roughly have the same numbers. The real competition revolves around the non-financial aspects: what the strategic implications of certain recommendations are, how you communicate to your clients,” Sagardoy said. “In retrospect, ACG is just as much strategy and theater as finance.”
The competition started in February when teams were given the information needed for the internal competition, in which Temple teams had two weeks to research and develop a 20-minute presentation. The case centered on a sell-side evaluation of a luxury automotive dealership group with dealerships in the United States and Europe, taking into account a recent offer by another international automotive dealer, the needs of the current owners and the wishes of management.
“The case required us to go beyond what was covered in our coursework,” Thind said. “It took a lot of reading ahead and extra research to acquire skills that would take us further than the competition.”
A few weeks after the internal competition, Gjonbalaj, Thind and Sagardoy were given information for the final round. Again, they had two weeks to complete their research and develop a presentation.
The second case was from a buy-side perspective. Instead of working on behalf of the automotive group, the team worked for an investment committee of a family office (a fund whose principal investors are high-net-worth families) interested in purchasing the group through a leveraged buyout. The team was tasked to structure the deal’s financing, analyze the consequences of liquidating the company’s real estate, and consider important strategic factors that would impact the success of the acquisition.
“The biggest factor of our success, undoubtedly, was the strength of our team. I know Perdeep and Rinor personally and professionally,” Sagardoy said. “We’ve worked together on numerous class projects, including our capstone EMC project. We know our individual strengths and weaknesses and we play on them. We can be blunt and direct with one another because of the respect and admiration we have for each other.”
Gjonbalaj and Thind participated in last year’s ACG Cup, taking third place. The year before that, the Fox School team placed second. –Rosella Eleanor LaFevre
A 3-on-3-basketball tournament, a science lab day for high schoolers and a field day to recruit Temple students as volunteers are all events that were held this spring by Temple University honors students to benefit charity. The students’ service projects are all part of The Leadership Experience, a human resource management course developed and taught by Assistant Professor Crystal Harold.
Harold, who completed her undergraduate degree in the Temple Honors program, sought to create a course that would have broad appeal within the honors program. Students with majors ranging from music to broadcast are enrolled in the course, in addition to Fox School of Business students. The service projects are designed to make the course an experiential laboratory.
“Through this project, the students are actively experiencing the process of leading and the joys and pitfalls that come from it,” Harold said. “Each group has experienced highs and lows through the duration of the semester, which I think helps provide a realistic preview into what it will be like once they enter the working world and especially if they take on leadership positions within their future organizations.”
Harold said it was important for students to have the experience of leading firsthand because they were challenged to reflect and learn from experiences.
“They experienced the joy of seeing their vision come to fruition and having the opportunity to help others,” she said. “But they each experienced numerous challenges along the way; challenges that came from having to navigate obstacles, boundary span and determining who their key stakeholders were, convincing these stakeholders to buy into their mission, having to change and adapt when they reached road blocks, all while working with and considering the views of others.”
The 3-on-3-basketball tournament was held April 13 at Temple’s Student Pavilion to benefit Coaches vs. Cancer, a nationwide program by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy, who attended the tournament, has served as the Coaches vs. Cancer Philadelphia division’s co-chair since 1996. The group organizing this event – Mary Kate McGrath, Ray Boyd, Jake Adams and Kasia Tomasik – sought to incorporate Temple’s strong connection with basketball into their service-learning project.
On the same day, in Temple’s science labs, another group of students from Harold’s class hosted a laboratory day for Philadelphia area high school students to benefit Partnerships for Achieving Careers in Technology and Science (PACTS), an organization run by the Franklin Institute for students from sixth through 10th grades to motivate them to pursue professions in science.
The group organizing the event was comprised of Maryanne Hayde, Matt Schillizzi, Marisa Spanial and Elspeth Vandegrift. They said the event gave students from the PACTS program the opportunity to experience a college laboratory environment while allowing them to interact with other Temple students and faculty who are running the lab.
The third project, on April 20, was Kids Helping Kids, a field day that recruited other Temple students as volunteers to benefit the Child Life Department at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The Child Life Department creates a home-like environment for children in the cancer center so they feel as comfortable as possible as they endure chemotherapy, surgeries and other treatments.
HootaThon is a Temple organization that already donates directly to the Child Life Department at CHOP. Group members Erin Kantner, Sara Pettit, Asad Naqvi and Salma El-Ashry planned to make their donation along with HootaThon.