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Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

10 Admirable Fox Entrepreneurs—And Their Very Creative, Very Cool Businesses

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAvGAAAAJDRjNjE2ZTdiLTMxZWEtNDRhYi05MTVhLWFlZDYzZTgyNTg3Zg1. Honeygrow: A #TempleMade Venture

Justin Rosenberg, Fox School of Business, MBA ’09, is the founder of Honeygrow, a restaurant offering healthy fare made with seasonal, local ingredients. Starting this summer, Honeygrow will have 18 locations, including one on Temple University’s Main Campus in Morgan Hall. According to Rosenberg, “I’m a Temple guy. I wrote a chunk of my business plan for Honeygrow at Alter Hall, and the business is very much a #TempleMade concept.” Explore Honeygrow.

 
2. Yasmine Mustafa Roars for Good

Entrepreneur Yasmine Mustafa, BBA ’06, is an advocate for women. In 2016, she won Philly Geek Awards’ Technologist of the Year for ROAR for Good, a company that makes self-defense wearable technology. The product appears as jewelry but acts as an alarm and safety light that, when activated, connects to a smartphone to text family, friends, 911, or campus security. Mustafa is determined to help women live without fear and reduce the violence against them. Watch her story. Hear her TEDx talk.

 
3. Neha Raman Brings to Market DIY Nail Polish

In 2015, Neha Raman, who will graduate from the Fox School in 2018, launched a make-your-own nail polish business called Rungh, the Hindi word for “color” (pronounced “Rung”). Her product includes six nail-polish bottles with nail-polish base, 18 pigment capsules, a battery-operated mixer, and disposable mixing wands. Rungh was the official nail polish of Philadelphia Fashion Week in February 2016, the same month Raman was named runner-up in College Pitch Philadelphia. In April 2016, she placed second in Temple University’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl. Learn more about Neha Raman.

 
4. Adam Lyons Streamlines Shopping for Car Insurance

Founder and chief executive officer Adam Lyons, BBA ’09, launched TheZebra.com to simplify car insurance shopping. TheZebra.com allows drivers to compare over 200 insurance providers on factors such as coverage types, coverage levels, claims rankings, and price. Lyons and co-founder Joshua Dziabiak were named to the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the Consumer Tech category, which highlights “game changers” under 30 years old who are revolutionizing industries with a goal nothing short of breaking the status quo and transforming the world. Meet Adam Lyons. Read about his experience pitching his dream investor (hint: it’s Mark Cuban).

 
5. Chris Wallace Says, Sales Remains People-Centric—Even in the Digital Age

“Sales teams often aren’t aligned with their organization’s strategy,” says Chris Wallace, MBA ’10, managing director, GrowthPlay. In his recent Harvard Business Review article, Wallace discusses how organizations typically spend three times more on sales than advertising, but only deliver 50-60 percent of the forecasted revenue. His passion for sales led him to pursue an MBA at the Fox School and a year after he graduated he founded Incite, a sales force strategy and effectiveness firm. GrowthPlay recently acquired Incite to strengthen its position in the sales effectiveness market. “I could never be where I am today if I didn’t earn my MBA. It changed my career, and helped me see the value of putting people at the center of any business strategy. Today, I help develop better performing sales teams using the skills, knowledge, and business acumen I learned at Fox.” Read his HBR article.

 
6. Ofo Ezeugwu Wants to Rate Your Landlord

Ofo Ezeugwu, BBA ’13, is the chief executive officer and co-founder of WhoseYourLandlord (WYL), which enables renters to rate their landlords and housing complexes. He graduated from the Fox School of Business at Temple University, where he was the vice president of the student body. He is a Techstars’ Risingstar, one of BET’s #30Under30, and his work has been featured in TechCrunch, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and more. Ezeugwu is based in New York and Philadelphia, is a professional actor and model, has been featured on the Today Show five times, and has worked with Nike, ESPN, and Alfani. Explore WhoseYourLandlord. Watch Ofo pitch on MSNBC:

 
7. Got a Broken Cell Phone? Call Jesse DiLaura for Repairs.

“I have an obsession with improving,” said Fox School alumnus Jesse DiLaura, BBA ’16, the founder of Repair U—a phone repair company for college students. He is an Entrepreneurship graduate of the Fox School of Business who learned how to turn his hobby, cell phone repair, into a business. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) and Temple’s Blackstone Launchpad fed his obsession by offering constructive feedback on every aspect of his business plan. Along the way, he learned the intricacies of launching a business, branding, publicity, and much more. Discover Repair U.

 
8. Séverine Bandou Adds Scent to Curly Hair Products

“Myjé will enable women with textured hair to neutralize airborne odors without any drying effect,” said Séverine Bandou, a student in the Fox Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship graduate program. “They will experience the sensation of freshly washed hair while saving time and avoiding hair damage due to frequent shampooing, treatments, and styling.” Bandou, who will graduate this year, participated in the Fox School Innovative Idea Competition and placed second in the Graduate, Faculty, Staff, or Alumni category. Read about Bandou on Technical.ly Philly.

 
9. Nick Delmonico Combines Business, Tech, and Healthcare

Fox School student Nick Delmonico is currently enrolled in Global MBA program. He’s the chief executive officer and co-founder of Strados Labs, a health technology company working on innovative ways to help patients better manage chronic illness in order to live happier and healthier lives. His company is the maker of Pulmawear, a wearable device and companion application providing asthmatics with real-time symptoms monitoring, medication tracking, and personalized analytics to improve self-management. Explore Strados Labs.

 
10. Brandon Study Wears His Heart on His Sleeve

Understand Your Brand creates awareness about human rights and environmental issues through the apparel manufacturing industry and designs products that tell a better story. Founder Brandon Study is committed to using non-exploitative and minimal environmental impact production, and previously ran Into the Nations, a nonprofit seeking to empower artisans in developing countries. Study, Class of 2017, is a student in the Entrepreneurship Program at the Fox School who has a passion for creativity and social entrepreneurship. Discover Understand Your Brand.


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Wearable device for asthma management wins Temple’s 2017 Be Your Own Boss Bowl

Fox School MBA candidate Nick Delmonico, left, and Dr. Kan Au, co-founders of Strados Labs, receive the Spain Grand Prize check from Ellen Weber, executive director of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute.
Fox School MBA candidate Nick Delmonico, left, and Dr. Kan Au, co-founders of Strados Labs, receive the Spain Grand Prize check from Ellen Weber, executive director of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute.
The cofounders of a company dedicated to improved management of respiratory health won the grand prize at the 19th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl, a Temple University-wide business plan competition.

Strados Labs’ Nick Delmonico claimed more than $60,000 in cash and prizes, including the Bernard Spain, FOX ’56, and Murray Spain, FOX ’65, Grand Prize.

The flagship program of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), the Be Your Own Boss Bowl is one of the nation’s most-lucrative business plan competitions. This year, 14 finalists representing five of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges delivered business plan presentations. They competed for more than $200,000 in related products and professional services, and $180,000 in cash prizes – including $120,000 from the Wolfington Family.

Nick Delmonico delivers his winning presentation in the Urban Health Track at the 2017 Be Your Own Boss Bowl.
Nick Delmonico delivers his winning presentation in the Urban Health Track at the 2017 Be Your Own Boss Bowl.
Delmonico, who will graduate in May with a Global MBA from Temple’s Fox School of Business, wrote the first version of this business plan in the capstone course for his Health Sector Management concentration. He delivered the winning pitch for Strados Labs. His team created Pulmawear, a wearable asthma device that, in conjunction with a mobile app, will help asthma sufferers better manage their disease.

Delmonico and Strados Labs also won the Be Your Own Boss Bowl’s newly launched Urban Health Track, with prizes financed by Independence Blue Cross and Temple Health.

“The Be Your Own Boss Bowl victory, in particular the Urban Health Track, allows Strados Labs to focus on our core mission of building a better way to manage respiratory health,” said Delmonico. “Words cannot describe how much this means to us.”

Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of Temple’s Fox School of Business, delivers opening remarks during the 2017 Be Your Own Boss Bowl.
Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of Temple’s Fox School of Business, delivers opening remarks during the 2017 Be Your Own Boss Bowl.
Strados Labs co-founders Dr. Kan Au and Tanziyah Muqeem added that the prize money will allow the company to “not only build up our business model and validate our technology and make it more efficient and user-friendly, but also to gain meaningful connections to move our idea forward.”

The Be Your Own Boss Bowl features four distinct tracks: the Undergraduate Track, open to current Temple undergraduate students; the Upper Track, open to Temple graduate students, alumni, faculty and staff; the Social Impact Track, open to for-profit companies that are looking to do good for their communities; and the aforementioned Urban Health Track.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute executive director Ellen Weber addresses attendees during the 2017 Be Your Own Boss Bowl.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute executive director Ellen Weber addresses attendees during the 2017 Be Your Own Boss Bowl.
Winners from each track are:

  • Social Impact: Reels on Wheels, a business founded by Anmol Gupta, Fox School Class of 2020, that will use vehicles to transport equipment and screen films as entertainment for the more than 304 million people in India who live without electricity.
  • Undergraduate: Vitris Wireless LLC, a service launched by Jack Perrotta, Fox School Class of 2018, to aggregate device-repair prices from local shops and mobile technicians.
  • Upper: ToothShower LLC, which has prototyped an in-shower oral care appliance founded by dental hygienist Lisa Guenst, TYL ’13.
  • Urban Health: Strados Labs.

For the eighth year, IEI recognized students who best demonstrate the passion for entrepreneurship that was embodied by former Fox School professor Chris Pavlides. Junior Eleni Latsios and freshman Tarahgee Morris, both majoring in Entrepreneurship, received the Pavlides Family Award.


Be Your Own Boss Bowl 2017, by the numbers

$400,000Value of total cash, products, services, and mentorship prizes awarded
$120,000Value of cash prizes sponsored by the Wolfington Famil
$40,000Value of the Bernard and Murray Spain Grand Prize
226Preliminary judges
204Overall participants in BYOBB, representing 13 of Temple University’s 17 schools and colleges
87Registered company submissions
80Senior executive mentors
19Prize sponsors
14Finalist teams representing five Temple schools and colleges
10Presentation coaches
6Finalist judges
4Entrepreneurship strategists

Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox MBA student turns professional focus toward better asthma management

Nick DelmonicoNick Delmonico wasn’t sure which professional direction he would follow upon entering the full-time Global MBA program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

A passion for healthcare ultimately led to him to creating Strados Labs, a company dedicated to health technology for improved management of asthma.

Delmonico’s pursuit of a Fox MBA, with a concentration in Healthcare Management, will conclude with graduation in May. His career, however, is only beginning.

After struggling to manage his asthma as a child, Delmonico had sought to create a product that could enable asthmatics to better understand their symptoms. With the help of his Strados Labs team, Delmonico committed to a plan of creating smart-sensor wearable technology that provides better data in real time about conditions, while improving asthma management and reducing the risk of complications.

The 27-year-old first pitched his idea for Strados Labs at a Thomas Jefferson University Hospital health hackathon event, where he met eventual Strados cofounder Dr. Kan Au.

“It was nice that Temple and the Fox School exposed (students) to that event,” said Delmonico. “They encouraged us to go the event. After Kan and I met at that health hack, a few of the people that I work with said, ‘Hey this is a good idea. We should keep working on it,’ and that’s what we did.”

At the 2016 Be Your Own Boss Bowl, a Temple-wide business plan competition, Strados Labs finished in second place in the track designated for staff, graduate students, and alumni. Then, Delmonico took his idea to WeWork’s Creator Awards, where he won the Incubate Award — an award for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that need funding. The award granted Strados Labs a $36,000 prize.

“It validates that we’ve put in the right amount of work so far,” Delmonico said. “We’ve been able to show that asthmatics, parents of asthmatics, and healthcare providers want this, but now it’s about determining exactly what they want and how exactly that is going to look, feel, and function.”

Currently, the Strados Labs team is working diligently with the hope of gaining more capital — a move that could take its products out of the beta-testing stage and into the market, and making an innovative solution available to the public.

“You don’t always need to have the best idea, but you need to know how to solve the right problems with the right solutions,” Delmonico said. “Sometimes, it just takes a few discussions with people in a certain area and then brainstorming ways to fix that problem.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

The Secrets to Crowdfunding Success

 

Researchers Sunil Wattal and Gordon Burtch began innovative research with a simple question:  how can people launch crowdfunding campaigns that rise above their competition?

Burtch, who earned his PhD from the Fox School of Business, developed an interest in crowdfunding in 2009, and worked with Wattal, his academic advisor at the Fox School, to study crowdfunding data sets and research ideas.

Below are key takeaways and tips for entrepreneurs and businesses interested in crowdfunding. Wattal’s and Burtch’s full research findings can be found within the Fox School Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT) Report.

1. Select the Appropriate Crowdfunding Platform

Not all crowdfunding platforms are alike:

  • Donation- and lending-based crowdfunding, in which online donors receive no financial return.
  • Rewards-based crowdfunding, or campaigns that prompt individuals to contribute in exchange for incentives like a form of the product for which funds are being raised, or another service.
  • Equity-based crowdfunding, which provides donors with an ownership or stake in the project in exchange for donations.

Projects for goods in the technology, books, or gaming sectors are better suited for equity- and lending-based platforms. Research shows that initiatives around public good, charity, or community projects work well on donation- and reward-based models.

2. Strike a Balance with Campaign Duration

The researchers found that the average campaign duration is between 30 and 45 days.

Extended fundraising durations tend to negatively impact a campaign, because backers do not feel an urgency or level of excitement to help the campaign reach its goal. However, some lengthier campaigns may lead to greater attention and awareness of the project’s promotion, and thus finding a balance is important.

3. Establish Realistic Goals

Lofty fundraising goals may lead funders to believe the goals are excessive or unrealistic. That means they are less likely to give. Most crowdfunding platforms do not require the funding campaign to close when a goal is reached, which encourages entrepreneurs to set a lower threshold.

When a goal is met, crowdfunders may fade because they assume the campaign has been fulfilled. To decrease the likelihood of this happening, include in the campaign pitch that the goal will only address a portion of the project’s budget.

4. Maintain Campaign Engagement

Many campaigners make the mistake of underestimating the social aspect of crowdfunding. This happens in the presentation of the product on the campaign page, or in the failure to execute a proper promotional strategy on social media or other marketing channels. Campaigners should create descriptions that are easy-to-read and develop a thorough promotional plan for social media and beyond.

5. Prepare (Don’t Skip This Step!)

Don’t launch a campaign too early. If a project doesn’t appear to be well prepared or organized, crowdfunders may be less inclined to contribute.

What is a successful campaign?

Entrepreneurs and business owners can learn a lot from Pebble watch campaigns, said Burtch and Wattal. Its first campaign generated more than $10 million. The Kickstarter for Pebble Time, a second-generation watch, met its fundraising goal of $500,000 in less than 20 minutes, and went on to eclipse $20 million from more than 70,000 crowdfunders.

The latest campaign for the third-generation watch, Pebble 2, launched in spring 2016 and raised more than $12 million.

“The Pebble Time campaign was a slam-dunk because Pebble already had an established following of backers on Kickstarter from its original campaign,” Burtch says. “Moreover, it had gained a great deal of experience. Nothing beats first-hand experience.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox School alumna applying graduate degree to excel in digital marketing industry

Lauren Moreno
Lauren Moreno

Lauren Moreno’s undergraduate education spanned fine arts, journalism, and art history. In search of a graduate program that would enhance her sales and marketing career, Moreno chose Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

In February, Moreno earned a Master of Science degree in Digital Innovation in Marketing (DIM), as part of the online program’s first graduating class.

“I wanted a graduate program that offered the business school background that I didn’t get from my undergraduate degree, while complimenting my work experience,” said the 31-year-old Moreno. “I decided the DIM program was what I was really passionate about and thought that should be where I’d put my energy.”

Moreno co-founded Team 624 Communications, a digital branding, social media, and content marketing firm for which she serves as creative director. The Digital Innovation in Marketing program, which can be completed in 16 months, enables students like Moreno to flourish in a collaborative environment that fosters an understanding of the digital marketing industry.

“It’s always changing,” said Moreno. “As professionals, we need to keep learning and challenge the practices we’re using. If you’re not paying attention to where your engagement is coming from and what type of content is working, it won’t take long before marketing efforts are diminished.”

With the help of an advisory council comprised of digital innovators who are currently in the industry, students in the DIM program are offered a curriculum that coincides with what is part of the professional landscape.

“The overall mission of our program is to create the next generation of digital marketers,” said Amy Lavin, director of the Digital Innovation in Marketing program. “In today’s digital economy, it’s not enough to just be a marketer. It’s not enough to just be technical on the marketing side. We give the students in our program the ability to understand both sides.”

The MS in Digital Innovation in Marketing is managed jointly within the Fox School’s Management Information Systems (MIS) and Marketing and Supply Chain Management departments. In January, the MIS department’s graduate programs earned a No. 16 ranking in the country from U.S. News & World Report — a feat that Lavin said validated what the program has to offer.

“You can complete any kind of Google search right now, and you know this market is hot,” said Lavin. “In this program, we’ll give students the skills they need in order to be successful. As the marketplace opens up and people realize that they need this skill set, we’re going to continue to grow our MS in Digital Innovation in Marketing.”

Currently, Moreno remains focused on utilizing the tools she has taken from the program to grow Team 624, alongside her business partner, Kaitlin Cleary.

“We want to meet our next goals by identifying potential revenue streams,” Moreno said. “We’re looking at offering trainings, workshops, online courses, and like we learned in the program, really using technology to our advantage to reach more people.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox undergraduate launches student organization geared toward entrepreneurial finance

Rory Phalon
Rory Phalon

Entrepreneurship, a pillar at Temple University, continues to flourish campus-wide.

Adding to that robust culture, a recently forged student professional organization is helping to strengthen Temple’s ties to entrepreneurship. The Temple University Venture Club (TUVC) is the latest extension of entrepreneurial support offered to students, and offers students opportunities to learn about entrepreneurial finance and venture investing.

In starting the entrepreneurship-focused organization, Fox School of Business senior Rourke Phalon set out to create a space that is for fellow business-minded individuals, whether or not they are business majors.

“The most rewarding part about guiding student entrepreneurs is helping them tap into opportunities that no one had made available to me as an underclassman,” said Phalon, an International Business major from Watertown, Conn. “I had been an active member of student professional organizations dedicated to institutional finance and entrepreneurship, but there was this interesting world which blended both that needed more attention brought to it. I helped form the club to fill that gap.”

While entrepreneurial thinking is mainly associated within the Fox School, TUVC hopes to foster growth and innovation among all Temple students. According to Zachary Scheffer, the Venture Club’s vice president, the organization seeks to help students who may not know where to begin when launching a business or venture.

“We encourage all backgrounds to join our organization because if you have an entrepreneur’s mindset, you may need information regarding funding one day,” said Scheffer. “We currently have a few members from outside of Fox that find great value in the opportunities and information TUVC provides.”

For Phalon, serving as president of a new organization with more than 20 members is no easy feat. But, he said, seeing students grow and take advantage of new opportunities through other startups has made the journey worth it.

“The overall mission of the Venture Club is to create a culture around entrepreneurial finance at Temple,” he said. “We accomplish that goal by hosting an entrepreneurship speaker series, and by making students aware of networking, volunteer, and work opportunities in the entrepreneurship space.”

Venture Club is the latest edition to Temple’s entrepreneurship-rich landscape. Temple University Entrepreneurship Academy (TUEA), launched in Fall 2016, already has begun expanding the university’s widespread entrepreneurial culture by incorporating entrepreneurship education into coursework delivered by faculty members throughout all of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges.

TUEA is an extension of Temple’s renowned Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, which uses applied, hands-on learning and access to entrepreneurs and mentors to proactively promote entrepreneurial spirit for students from all disciplines.

While the Temple Venture Club is still young, the organization’s corporate relations officer Courtney Mangano envisions a bright future for TUVC.

“I hope the Venture Club continues to act as a platform for anyone looking to gain experience on how to successfully become involved in the startup and venture capital community, get an internship, and network with our influential guest speakers,” said Mangano.


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox School appoints alumnus, industry leader to steer future potential of ITACS graduate program

The Master of Science in IT Auditing and Cyber-Security (MS-ITACS) program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business provides students with the latest practices in the field with the help of an advisory council composed of industry leaders.

The Fox School strengthened that mission with its recent appointment of Kapish Vanvaria, management consultant with Ernst & Young LLP, as the program’s advisory council chair.

A Temple alumnus who studied Accounting and Management Information Systems at the Fox School, Vanvaria first established a commitment to the program when he became a member of the ITACS advisory council two years ago. In accepting the chair position, Vanvaria’s role will include leading the program’s strategic growth and curriculum development, and ensuring a strong student placement within the technology and cyber industry.

“I’m passionate about education. It’s one of the few things in life that has no expiration or devaluation, and therefore is one of the best self-investments,” said Vanvaria. “With a strong agenda and vision, we can make ITACS a global program that will elevate the Fox School’s brand and allow others to see Temple as a talent factory for technology and cyber security resources for many of the leading organizations of the world.”

ITACS program director David Lanter, an Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems at the Fox School, sought an advisory council chair with significant industry background who would be able to draw from his or her personal networks and utilize corporate resources. Lanter found that in Vanvaria.

“Kapish has been an enthusiastic and valued contributor to the start of the ITACS program (in 2011) and a key player in the current successes,” said Lanter. “We are optimistic he will do as much and even more to help guide the future evolution and success of the program.”

In addition to ensuring that Fox School students have a seat at the table in the development of the program, Vanvaria said he hopes to reach out to different organizations for insight on what they are looking for in future employees.

“I want to go to these companies and governmental organizations and ask, ‘Does our curriculum match what you’re looking for, and if not, what can we do?’” he said. “We already do that within the advisory council because we have good representation of startup through Fortune 50 companies, but I know we can do more. I’m looking forward to that.”

In light of all the excitement around his appointment, Vanvaria said he wants to make one thing clear: the success of the council boils down to collaboration.

“In becoming the chair, this is not going to change our advisory council from the standpoint of it truly being a team sport,” he said. “The program’s success is dependent on all of us joining together to consistently elevate the brand. Two years from now, I want to look back and say, ‘We made a difference.’”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox to honor distinguished accounting alumni at first annual awards event

The Fox School of Business will honor five accounting alumni who are business leaders in the Greater Philadelphia region at the first annual Accounting Achievement Awards on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at the Hyatt at The Bellevue.

Hosted by the Department of Accounting, the inaugural event will recognize the following alumni with awards reflective of their professional careers and civic service: Ross S. Reiter, CPA; Lori F. Reiner, CPA; Anthony J. Conti, CPA, MBA; Stanley C. Middleman; and James N. Solano, CPA, MBA, MS.

Ross S. Reiter, CPA, will receive the Rising Star Award, presented to a public or private accounting professional who has demonstrated leadership skills and a commitment to the Fox School. Reiter, BBA ’09, is a senior manager at KPMG’s tax consulting practice in Philadelphia.

Lori F. Reiner, CPA, will be presented with the Public Accounting Award for outstanding success in the public accounting sector. Reiner, BBA ’86, is partner-in-charge of the Philadelphia practice of EisnerAmper LLP, specializing in providing accounting, auditing, and advisory services to closely held and private equity-backed companies.

Stanley C. Middleman will receive the Corporate Award, presented to executive-level professionals in the non-public accounting profession who have shown excellence in the areas of financial reporting, accounting, and/or tax expertise. Middleman, BS ’76, is the founder and CEO of Freedom Mortgage Corporation, a national mortgage banker headquartered in Mount Laurel, N.J.

Anthony J. Conti, CPA, MBA, will be celebrated with the Community Service Award for outstanding contributions to the accounting profession and local communities. Conti, MBA ’73, maintains an active civic career following retirement from a 36-year career with PwC, including 29 years as a partner. He has served the Philadelphia community in several civic leadership positions, including interim president and CEO of the United Way on a volunteer basis.

James N. Solano, CPA, MBA, MS, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to professionals who advance the accounting profession through sustained leadership in public accounting, business, or academic communities. Solano, BS ’66, MBA ’68, MS ’79, has had a distinguished 48-year career in the Philadelphia area, successfully balancing his professional career as an accounting professor, practicing CPA, and professional sports agent with active involvement in community service as a founder of two charitable foundations.

In addition to celebrating the storied careers and community involvement of alumni, the Accounting Achievement Awards event goes a step beyond traditional alma mater recognition by providing current and new students access to higher education. The event serves as a kick-off to the Accounting Achievement Awards Term Scholarship Fund, a new scholarship created to support high-achieving accounting students in pursuing their undergraduate and Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degrees, funded by the net proceeds from the event.

“The Fox School of Business Department of Accounting Achievement Awards celebrate our outstanding alumni who excel professionally and make impressive contributions to their communities,” said Eric Press, chairman of the Department of Accounting. “We’re proud of this year’s winners and their connection to the Fox School. Using the proceeds from this event to support the Achievement Awards Term Scholarship Fund, we will assist future accounting professionals in reaching the high level of success attained by the winners of this inaugural event.”

Read more about the event and honorees at fox.temple.edu/accountingawards.


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox School researchers: Consumers more likely to recall printed ads than digital ones

Photo of Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, Dr. Angelika Dimoka and Dr. Vinod Venkatraman
Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, Dr. Angelika Dimoka and Dr. Vinod Venkatraman.

Even in today’s digital age, a printed advertisement is more likely to stick with a consumer than its online counterpart.

Mixed-media marketing campaigns are much more likely to succeed when they incorporate a print medium, according to researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

Neuromarketing research by three Fox School professors explored which combination of digital and print media left the strongest imprint on the brain. A grant from the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (USPS OIG) helped finance the study.

The laboratory component of their study asked participants to view the same combination of advertisements on two occasions over a two-week period. The study relied on traditional, self-reported measures and the recording of brain activity through a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner.

When test subjects submitted to self-reported measures, the researchers found that the participants who had seen advertisements in only one format (whether twice in print or twice in digital, as opposed to one of each) were best at recalling the ads and their content.

According to data procured from the fMRI portion of the study, there was evidence that the same format shown twice, particularly with the physical format, produced associations with higher memory. Lastly, greater activation in brain areas that have been associated with desirability or subjective value was found for products advertised twice in the physical format, denoting greater engagement of these regions in the computations of the underlying subjective value and desirability.

“The primary finding for us was that sequencing, the order in which a test subject saw the ads, does not seem to matter as much as the presence of a physical component,” said Dr. Angelika Dimoka, Associate Professor of Marketing and Management Information Systems. “Under these circumstances, we noticed a stronger activation of the memory center of the brain. This is known as the hippocampus, which is located in the medial temporal lobe.”

Dimoka completed the study with Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, the Milton F. Stauffer Professor of Marketing and Management Information Systems, and Dr. Vinod Venkatraman, Assistant Professor of Marketing. Dimoka and Venkatraman serve as Director and Associate Director, respectively, of Temple’s Center for Neural Decision Making.

The research team’s findings complemented their May 2015 study. This previous study, also commissioned by the USPS OIG, sought a better understanding of consumer decision making through human response to physical, printed media and its digital counterpart. (In that study, printed ads generated a greater neural response than did digital ads.)

“Our newer study differed, in that we examined whether sequencing would play a role,” said Pavlou, who also serves as the Fox School’s Senior Associate Dean of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives. “In the end, it did not matter whether a physical ad was viewed before or after a digital ad had been viewed, so long as a physical ad was included somewhere within the combination.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox School accounting student earns top score on 2016 CPA exam in Pennsylvania

High-achieving students and alumni of the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program at the Fox School of Business continue to outperform the competition with CPA pass rates well above the U.S. average. Continuing a record of signal performance, recent graduate Joseph T. Pickett is one of the top 15 scorers on the 2016 CPA exam in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants released 2016 statistics from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and congratulated state examinees with top results in February 2017. The highest scores among Pennsylvania examinees are determined by combining individual scores on the four sections of the exam: Auditing and Attestation; Business Environment and Concepts; Financial Accounting and Reporting; and Regulation. In 2016, the top 15 scorers in Pennsylvania earned an average score of 95.25.

Pickett graduated from the Fox School MAcc program in September 2016 and the undergraduate accounting program in 2015. He is currently an audit associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

“Congratulations to Joseph on receiving such an impressive score. This accomplishment is a fitting return for all the hard work and commitment he dedicated to his studies and preparation for the CPA exam while in the Fox School one-year MAcc program,” said Sheri Risler, director of the Fox School MAcc program and professor of accounting practice. “The Department of Accounting is proud of the outstanding caliber of our graduates. Joseph’s high score is a testament to the quality of MAcc students and the merits of the program’s curriculum.”

Since the program’s launch in 2011, Fox School MAcc students who took the CPA exam passed at a rate of 70 percent—far in excess of average national pass rates of 45–55 percent. This year marked the second year in a row Fox School alumni were among the highest CPA exam scorers in Pennsylvania. Christopher Bohdan, Jr., MAcc ’15 and BBA ’14, and Boris Furer, MAcc ’15 and BBA ’14, earned top marks in 2015. Christopher is an audit associate at Deloitte and Boris is an audit associate at EY, both in Philadelphia.

During the three semesters of the MAcc program, students are provided with the tools to become both CPA-ready and career-ready. The 30-credit, full-time program includes built-in CPA exam review courses, as well as the Fox School’s top-tier job placement resources and partnerships with Big Four, national, and regional firms.

“The Fox School and the MAcc program prepared me very well for my career and the CPA exam by facilitating the development of my soft skills in addition to my technical accounting abilities. The MAcc program in particular is the perfect stepping stone towards success on the CPA exam, as each semester focuses on a particular portion of the exam,” said Joseph. “I would not be in the position I am today without the education I received at the Fox School and in the MAcc program.”

In 2016, the MAcc program demonstrated it’s the best place in the region to launch an accounting career and one of the leading programs in the United States, with a 96-percent job-placement rate and No. 1 ranking in Greater Philadelphia, according to the Public Accounting Report (PAR).


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Fox School researchers among the most-published worldwide

Photo of the stock ticker in Alter Hall.
02_18_09 .Fox School of Buisness and Management.Alter Hall.

Faculty at Temple University’s Fox School of Business are among the most-frequently published researchers in the world, according to a recent ranking.

The University of Texas-Dallas Top 100 Business School Research Rankings placed researchers from the Fox School at No. 50 worldwide, No. 42 in North America, and No. 39 among U.S. schools for a four-year cycle, from 2012-2016.

UT-Dallas, which in March unveiled its latest rankings, has tracked research contributions to the 24 leading business journals across all disciplines since 1990.

“It’s an honor to learn that our faculty are among the leaders in making research contributions to the world’s top business journals,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School. “New, cutting-edge research is at the core of top-notch business education, and our faculty are leading the way in this area.”

“At Fox, our goal is to enhance the contributions and impact of Fox faculty in the world and in the classroom through cutting-edge research,” added Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, Senior Associate Dean of Fox’s Office of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives. “UT-Dallas’ latest rankings demonstrate our commitment to promoting research and building a culture rooted in research that can inform our programs, industry, and society.”


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Alejandro Cremades speaks to Fox students as Musser Visiting Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Photo of Alejandro Cremades speakingPacing the room, Alejandro Cremades progressed through his slides to one with a map of the United States. Pins in the map appeared, showing locations from which the world’s most-famous start-ups were launched out of garages.

Amazon. Harley-Davidson. Apple. Google. Disney. The list comprised a veritable who’s who of famous American businesspeople and entrepreneurs.

“A start-up can start from anywhere – even an empty garage,” Cremades told students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

The Spanish author and entrepreneur delivered a keynote centered on entrepreneurship and investing, speaking to students and faculty members March 8 as the Fox School’s Warren V. “Pete” Musser Visiting Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Established in 2015, the Musser Professorship is an endowed term professorship filled by experienced and well-known practitioners who are interested in visiting the Fox School to mentor and engage with students.

Cremades’ credentials speak for themselves. He is the 30-year-old executive chairman of CoFoundersLab, which provides the world’s largest network of entrepreneurs with access to necessary resources to help their businesses thrive, grow, and excel. He is also the co-founder and executive chairman of 1,000 Angels, the world’s largest digital-first, invitation-only investor network, and is the author of the best-selling “The Art of Startup Fundraising.”

Cremades’ personal story is similar to those that he described at the open of his presentation. He shared that he had started his first company out of a New York City studio apartment at the corner of 6th Avenue and 29th Street. He conducted business meetings from the bed in the cramped living space. Eventually, he said, his landlord caught on and put an end to Cremades’ arrangement.

Since those days, the idea of starting a business – at least with regard to the kind of capital required to do so – has changed dramatically. A tech start-up, for example, would have necessitated $5 million in funding in 2000. Seventeen years later, that total has dropped significantly, to a mere $5,000, he said.

Magazines like GQ, Entrepreneur, and Vanity Fair have featured Cremades on their top 30 under 30 lists in recent years, and for good reason. The entrepreneur is an expert in growing and securing funding for businesses. He cautioned student-entrepreneurs in the room against allowing themselves to dream big after only the earliest stages of operation.

“You may hit today, but something tomorrow can trigger a loss,” Cremades said. “A start-up requires building a repeatable and scalable business model.”

Photo of Alejandro CremadesCremades’ talk transitioned into fundraising, which is his area of professional proficiency. “Did you know,” he said, starting one sentence with a rhetorical question, “that 65 percent of companies fail because of a lack of funding?” He described crowdfunding, angel investing, and venture capital funding, all of which appeal to “different entrepreneurs at different stages of their startups,” Cremades said.

Cremades’ visit is the latest in a series of high-profile speakers who have served as the Fox School’s Musser Visiting Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Previously, Fox has hosted Bernard “Bernie” Marcus, co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer of The Home Depot, and David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of the Comcast Corporation.

“It’s an honor to welcome Alejandro to the Fox School at a time during which our school is experiencing incredible momentum,” said Dean M. Moshe Porat.

Porat mentioned Fox’s undergraduate- and graduate-level Entrepreneurship programs, as each have been ranked among the top 10 nationally by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. He also shared the school’s mission to provide entrepreneurial support through the university’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, and access to entrepreneurship education across all of Temple’s schools and colleges with the newly established Temple University Entrepreneurship Academy.


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Fox students, faculty use Broad Street Run to make a difference for local organization

Group photo of the Fox teamStudents and faculty from Temple University’s Fox School of Business are lacing up their running shoes to make a difference for a non-profit organization in Philadelphia.

Runners who have registered for Philadelphia’s Broad Street Run on May 7 are welcome to join the Fox School’s team, led by professor Michael McCloskey. Interested runners can purchase a Fox School team running shirt to be worn on the day of the 10-mile race, with all proceeds supporting a charitable organization.

This year’s charity of choice, ARTZ Philadelphia, is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for self-expression and the rebuilding of self-esteem and dignity to people living with dementia and their caretakers through the use of artwork.

“Our team fields faculty and students from all of Temple’s schools and colleges, not to mention alumni,” said McCloskey, who teaches in Fox’s Department of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management. “Not only are we helping a great cause, but we’re bringing together our entire university in the process.”

McCloskey’s team, in its ninth year, expects more than 250 runners and nearly $4,000 in contributions to ARTZ Philadelphia. The team had only 15 runners in 2009, its first year.

This effort is but one facet of the yearlong contributions being made to ARTZ Philadelphia.

Annually, students from Temple’s Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma – a national professional organization for risk management and insurance majors – support a charity of choice through active fundraising during the academic year. In 2015-16, the Sigma Chapter donated $15,000 to Brave Hearts for Strong Minds, a Philadelphia-based organization that provides college funds for children who have lost an income-earning parent.

“The work of these students is an extraordinary active investment in their community,” said Susan Shifrin, ARTZ Philadelphia’s founder and executive director. “That’s one of the things that has most impressed me. Additionally, these students have participated in volunteer training sessions to find other ways to give back to our organization. I have been very impressed with their sensitivity and their commitment to philanthropy.”

ARTZ Philadelphia has an estimated operating budget of $60,000, said Shifrin, which demonstrates the need for the anticipated five-digit donation from Fox’s students.

“The possibilities are endless with how their contributions can support our work,” Shifrin said.

For Fox’s Broad Street Run team, the charitable connections do not end there. The team receives its running shirts at no charge from Ivory Ella, a charitably minded apparel company owned by 2015 Fox School alumnus Rich Henne. What’s more, the running team guarantees its runners free campus parking, and provides transportation to and from the start-finish lines and a post-race barbeque courtesy Temple Police.

“Our team receives support from top to bottom,” McCloskey said. “Overall, the groundswell of support we have received from Temple runners who want to help a good cause has been outstanding.

“I think everyone wants to be a part of something that supports a greater cause, and that’s what we’re trying to do through the Broad Street Run.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Management Information Systems major presents research at national marketing conference

Eric Koeck PhotoReceiving notable recognition for a research paper is not what senior Eric Koeck originally set out to do.

What started as Koeck’s summer research project turned into a presentation he delivered at the 2017 Winter American Marketing Association (AMA) Conference in Orlando. The paper, “Tweets, Retweets, and the Brand Positioning of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Candidates,” is co-authored with two professors from Temple University’s Fox School of Business – Dr. David Schuff and Dr. Susan Mudambi.

Koeck, a 22-year-old senior who majors in Management Information Systems (MIS), utilized different tools to scour the Twitter feeds of each presidential candidate. Then, he analyzed the difference between word choice and how those words affected the virality of their tweets. To do this, candidates were split into two groups: insurgent candidates (or those who never held political office with their respective political parties) and establishment candidates (those who had).

“I’m very interested in data analytics and I wanted to complete a project that would give me the opportunity to work with that,” said Koeck, a Collegeville, Pa., native. “I was forming this project when the presidential primaries were in full swing. I’m interested in politics and an active Twitter user. It lined up nicely as something into which I could really immerse myself.”

The main findings, Koeck said, showed that insurgent candidates were more likely to express both positive and negative emotion, as well as gender references, while establishment candidates were more likely to express affiliation. In addition, the traits most positively linked to retweets were negative emotion and female gender references.

Impressed organizers of the AMA conference waived Koeck’s fee, and his travel expenses to and from the conference were sponsored by Temple’s Creative Arts, Research, And Scholarship program.

The three-day event provided eye-opening exposure for Koeck.

“It was a really great experience,” he said. “I learned a lot about academia and business research. One professor from a university in Canada asked me to send her my presentation, because she was interested in her students following the election closely.”

While Koeck remains humble, his capabilities, as they pertain to research, have not gone unnoticed.

“Eric impressed me with his systematic and persistent approach to data collection and analysis, and with his efforts to find the best way to present and explain the results,” said Mudambi, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Fox School. “He has a great mix of intellectual curiosity and hands-on data skills.”

“They were both wonderful,” Koeck said of working with Mudambi and Schuff, Professor of MIS. “Dr. Schuff has been mentoring me on this project the whole way through, and Dr. Mudambi helped us integrate different marketing concepts into the paper so that it was appropriate for AMA. Dr. Schuff’s work is relevant to my interest in analytics and statistics, which made sense for our collaboration. I was really glad when he agreed to work on this with me.”

As the trio work to get the paper published in an academic journal, Koeck prepares to present the project to state legislators at Temple Undergraduate Research Day April 24.

Future opportunities for Koeck, a graduating senior, already have sprouted.

Said Koeck: “Starting in September, I’ll be working for PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Advanced Risk and Compliance Analytics practice. I interned there last summer and had a good experience so I’m excited to start my career there.”


Fox School Press & Media / News & Releases

Fox marketing students collaborate with local high school to offer professional-development training

Photo of Cristo Rey eventAt Temple University’s Fox School of Business, students know that networking is crucial to professional success. That’s why they are helping local high school students perfect their personal elevator pitches.

Students from Temple’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (Temple AMA) are collaborating this semester with Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, a private high school located in North Philadelphia, to work with its students on professional development.

In January, the Fox School hosted juniors and seniors from Cristo Rey to share tips on personal and professional presentation skills and communication skills in a formal environment. Temple AMA members plan on visiting Cristo Rey’s North Philadelphia campus in May 2017, when its members plan to speak to the student body at large.

The initial activity was part of “Project: Career,” a networking initiative between the Fox School and Cristo Rey. Cristo Rey combines academic curriculum with professional work experience. Each student, in grades 9 through 12, works a real job for real wages five days each month. This affords Cristo Rey’s students the professional development opportunities they will need at the next level, and substantially reduces their tuition at the school.

Cristo Rey’s ideals align well with those of Temple AMA, said Mina Kwong, the student organization’s Director of Social Impact.

“Our mission is to transform students’ lives,” said Kwong, 20. “We provide students with opportunities to enhance their marketing skills, knowledge and personal networks. We want to do that through community service and social impact.”

At the Project: Career event, Cristo Rey’s students received mentorship from Fox School marketing majors on their college experiences, and their academic careers within the program.

“Our students really enjoyed the event,” said Joanna Wusinich, Director of the Work-Study Program at Cristo Rey. “They saw it as an opportunity to get their feet wet and get comfortable networking. All of our students have four years worth of internship experience under their belts, so I think they took a lot of pride in being able to talk about their work history.”

Photo of Cristo Rey eventWusinich said she first learned about Temple AMA two years ago, and the two groups have been working together ever since. The goal for each, she said, is to foster growth through collaboration.

“We wanted to bring Cristo Rey’s students to our business setting and open up their eyes,” Kwong said. “That’s something that is valuable for them, in learning about us. It’s a learning opportunity for us, as well. It’s so eye-opening to see that their students have lots of internship experience. It’s really inspiring.”

Cristo Rey’s graduating seniors in the class of 2016 achieved a 100-percent college acceptance rate, which according to Wusinich demonstrates the school’s biggest impact in the determination of its students.

“The confidence of our seniors—I know that is directly related to the willingness of Temple’s students to coach them and prep them for the event,” said Wusinich. “The Temple American Marketing Association has really stood out for its professionalism and level of maturity, and serves as a strong example and as role models for our students.”

Temple AMA only recently established the Social Impact Committee headed by Kwong. She said its involvement with Cristo Rey is just the beginning of what could be achieved by the organization and in its future collaborations. The group is actively looking for more opportunities through which it can have a positive impact in Philadelphia.

“We’re very grateful for the partnership with Temple AMA,” said Wusinich. “It’s been a pleasure working with them and we’re looking forward to growing and building this relationship with them.”