Ellen Weber, assistant professor and executive director of the Fox School of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, earned the David Freschman Award at the 19th annual Angel Venture Fair.
The award, named after the late venture capitalist and consultant for ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank,” was given to Weber for her singular impact on entrepreneurship at Temple and the wider Philadelphia community. She has been an inimitable force in supporting entrepreneurs across the region through her work at the Fox School, and with Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures (MADV) and Robin Hood Ventures.
“David was a dear friend, so it was very meaningful to me to win this award,” says Weber. “It was exciting to see so many investors and entrepreneurs under one roof, and to see the continuing growth especially in healthcare, IT, and life sciences.”
Thirty-four early-stage companies came to the Angel Venture Fair, held at the Union League in Philadelphia, to pitch their ideas to a panel of investors in a format similar to “Shark Tank.” Among the pitching companies was Fox School undergraduate Nigel Satenstein’s global e-commerce venture, Pinpointer.
“It gives them the opportunity to get in front of investors early, and we work with them to make sure they’re investor-ready,” Weber says about the work she does preparing students and other entrepreneurs how to pitch ideas to investors. “They don’t just get up and pitch, they’re assigned to coaches, and the coaches add a lot of value. They’re exposed to a large number of investors instead of having to knock on doors. It makes a huge difference for these companies.”
One of the most important steps? Craft a solid elevator pitch. “Elevator pitches are something I work on with students a lot,” she says. “You need to get your idea out clearly and succinctly. If you do, people will ask you for more.”
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Last month, Urban Outfitters received $3 million in investment funding. But the retailer has yet disclose an anticipated use for the funds, or the source. This practice is fairly common, said Ellen Weber, Executive Director of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute and Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at Fox.
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Ellen Weber, the Executive Director of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, and an Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, spoke recently at the TEDxWalnutStWomen conference, where she encouraged female entrepreneurs to support one another with financial (and social) capital.
Studying, entrepreneurship go hand in hand
NerdScholar.com, a subsidiary of USA Today College, spoke with national leaders for a report on how to launch a successful business while in college. Ellen Weber, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Executive Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, weighs in, suggesting students find a mentor.
Philly as an entrepreneurship destination? – In January, entrepreneurship leaders from Philadelphia’s universities gathered to discuss the steps necessary for strengthening the city’s reputation as a destination for entrepreneurially minded college students. Ellen Weber, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Executive Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, and Robert McNamee, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Academic Director of IEI, attended and were featured in the article.