The Egg at Alter Hall was standing-room only last night as IEI Executive Director Ellen Weber took the podium to open the 20th Annual Innovative Idea Competition Live Pitch Event. “Sometimes what makes an idea strong is that it’s elegantly simple,” she told the audience in her opening remarks. “The kind of idea that makes you think ‘why didn’t I think of that?'”

That rung true when Emily Kight (College of Engineering ’18), an Idea Competition veteran who landed in second place in the Undergraduate Track at last year’s competition, took home the $2500 Grand Prize for her idea: an affordable, accessible, at-home ovarian cancer menstrual blood test. The test, if it makes it to the market, will allow all women, especially those with a higher risk due to family history, to test for ovarian cancer more often, more privately, and more conveniently. This could drastically reduce late detection, a common risk with ovarian cancer because of how difficult its symptoms are to detect.

Kight was also awarded the $500 Global Innovation Prize funded by CIBER for her idea’s potential to have an impact on a global scale.

Twelve finalists  total pitched to the competition’s expert judging panel: Glen Gaddy, Chair of Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures, Yuval Yarden, Director of Ecosystems Engagement at the Global Entrepreneurship Network, and Shelton Mercer, Principal and Chief Innovation Officer at Benjamin’s Desk. Other top ideas from the night included C.A.L.M (Daniel Couser, FSB ’18) and Vibrasoft (Kyle Jezler, College of Engineering ’18), two healthcare-focused ideas that received first and second place in their track, respectively. In the Upper Track, comprised of graduate students, alumni, faculty, and staff, Immersive Therapy (Keith Regan, FSB Alumni) came out on top and Quick ReCon (Alex Garaschenko, FSB Alumni) was awarded second place.

The audience had a say, too! Two People’s Choice Awards were given to the ideas with the most votes from the audience. New and exciting this year was the Facebook Live stream happening throughout the entire competition via the Fox School of Business Facebook Page, where more than 1000 viewers tuned in and were able to cast their votes along with the live audience. When voting closed, My Student Quarters (Jessica Rehrig, CLA Alumni) came out on top to receive the $1000 first place People’s Choice Award, with Atheroprobe (Laura Navarro, College of Science and Technology ’21) in a close second taking home $500.

Click here for a full list of last night’s finalists and idea descriptions.

Up next? The Be Your Own Boss Bowl. 2018 Rules and Guidelines coming soon!


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.

 Professor Dwight Carey speaks to students at a recent Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) fireside chat. Carey, a Temple University Great Teacher Award recipient who is jointly appointed by the Fox School of Business and the College of Engineering, is one of many entrepreneurship professors across all disciplinary lines at Temple University.
Professor Dwight Carey speaks to students at a recent Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) fireside chat. Carey, a Temple University Great Teacher Award recipient who is jointly appointed by the Fox School of Business and the College of Engineering, is one of many entrepreneurship professors across all disciplinary lines at Temple University.

Entrepreneurship is a pillar at Temple University, and outsiders have taken notice.

The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine ranked the undergraduate Entrepreneurship program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business No. 8 in the country, a three-spot climb from the 2015 rankings. Fox’s graduate-level Entrepreneurship program also made the top-10. Its No. 10 ranking marked a six-spot improvement from last year.

Temple is one of five colleges and universities nationally to have been ranked within the top 10 at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and is the only college or university in the Greater Philadelphia region to be ranked by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Temple University has appeared in each installment of the entrepreneurship rankings since 2006.

“We are proud to have been ranked once again as one of the nation’s premier institutions for teaching and practicing entrepreneurship,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School. “By emphasizing innovation, promoting small-business development, and preparing our students to think of themselves as entrepreneurs, we continue to drive innovation, economic growth, and job creation in the Philadelphia region and beyond. We look forward to further enhancing our programs in order to strengthen university-wide entrepreneurship.”

Added Temple University President Dr. Neil D. Theobald: “These rankings show that Temple University is upholding its commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. Across disciplines, and in all of our schools and colleges, we prepare students to be ‘real-world ready.’ We empower them to take charge of their futures and find success in fields that have not yet been invented.”

Ben Stucker, FOX ’13, delivers his final presentation at the 2015 Be Your Own Boss Bowl. Stucker won the grand prize at the business-plan competition, which is considered one of the most-lucrative in the nation. (Ryan S. Brandenberg)
Ben Stucker, FOX ’13, delivers his final presentation at the 2015 Be Your Own Boss Bowl. Stucker won the grand prize at the business-plan competition, which is considered one of the most-lucrative in the nation. (Ryan S. Brandenberg)

Published Nov. 10, The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine’s 2016 rankings recognize 25 undergraduate- and 25 graduate-level programs for excellence in entrepreneurship education. The rankings are based upon a large variety of quantitative and qualitative criteria, including the number of: entrepreneurship-specific courses offered; faculty who are also entrepreneurs and/or serve on the boards of new ventures; businesses started and funds raised by alumni; and entrepreneurship-focused activities, competitions, programs, clubs, and centers.

Temple University offers a portfolio of interdisciplinary programs to serve the various constituencies within the university and the region. These range from programs supporting incoming freshmen, like a General Education Course on Creativity & Organizational Innovation or the Innovate & Create Living Learning Community; those that support faculty scientists, like the TechConnect Workshop and the Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Technology Commercialization; and those that support the professional community in the region and abroad like the Master of Science in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship.

Through Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), the region’s oldest-such center, which is housed at the Fox School, the university conducts annual business plan competitions like the Innovative Idea Competition and the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. With prizes exceeding $200,000, the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® is considered one of the most-lucrative and comprehensive business plan competitions in the nation. Another widely accessible entrepreneurship program, Blackstone LaunchPad, is designed to support and mentor students regardless of major, experience, or discipline.

In the last four years, dating to the 2011-12 academic year, the Fox School of Business and Temple University have seen Entrepreneurship program enrollment increases of 380 and 220 percent at the graduate and undergraduate levels, respectively, according to Dr. Robert C. McNamee, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Fox and Managing Director of Temple’s IEI.

“Such dramatic increases would not have been possible without the dozens of faculty who champion entrepreneurship across the 18 schools and colleges at Temple University,” said McNamee.

Ellen Weber speaks to attendees of the 2015 Be Your Own Boss Bowl, one of the most-lucrative business plan competitions in the nation. Weber serves as Executive Director of Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute and as Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at the Fox School of Business. (Ryan S. Brandenberg)
Ellen Weber speaks to attendees of the 2015 Be Your Own Boss Bowl, one of the most-lucrative business plan competitions in the nation. Weber serves as Executive Director of Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute and as Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at the Fox School of Business. (Ryan S. Brandenberg)

IEI provides internship opportunities, business-planning workshops, seminars, mentoring and coaching, in addition to annual conferences in social, global, women’s and industry-specific entrepreneurship. Executive Director Ellen Weber and McNamee lead the entrepreneurship and innovation programs. IEI manages Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures, an independent organization that assists emerging technology-based companies in their effort to build sustainable businesses, and works closely with Robin Hood Ventures, a group of Philadelphia-area angel investors that focus on early-stage, high-growth companies.

Over the last four years the IEI has expanded its offerings to include: a Master of Science in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship; graduate certificates in both Innovation Strategy and Innovation & Technology Commercialization; MBA concentrations in both Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management; a General Education course in Creativity & Organizational Innovation; and an Entrepreneurial Living Learning Community. IEI, in partnership with the College of Engineering, launched a Master of Science in Engineering Management, and supported the creation of a Master of Science in BioInnovation in the College of Science & Technology as multiple ancillary supporting programs.

Visit The Princeton Review for complete rankings.

“Enlightening, Useful and Conversational” are just a few words to describe TechConnect.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) partnered with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the second time to host their semiannual innovation and technology two-day workshop, TechConnect Idea to Invoice Workshop, on Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1. The two-day workshop brought scientists and technologists together with business professionals to develop strategies to move tech innovations to market success.

The IEI hosted a successful TechConnect in fall 2014, with 90 attendees including Temple University students and faculty, Philadelphia business executives and representatives from Mayor Nutter’s office. Along with returning participation from the Philadelphia Mayor’s office, this year’s TechConnect had over 100 registered attendees with participating organizations including Comcast, Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Boeing, and other technology giants.

TechConnect kicked off at 5:30 p.m. by assembling multi-functional teams around a number of technologies. The workshop then followed a technology commercialization roadmap, leading teams with the active support of business mentors, through each stage of the process.  Workshop attendees had the option of working on their own technological innovation or a technology provided by one of our partners.

A participating MBA candidate who attended TechConnect shared, “the most important value addition was the people I met along the way. It is because of the people that events such as these are so awesome.” Sr. Technology Commercialization Specialist of NASA found the event to be “very informative and useful.”

Andrew Maxwell and IEI Managing Director, Robert McNamee, led presentations throughout the conference speaking about topics including new product development, innovation science, technology to job mapping, corporate challenges, and much more. The workshop took place in the MBA Commons on the 7th floor of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, Alter Hall and concluded at 8:30 p.m.

The IEI Institute is looking forward to the next TechConnect workshop, which will place fall of this year. Stay tuned for more details on

All photos taken at this event were from Temple SMC Senior, Saeed  Briscoe. Click here to learn more about IEI.

IME copy


Scholarships available.  Class Size is limited. Apply today at

All business plans for the  Be Your Own Boss Bowl (BYOBB) competition are due this Tuesday, March 17 at 11:59 p.m. Competitors will submit their plans to and BYOBB finalists will be announced by April 1. As a reminder, you must include three items in your application:

If you have any questions about the BYOBB competition please look at the BYOBB website, email or call 215-204-3082 for more information.  We will have people standing by until 8:00 pm on March 17th to answer questions. 

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #BYOBB2015 to join in on the conversation. 

On Tuesday, February 24, IEI’s Executive Director, Ellen Weber, led a “Pitch Decks” workshop discussing the components and expectations of a pitch deck to prepare those who are competing in the BYOBB business plan competition. The presentation took place in Fox’s IEI Lab from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Beginning the presentation, Ellen defined a pitch deck as “a six-to-eight minute presentation with an investor focus that grabs early attention and holds attention by hitting highlights of your business plan, leaving the investor eager to know more.” When someone likes your pitch, it increases your chances of getting your business plan read. For instance, if you do a great job with your pitch deck, the judges will be more favorably disposed while reading your business plan. 

Regarding the pitch deck PowerPoint presentation, it is important the presenter’s slides speak for his/her product or service. If the slides fail to tell a story, students should create a narration deck to include their notes from their note section to help the pitch deck flow. Remember, don’t just tell the business plan, share the business plan so the judges can see it and have a feel for it. A personal tip Ellen suggested to students was to create an appendix slide so BYOBB participants are prepared if a judge asks a question, the participant can go directly to that slide to answer the judge’s question.

Out of all of your PowerPoint slides, the financials slide is most important. This is because judges can get a sense of how you think as an entrepreneur by seeing a three year financial projection and history. By showing your revenues, expenses and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), the judges can learn when you think growth or break-even may occur in your business. Keep in mind to never include decimals in your financials!

At the very end of your presentation, do not have a slide simply saying, “Thank You.” The last slide will stay up for judges to look at during the Q&A so it is essential to leave a lasting impression by ending with a summary slide of reasons why to invest in your company. Also, don’t forget to have your contact information listed in the beginning and end of the presentation because if someone sends your pitch deck to someone else, and you have no contact information listed, you may have lost yourself a major opportunity.

BYOBB judges will also pay extreme attention to how well the students know, understand and care about competition. Ellen advised, “The more you can differentiate your product or service, the better. The more you know about your competitors, the better. It is okay to have your competition do some things your company can’t do because this is how you show which niche you are going for.”

Overall, do what is best for you and your company. Make your story compelling, keep it simple and short, cover all of the necessary info, and show what the product looks like. Be passionate, entrepreneurial, honest and coachable. Don’t get discouraged by constructive criticism; do your homework and listen and accept negative feedback, as it will only help you in the long-run.

As a reminder, there will be On Demand Mentoring sessions on March 10 (5 p.m.) and March 11 (12 p.m.) for BYOBB participants to receive feedback from senior executives on the financials, strategy, marketing, and other challenging sections of their business plans. Both sessions will take place in Alter Hall’s IEI Lab, room 503D.

To learn more about how to create a successful pitch deck, visit Be sure to stay connected with the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute to get the latest updates on workshops and events on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


It was standing room only for renowned entrepreneur and Strategic Management Professor, Dwight Carey, as he led the “Cash Flow, Profits & Financials” workshop on February 18 in Fox’s IEI Lab.

Professor Carey started his presentation by stating, “Cash is more important than your momma because without cash you are out of business.” Students laughed at his opening remark, but he was very serious.

Throughout the workshop, he never strayed from the discussion of a cash flow pro forma, as it is key to an entrepreneur who does not want to run out of cash. He asked students about the components of a balance sheet and the main difference between income sheets and balance sheets because these answers are key to a successful cash flow pro forma. He shared the easy part of a cash flow pro forma is the expenses, and the hard part is the income.

As a young entrepreneur, the odds are going to be against you. Professor Carey said, “In the first five years, about 50 or more percent of all startups are going to go bankrupt. At the end of 10 years, only one in 10 companies will make it.” He provided advice on how to avoid joining these statistics:

  1. There is such a thing as “love money.” For example, your father is willing to cash in his 401K to get your business going. Be cautious because if this money burns out, you may have your father living with you for the rest of your life. Ultimately, be careful when borrowing this so-called love money!
  2. It is extremely important to project your revenue. This means, sit down with no distractions and write down every little thing that could affect your business sales in the future. This includes strikes, natural disasters, the city shutting down, etc. As entrepreneurs, you need to always look into the future for your business to succeed.
  3. Do not hire people in the beginning of your company simply just to “hire people.” You need to remember that once you hire someone, you have an ethical and moral responsibility to make them good employees. It is immoral to simply hire and fire people just because you suddenly realize you don’t need them in your company. Instead, hire independent contractors or your peers who have the skills your business needs to get started.
  4. If you want your product in a company, don’t be afraid to call that company’s president. Ask for just 15 minutes of his/her time to pitch your product to get it in that dream company. Perfect your pitch in front of a mirror so you are confident and ready to share your innovation and passion with the world!
  5. Lastly, ask yourself from May to the end of your first year, “Can I afford to lose $45,000?” If you say no, don’t throw your idea away quite yet. Instead, go back over your cash flow pro forma and either (1) increase your sales or (2) cut your expenses. Ultimately, be incredibly realistic about your product and business and ruthlessly honest with yourself in order to succeed.

At the end of the workshop, Professor Carey gave students “homework” to research the founder of SPANX, Sara Blakely, who is the first female billionaire under 30 years old. He told students to listen to her story from The Edge Connection, as she will share, “One day you wake up and you’re an inventor and then one day you wake up and you’re a company.” Learn more about Sara and her booming business here.

Be sure to stay connected with the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute to get the latest updates on workshops and events at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


On Wednesday, February 19, Owner of Genzer Associates, Rick Gezner, came to Fox to speak to students about how to create a competitive business analysis by discussing perceptual maps, competitor matrix, industry structure and environment.

A leader of business and technology since 1986, Rick has held roles ranging from software engineer to executive vice president and chief technology officer. As an independent management consultant, Rick has also started five of his own businesses in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Throughout the workshop, Rick put an emphasis on the significance of competition in the business industry. He explained how important it is to define, understand, address and develop strategy for your company as well as know who, where, what, how and how much the competition is to your business.

Rick explained the biggest problem in all business is the “last mile,” also known as shipping and transportation. This is because it has a geometric effect on cost and the smallest disruption will cause a problem. He advises, “If you are in a new market with a new product, you have to educate the entire market. If you jump in where competition exists, you don’t have to explain. Don’t shy away from competition.”

As a last key note, he shared entrepreneurs must always stay on message and be very crisp, no matter the circumstance!

Be sure to stay connected with the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute to get the latest updates on workshops and events on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


An international ranking nonprofit with a mission of making entrepreneurship ubiquitous at universities, 3Day Startup (3DS) has again ranked Fox’s Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, Dwight Carey, as one of the Top 25 Entrepreneurial Professors in the world. Professor Carey has been continually ranked since 2013.

Professor Carey shared this ranking was a complete surprise as it was brought to his attention by a venture capital firm that contacted him about investing in one of his student’s companies. He states, “It emphasizes the international phenomena that millions of people are looking towards entrepreneurism as the way to improve their lives. So many institutions and agencies are offering money (even micro loans of as little as $250.00US), education, materials, incubators, accelerators, reality TV shows and mentors to make this happen.”

Voted Congressional Business Man of the Year (2003- 2006), Professor Carey is known as a “serial entrepreneur,” as he has started and managed 17 national and international corporations, LLCs and partnerships. At Temple, he has been awarded the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching and two Crystal Apples for University Service. To find a full list of his awards and honors click here.

Since 2006, Professor Carey has taught 80 undergraduate and graduate courses at Temple University. Currently, he teaches classes in the Fox School of Business including Advanced Entrepreneurship, Engineering Entrepreneurship and Global Business Policies.

He expresses his love for Temple by sharing, “I truly believe that Temple, its different colleges and faculty have the ability and talent to be number one in this greatly needed movement. Watching this explosive growth and working with students makes my days very rewarding.  I am fortunate to be at Temple at this time in world history.”

Professor Carey has been interviewed on national television and radio shows, magazines, newspapers and published books. His work and accomplishments have not gone unnoticed as he is continuously recognized both on a national and local level for all of his hard work. 

3DS runs collegiate three day workshops at 60 of the top colleges and universities on five continents. These programs enable chosen undergraduate and graduate students to create a business and launch it within three very intensive days, (thus its organizational name). To date, it has run 132 programs, launched 79 companies and raised $49 million through alumni.

Stay connected with the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) on their social media outlets for daily updates including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Don’t miss this opportunity!

The deadline to submit your Temple Opportunity Description and get a BYOBB mentor is February 13, 2015. Click here to sign up today.




Registration is required. Please click here to register.

Fall 13_WomensConf_SaveDate2

This years panel will explore how to turn a creative business concept, product or idea into a successful revenue producing business.

Karen Moustafellos, Co-Founder, Elements and Alloys
Nancy Glass, Owner, Nancy Glass Productions
Bridgette Mayer, Director, Bridgette Mayer Gallery


Enter the Innovative Idea Competition for the Chance to win $1000!!

Learn how to enter here

We will be hosting three Coaching & Feedback sessions this week for the competition

September 30th Session #1
October 1st Session #2
October 2nd Session #3

Alter Room 503D

IIC_general invite

Yesterday, Blackstone announced at the University City Science Center, that they will be giving out a grant to Temple University,  to promote Entrepreneurship throughout Temple and Philadelphia! Find out more on the Temple Today article here and view the official Blackstone Launchpad video here!

This is great news for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute and Temple University!

2012 Innovative Idea Finalists Announced

October 12, 2012 //

Congratulations to our 12 finalists in the 15th annual Innovative Idea Competition! Come see them pitch their idea and vote for the People’s Choice Awards at the Innovative Idea Awards competition on Wednesday, Oct. 17 2012 from 4-6PM in the Undergraduate Commons in Alter Hall (under the ticker tape). Click here to register now.

Bake-A-Case  – Matthew Condello (Fox School of Business)
BookExchange – Dante Peters (Fox School of Business)
Electro-Neural-Catheter –  Pradeep Selvan  (School of Medicine)
GymNet – Frank Pelletier (College of Science & Technology)
Medical Comparison Tool –  Gary Cheung (College of Science & Technology)
Nimble-Green – Michael Jackson (College of Engineering) – Jonathan Reiter & Ross Reiter (Fox School of Business)
Preserve Philly – Dylan Baird (Fox School of Business)
Reframes –  Nathaly Ramos (College of Liberal Art)
Study Songs – John Turner (Alum ’12),  Rashidah Andrews (Faculty & Student), Chalon Downs  (Faculty), Nneka Kirkland (Faculty)
Touchrounds – Alejandro Gonzalez (Temple University Hospital) & Anar Mikailov (School of Medicine)
UpgradeMySeats – Matt Cassidy (Fox School of Business)