Over the summer, the Fox School brought together the top academic marketing researchers from all over the world to present on some of the most pressing issues in marketing science at the 40th annual INFORMS Society of Marketing Science (ISMS) Conference. Professor Xueming Luo, Fox School’s Charles Gilliland Distinguished Chair, served as the general chair for the event that delved into topics like cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, the shared economy and autonomous driving.

“The conference was a great way to learn about the cutting-edge ideas top scholars are developing, and it is also a great forum in which to discuss research with other scholars outside of our own institutions,” says Michelle Andrews, a graduate of the Fox PhD Program and assistant professor of Marketing at Emory University.

With over 850 attendees, the ISMS Conference appealed to a broad audience that included professors, marketing executives, doctoral students and others. Andrews presented on why marketers should invest in search advertising on mobile. Newsworthy companies like Amazon, AirBnB and Uber were vigorously discussed in terms of marketing algorithms, customer targeting and Big Data.

“The unique thing about the conference was that we presented our research, but there were also opportunities for CEOs to give feedback and share their ideas with the academic community,” says Luo.

Planning is already underway for future ISMS conference sites, with Rome hosting in 2019 and Duke in 2020.

Additionally, the National Innovation Conference was hosted at the Fox School in May 2018. With over 200 registrants, professionals and their families networked and discussed the latest in innovation.

“Every two years, the Greek America Foundation hosts a conference that focuses on prominent Greek-Americans, or Greek-related people who have done innovative work,” says Angelika Dimoka, director of the Center for Neural Decision Making at the Fox
School. “The 2018 conference featured several people of Greek origin who came up with creative business ideas during the unrest in the Greek economy.”

NIC hosted an impressive lineup of Greek-American professionals in the contributed commentary regarding innovation and entrepreneurship in the areas of food and beverage, education, nonprofit, science and business. Panels included dynamic women speaking about their professional experiences to “Slay in Your Lane” in the wake of the #MeToo movement, and a discussion around innovation of traditional Greek foods into upscale, modern culinary art in “Food 2.0.” The conference also offered Camp NIC to children of attendees, with hands on innovation-themed activities in food, arts and chemistry.

Other impressive contributions to the event included Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington’s “Be Fearless” message, as well as presentations from Axios Wines master winemaker Gus Kalaris, President of NowThis Media Athan Stephanopolous, and tech entrepreneur and chairman of Roa Ventures John Roa.  

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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!


When Kahn Louise Miller submitted her idea for a smartphone app that facilitates safe connections between erotic services providers and their clients to the 2013 Innovative Idea Competition at Temple University, she assumed she would be disqualified. Instead, she won two awards – the Stan Angelo Smart Bulb Award for Brightest Retail Idea and the People’s Choice Award.

Miller, an undergraduate public health major, was one of four students from a new Temple General Education course, Creativity & Organizational Innovation, who were named among 12 finalists in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute’s (IEI) idea competition, a university-wide challenge to think up new products, services and technologies that have potential to become businesses.

Miller’s location-based app, Hook, would allow street-based erotic services providers and clients to connect spontaneously, safely and discreetly. While the concept is inspired by Miller’s experience leading Philadelphia-based Project SAFE, an organization that serves the unmet health needs of women working in prostitution, the product is intended for countries where erotic services have been fully or partially decriminalized.

Ideas like Hook, those that push limits, are exactly the kind of concepts that the Creativity & Organizational Innovation course, offered through the Fox School of Business, is designed to foster. New this fall, the course is open to students across the university and teaches creative problem solving as a tool to come up with different organizational and business models.

“Companies today can’t be static the way they used to be,” said IEI Academic Director and course founder Robert McNamee. “Every organization and every employee has to be creative and be able to solve problems, to drive innovation and change in an organization.”

The course acknowledges that society, organizations and other factors often stifle individuals’ tendencies to consider offbeat ideas, break the rules or challenge the status quo, McNamee said. To fight that, the course creates a comfortable atmosphere to talk about all sorts of ideas. Then, students work to deconstruct each idea, determine why it is valuable and why it may or may not be feasible.

“The undergraduate curriculum has to keep evolving, staying ahead of the curve whenever possible, and providing our students with new ides, new perspectives and the opportunity to develop different skill sets,” said Peter Jones, Temple’s senior vice provost for undergraduate studies. “This course, SGM 827, is clearly doing that – and some.”

Had it not been for the course, Miller said, she would not have submitted her idea to the Innovative Idea Competition. Neither would the three other students in the course who also made it to the final round, McNamee said.

“People don’t realize the potential of their ideas,” he said. “The reality is you have to give ideas a chance. You have to get them out there and get them out of your head.”

That is one reason the course requires all students to enter the competition, where this year’s ideas ranged from grand-prize winning Genie Player, a smartphone app designed by the Fox School’s Zhewei Zhang that syncs a user’s movements with a unique algorithm-based music experience, to College of Science and Technology student Michael Ward’s GreenerGreens, a company that grows produce hydroponically and sells it to local, urban grocers, and CityBrella, an umbrella rental system thought up by Meng Hsuan Tsai, an undergraduate Fox student.

Next, Miller and some of the other finalists plan to submit their ideas to IEI’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl® (BYOBB), a business plan competition that helps Temple students, faculty, staff and alumni advance their ideas by assigning senior-executive mentors and hosting business plan workshops, open mentoring nights and more. Last year’s grand prize included $130,000 in cash, professional products and services, and incubation space – all intended to turn the winning idea into a thriving business. Other track and category prizes are also awarded.

This year’s Innovative Idea Competition finalists were Nicholas Scott Horn, Fox School; Kahn Louise Miller, College of Health Professions and Social Work; Alex Petyearak, School of Media and Communication; Zhewei Zhang, Fox School; Winifred Glover, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management; Mike Haley, Fox School; Brandon Bahr, Fox School; Meng Hsuan Tsai, Fox School; Viktoriya Tverskaya, Fox School; Joe Doyle, Fox School; Michael Ward, College of Science and Technology; and Todor Raykov, Fox School.

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

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)

Temple School of Communications and Theater Interim Dean Thomas Jacobson (left) stands with 2011 Innovative Idea Competition grand prize winner Jazmin Butler and Fox School of Business Vice Dean Rajan Chandran.

Some people may ask themselves, how do I think of the next big idea? Most of the times we are all trying to think outside the box about how one would go about creating the next iPod or the next But sometimes the answers to the next great and unique business plans are finding solutions to the everyday problems that we face within our own lives. That is exactly what Jazmin Butler did. The problem she was facing is a problem all students face, being a poor college student. In this case she had her father helping her out by paying some bills for her, but even though that may sound simple on paper, she discovered that it was quite difficult trying to coordinate incoming and outgoing money. Her problem led to a thought process of an idea that won her the grand prize and this year’s 14th Annual Innovative and Idea competition. What started as a frustrating internship in New York became a marvelous idea and between Jazmin and her father they put thought into action and they called their creation is set up to make it easier for family and friends to support students during their college education. The subscription-based site allows a student to input all of his or her reoccurring bills, such as Internet service or rent, on the site. The student then adds the e-mail addresses of people who might wish to offer support. Butler says their pre-written e-mails take some of the awkwardness away from asking people for money.

“We phrase it in a way to let them know how it will help them. It will give them time to improve their grades and focus” Butler stated.

Expected to launch early next year, Miss Butler hopes to expand into other applications, such as helping teachers purchase classroom supplies. IEI has a lot to offer not only business students but all students here at Temple University. This innovative young woman is a senior film and media arts major, which goes to show you that no matter what your field of study is, great ideas can be born and harnessed you just have to know where to look for that helping hand. Butler said the IEI is a great example of the fact that “Temple has a lot to offer to people. With all of this free information and resources, you can tell they really want you to succeed. Being in Philadelphia by myself, I needed that.”

{Read Full Article}

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Media Contact: Brandon Lausch, 215-204-4115,

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) recently honored Temple students, faculty and alumni at its 13th annual Innovative Idea Competition Awards Reception.

Second-year MBA student Lev Davidson and his faculty partner, Dr. Eric Borguet, professor of chemistry from the College of Science and Technology, were awarded the grand prize of $1,000 cash and $1,500 in Microsoft products for their business, NANOpure Technologies.

NANOpure is working to create groundbreaking carbon nanotubes that are significantly purer in construction and require less time and money to produce than existing options. These nanotubes, which look simply like black sand to the naked eye, are 50,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair and 100 times stronger than steel – at just one-sixth the weight. The practical applications of the growing nanotechnology industry include flat-panel display and advanced water filtration systems.

When Davidson first began working on the project, these concepts were as foreign to him as to the next business student. But through a pilot program matching Temple faculty inventors with MBA students expressing interest in tech start-ups, Davidson was paired with Borguet, and the two worked off of complementing skill sets. The program was coordinated by Temple’s Office of Technology Transfer and the IEI.

“This partnership has been such a fruitful experience,” Davidson said. “It has been an amazing education in how to commercialize something, how to take it from the lab to the market.”

“This win was especially meaningful,” added Jaine Lucas, executive director of the IEI.” It’s a strong validation that our MBA student-faculty inventor partnerships are working.”

In addition to the grand prize, the IEI awarded first and second places in graduate and undergraduate tracks during the Oct. 20 ceremony. In the upper track, first place went to Plastisoil, a collaboration between Jabber Al-Bihani and Dr. Naji Khoury from the College of Engineering. Second place was awarded to Angulous Orthopaedics, another MBA-faculty inventor team composed of Mike Mittelman and Dr. Jason Piraino from the School of Podiatric Medicine.

In the undergraduate track, Fox students were awarded both first and second prizes – Mohamed Ali Niang for Malo Traders and Mike Cangi for Impact Racing.

This year, students and faculty from 11 Temple colleges took part in the Innovative Idea Competition. Many of the participants will next compete in the IEI’s annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl (BYOBB) business plan competition, which offers more than $65,000 in cash and prizes. The BYOBB emphasizes the quality of the business plan, rather than the idea, and participation in the Innovative Idea Competition beforehand is not required.

Lucas said the Innovative Idea Competition is ideal for students, faculty, alumni and staff with innovative new products and services that can become the basis for new businesses and technology start-ups. The student-faculty partnerships serve as a foundation for turning a complicated, technology-heavy idea into a working business plan.

“It’s exciting that we got the recognition we did, because it highlights the fact that there are so many amazing technologies coming out of Temple, and there are real meaningful commercial opportunities for them,” Davidson said. “Innovation is happening at Temple, and I think these kinds of partnerships will bring them to market.”

– Julie Achilles