Small Business
Development Center

We are an outreach center of the Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University that has been serving Philadelphia and the surrounding communities since 1983. Our highly trained and experienced staff is here to provide start-up and small businesses with professional knowledge and assistance. Our mission is to help small businesses grow and succeed.

Temple Small Business Development Center and Warrior Rising Launch “Small Business Special Forces Incubator“

Temple Small Business Development Center and Warrior Rising Launch

Ambler, PA, Fall 2019 – A print maker, a health and wellness coach, a cardboard manufacturer sit in a classroom among other classmates with two major things in common; all are veterans and all are entrepreneurs ready to grow their business.

A study found that veterans are almost 50% more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans (Source: SBA Office of Advocacy) Veterans may turn to entrepreneurship as a way to establish work-life balance and financial independence or due to a dissatisfaction with available workforce opportunities.

Military training can provide the discipline, leadership, perseverance, and propensity for team work that make a successful entrepreneur. However, the rate of veteran entrepreneurship is declining. Challenges to launching a business like access to adequate capital, finding mentorship, and business plan design are only more apparent for veterans.

To remedy these challenges, the Temple Small Business Development Center and Warrior Rising launched the Small Business Special Forces Incubator, a six month program located at the Temple University Ambler Campus SBDC outpost. The program consists of weekly business planning classes, incubator space, mentorship, and a pitch competition. Classes are specifically designed to translate the skills that veterans gain in the military to the competencies needed in the business world. This class is being offered at no charge to the participants.

Caterer Miya Park is looking to expand her catering business. She commented, “the Veterans Incubator has given my business the tools to scale up by providing business knowledge, resources and funding opportunities. As a single mother and veteran this opportunity can change the course of my business and family’s future for the better. I am forever grateful.”

Classes cover essential business plan building blocks like marketing and running operations. Participants will also learn about how to access existing programs that help veteran business owners locate capital, take advantage of tax credits, and hire other veterans. Pre-venture businesses will also have access to start-up grants from Warrior Rising.

Ken Vennera, Programming Chair of Warrior Rising notes, “This is a tremendous opportunity for Warrior Rising to partner with Temple SBDC to bring our program of instruction for business start-up and growth to Greater Philadelphia area veteran entrepreneurs. Warrior Rising looks forward to continuing to assist veterans with building upon their military training and experience to become successful in their own businesses.”

Join the first cohort as they deliver their business pitches at 6pm on December 18th at Temple University Ambler.

About the Temple Small Business Development Center

We are an outreach center of the Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University that has been serving Philadelphia and the surrounding communities since 1983. Our highly trained and experienced staff is here to provide start-up and small businesses with professional knowledge and assistance. Our mission is to help small businesses grow and succeed.

Ambler Campus Information:
580 Meetinghouse Road, Library Building, Room 13
Ambler, PA 19002

The Executive Director of Temple SBDC, Maura Shenker, is available for interviews via MauraSBDC@temple.edu or 215 704 5565

For more information, see their website: https://www.fox.temple.edu/institutes-and-centers/small-business-development-center/

About Warrior Rising

Warrior Rising is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2015 by former combat veterans, dedicated to helping hundreds of veterans nationwide achieve success in business through instruction, mentoring, funding access, and maintaining the veteran community. Warrior Rising empowers U.S. veterans and their immediate families by providing them opportunities to create sustainable businesses, perpetuate the hiring of fellow U.S. military veterans, and earn their future.

For more information, see their website: www.WarriorRising.org

Contacts:
Erika Tapp, Start Up Consultant
ErikaSBDC@temple.edu
215 204 6657

Ken Vennera, Programming Chair, Warrior Rising
ken@warriorrising.org
610 213 7556

Karl Kraus has some general advice for entrepreneurs just starting out on their road to creating a new business.

SPDC Fall 2019

“Define what you are offering, who your market is and what value your business offers to the customer,” said Kraus, Senior Business Specialist and Manager of Temple’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Ambler Campus. “Draw up a plan and seek out independent advice.”

That’s where the Small Business Development Center comes in. The SBDC, an outreach center of the Fox School of Business and Management, has been working to help fledgling businesses bridge the gap between concepts to customers since 1983. The Ambler branch of the SBDC opened its doors in the Ambler Campus Library Building in March 2019.

“Our mission is to help small businesses grow, thrive and survive. We help them build their business from the ground up,” said Kraus, who is also a technology and manufacturing specialist. “The Temple Ambler SBDC predominantly serves the suburbs, the surrounding Philadelphia communities — a convenient location to ‘get in, get help, and get out,’ because time is a precious commodity for any new business. It’s a big benefit to be located right within the neighborhood.”

Kraus said the Ambler Campus SBDC is focused on “businesses that are more typical in Montgomery and Bucks counties, such as technology, life sciences and manufacturing.”

“Since the campus is home to Temple’s Landscape Architecture and Horticulture programs, we’d like to work with local landscape architecture and horticulture businesses to see what might be possible working together,” he said. “That’s something we’d definitely like to explore further with the Tyler School of Art and Architecture and the faculty here on campus.”

On a daily basis, Kraus said, the SBDC provides a comprehensive set of consulting services that cover topics such as business strategy, financial analysis, marketing strategy, research, government and large institutional procurement, manufacturing and supply chain issues, and the commercialization of technology.

“Our consultants work with entrepreneurs in one-to-one sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan and investigating funding opportunities,” he said. “We want to get them to the point where they have a draft business plan in hand. Once there, we have consultancy options that go well past the business plan — we have start-up consulting specialists and procurement specialists ready to work with them.”

Kraus said the businesses that the Ambler Campus SBDC works with are an eclectic mix that run the gamut from a landscape and nursery supply service to a brew pub and restaurant — the owners are renovating a 1909-era firehouse — to a high precision machine shop that serves the oil and gas industry.

“Small businesses encompass a wide range of companies and services. A small business, for example, could be a manufacturing plant that has 500 employees,” he said. “Our goal is to enhance and improve economic development within the region. The SBDC is here for anyone who would like to improve their business — it’s that simple.”

In addition to the wealth of consultancy services the SBDC provides, the Temple Ambler office will offer a business incubator of eight to 12 businesses specifically designed for military veterans, said Small Business Development Center Director Maura Shenker.

“We are working with veterans to take them through the entire business development process, from pre-venture to starting a business to building revenue,” she said.

The six-month comprehensive Veteran Business Training program will be free to veteran participants. Upon completion of the program, veteran start-ups will have a completed business plan; a perfected elevator pitch; a peer support network, business mentor, and business consultant; an understanding of specialized business support programs for veterans; six-month access to co-working space; and knowledge of how to access start-up capital.

The incubator, Shenker said, provides start-up businesses that don’t yet have a home of their own with shared office services.

“It provides them with ready access to computers, phones, space to meet clients while also giving them easy access to consultants and SBDC services,” she said. “It gives them a place where they can really get their business going without feeling like they have to go it alone.”

Interested veteran entrepreneurs are asked to apply online.

Throughout the fall, the Ambler Campus office of the SBDC will also host a series of free workshops designed to help small businesses achieve success.

Procurement” is a series of seven workshops offered on Fridays from September 20 through October 25 highlighting topics ranging from Navigating the Procurement Process to Supplier Diversity and How to Develop Your Strategy for Success.

Global Mindset” is a three-part series offered on Tuesdays, from October 1 through 15 for those thinking about expanding their business internationally.

All Procurement and Global Mindset workshops will be held in Widener Hall at Temple Ambler. Participants are invited to register for any or all of the workshops.

Additionally “Introduction to QuickBooks for Entrepreneurs” will be held on Saturday, November 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Ambler Campus Learning Center. The fee for the QuickBooks course is $75.

For additional information, contact jamieSBDC@temple.edu, 215-204-2375 or visit fox.temple.edu/SBDC.

Originally posted by Jim Duffy: View Original Post

‘City Announces Recipients of StartupPHL Venture Grants’ Originally published here by the Department of Commerce, July 25, 2019

The Philadelphia Department of Commerce and its StartupPHL initiative announced the recipients of the StartupPHL Venture Program, which aims to support startup companies run by entrepreneurs from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The StartupPHL Venture Program provides funding for technology or technology-enabled ventures that may not have access to traditional forms of capital and founder networks.

The program awarded 13 separate grants totaling $170,000, with the goal of creating economic opportunities for underserved populations in the Philadelphia tech community. The program helps to increase access to early stage capital for underserved groups that may not have had an opportunity to get off the ground. Applicants’ businesses were required to be based in Philadelphia and working on a tech-enabled venture. The City received a total of 43 applications; the 13 grants will be disbursed to a total of 21 founders. Twelve of the founders are women and 17 are people of color.

“People of color, women and immigrants disproportionately have limited access to financing and capital to start and sustain a new business, and this presents a major barrier to entrepreneurship for these communities,” said Francisco Garcia, director of business development for innovation and technology at the Department of Commerce. “The StartupPHL Venture Program helps meet the early-stage needs of entrepreneurs, prioritizing those that are underrepresented, and helping to level the playing field during this critical stage for any business.”

The StartupPHL Venture Program was developed as a result of the Project NorthStar Conference in October 2018. There, access to early-stage capital was a major issue cited by tech entrepreneurs of color because of social and economic disadvantages. This program represents one way that the City is cultivating tech-enabled businesses from individuals whose circumstances and networks limit their access to modest amounts of capital at the “friends and family” fundraising stage.

The StartupPHL Venture Program grantees represent a variety of industries including: retail businesses, tech and entrepreneurship education, enterprise technology for procurement, social media, construction technology, accounting, diversity and inclusion, fashion, fintech and mortgage tech, and healthcare.

The grants were awarded by a nine-person review committee based on an organization’s demonstrated ability to increase the number of jobs available in the City of Philadelphia either through business scale or through the development of programs that enhance economic development.

The following list of companies—with accompanying grant amounts—are the first recipients of the StartupPHL Venture Program:

  • Ask My Accountant — $10,000
  • BuildLAB, Inc. — $15,000
  • Capture — $10,000
  • Crowds, Inc. — $10,000
  • IF Lab — $25,000
  • Invure — $5,000
  • NeuroFlow, Inc. — $20,000
  • Raise the Barr — $10,000
  • STEM Lending, Inc. — $10,000
  • Stimulus, Inc. — $20,000
  • Swirl Technologies, Inc. — $10,000
  • TYP Social Media Co. — $15,000
  • Wearwell — $10,000

About StartupPHL

StartupPHL is a collaborative effort between the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). More information about StartupPHL can be found at www.startupphl.com. More information about the Department of Commerce can be found at www.phila.gov/commerce.

June 18th 2019- Students, SBDC staff, and guests gathered to celebrate the successful completion of the 10-week entrepreneurial success workshop series (ESWS). The evening began with a reception and mingling amongst the attendees. Afterwards, each student delivered their business pitch to the panel of judges for feedback. The judges represented different lending institutions; Coston Cobbs from United Bank, M. Kenneth Lawrence from Sun East Federal Credit Union; and Amy J. Raybould-Derstine from TD Bank. The judges and attendees heard from some of Philadelphia’s freshest entrepreneurs with ideas spanning from revolutionary airplane passenger products to real estate investments and wholesale distribution. Then, class instructor Mark Corbin passed on words of encouragement as he presented the certificates to the students. Now that they have completed the course, students will meet with SBDC consultants to help turn their business dreams into reality.
For many years, aspiring entrepreneurs have attended our short series to learn about writing a business plan and its importance. The 10-week course focuses on topics such as market research, competitive intelligence, positioning, sales, etc. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur looking for guidance, the SBDC will be hosting its next session this coming fall 2019. For more information contact 215-204-3856 or email sbtrain@temple.edu.

Graduation Body 1

On May 18, The Temple Small Business Development (SBDC) Construction Management Series graduates, families, teachers, and staff gathered to celebrate the conclusion of the nine month series. The students spent nearly every Saturday in a classroom learning and developing skills practiced by industry professionals. Some topics included: blue-print reading, OSHA regulations, quantity take-off & cost estimating, project scheduling & budgeting, accounting, law, and insurance & bonding.

The final step in fulfilling the certificate requirements is the group presentation. Teams of students were required to create a job site proposal, requiring them to utilize all their skills developed throughout the course. The six groups presented and competed in front of an audience and judges; our director Maura Shenker, lead instructor Chidi Uzoije, business consultant Varma Mitchell, and International business consultant Darlene Atta.

After presentations, attendees gathered Alter Hall for a catered lunch before commencement. This year we were privileged to have Angelo R. Perryman as our keynote speaker. He is the second generation President and Chief Executive Officer of Perryman Building and Construction Services, Inc. a construction management firm based in Philadelphia.

Perryman’s journey into entrepreneurship is the result of more than thirty years experience as a superintendent, project manager and construction manager from two “Top 15” international construction firms.

The Temple SBDC thanks Mr. Perryman for being the keynote speaker and bringing his testimonial to the students. Additional gratitude is extended to Mr. Chidi Uzoije and the rest of the instructors for bringing their industry knowledge in their specific topics.

For anyone interested in learning more about the Construction Management Certificate or enrolling for next year, please feel free to contact us (Email: sbtrain@temple.edu, Phone: (215) 204-3856). Classes run from August to May on Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm.

Graduation Body 1
Graduation Body 2
Graduation Body 3

AMBLER, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A new center opening up at the Temple University Ambler campus is looking to provide business training for new companies, and it’s free for veterans.

It’s called the Outreach Center, and it is an incubator for new businesses created by veterans.

Maura Shenker, director of the Small Business Development Center, says one of the problems for veterans is a lack of a good credit history.

“A lot of ways that civilians build credit: buying a car, buying a house, paying their cable bill on time, paying power companies on time, you know building a credit history, people in the military just don’t have those opportunities,” she said.

Shenker says the center will give trainees not only office space, including computers, printers and Wi-Fi, but also alternatives to traditional bank loans.

“Such as CDFI’s, and that stands for Community Development Financial Institutions,” she said. “They’re basically nonprofit banks that can do what’s called a character loan, meaning instead of just looking at your credit score, they look at your whole personal history.”

Applications will be accepted from now through the end of May.

Originally posted by Kim Glovas for KYW: View Original Post

On April 25, small business owners, real estate professionals, city officials, and members of the community convened for the “Building Communities: 2019 Construction Mixer.” This joint event between Temple Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and The Enterprise Center (TEC) celebrated 31 years of the SBDC Construction Management Certificate, a 9 month program, and three years of TEC’s Construction Consortium.

The crowd of over 100 attendees heard from TEC’s Della Clark, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, and Harold Epps from the Commerce Department. Sponsors of the event included The How Group, Montage Diversity, Ideal Electrical Supply and leading sponsor Target Building Construction. Guests enjoyed bites from local business, Affinity Confections, while making new connections.

TEC and the SBDC encourage all attendees to continue to keep in touch with our programs.

Originally posted by Temple News
On an average day, Trina Worrell Benjamin handles invoices, returns calls and emails, directs a team of nearly a dozen employees and manages a client roster that has included big names like Rite Aid and Toys“R”Us.

She admits her first steps into entrepreneurship were not easy. But with the help of Temple’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the outreach arm of the university’s Fox School of Business, she established herself as a successful business owner.

“I started with an investment of $1,500 of my own money,” said Benjamin, who grew up in North Philadelphia near 12th Street and Lehigh Avenue. “I knew from the beginning I didn’t want to just start a business, I wanted to build a company.”

This year, a little more than a decade after establishing herself as an entrepreneur, Benjamin’s company, TWB Cleaning Contractors, anticipates turning nearly a six-figure profit.

Through consulting, training and access to affordable workspace, the SBDC has helped entrepreneurs like Benjamin successfully grow their businesses since 1983. The center also offers an incubator program that provides coworking, cubicle space and an opportunity to network with other business owners.

“Trina is an ideal incubator tenant. She first took our 10-week business planning class and entered the incubator as she prepared to grow,” said Jamie Shanker-Passero, associate director of the SBDC and manager of the incubator. “She is ambitious but understands that growth must happen strategically.”
While working within the incubator program, Benjamin went from working as a subcontractor to negotiating her own large cleaning contracts.

Her first steps toward entrepreneurship began in 2008 when she started a cleaning business with a childhood friend. Initially, she went into business in order to supplement her income. It wasn’t until the company started to grow significantly in its fourth year that she considered going solely into business for income.

“We got to the point where we could hire employees. That’s when I realized how lucrative this could be if we could put in 100 percent of our time,” she said. “I had a larger vision. I knew that if we could put all of our focus on the business, I knew we’d be successful.”

Her partner didn’t agree. Giving up a day job in order to take on entrepreneurship full time was too much of a risk. So in 2013, after working together for nearly six years, Benjamin severed her relationship with her business partner and set out to become her own boss, full-time.

Nearly a year later, she came across information on Temple’s SBDC through an internet job search.

“I am a witness to women entrepreneurs making great strides,” said Benjamin. “We’re here to stay, and we’re determined and persistent.”

According to a 2017 report released by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, becoming a business owner may represent the most viable career alternative for some ethnic groups. Twenty percent of Africans and African Americans are starting or running new businesses, higher than the national rate and up from 15.5 percent in 2016, the report states.

Although men still make up the majority of business owners, women entrepreneurs are significant contributors to the U.S. economy, said Ellen Weber, executive director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute at the Fox School of Business.

“When women start businesses, they provide income for their families and employment for their communities,” said Weber. “They also create products and services that deliver value to the world around them. Women entrepreneurs start businesses to create economic and social value.”

This is true for Benjamin’s business. Each summer, TWB Cleaning Contractors sponsors young Philadelphians enrolled in the Youthworks, a summer job program sponsored by the City of Philadelphia. Over the summer, five school-aged students spend six weeks working for her company.

“Having come from a public health background, I’ve seen firsthand what people will resort to in order to feed their families,” said Benjamin. “One of the most rewarding aspects of being a business owner is being able to offer employment opportunities to people in my community who are underemployed or unemployed.”

March 20th is National SBDC Day. The 1,000 SBDCs across the county took the day as a way to highlight the important assistance that SBDCs provide to small businesses. Businesses who work with SBDCs see 4x sales growth compared to the National Average.

The Temple SBDC celebrated with a week’s worth of programming.

On 3/18, a Supplier Diversity Fair took place at Temple Center City, bringing in a dozen resource partners and procurement opportunity providers like the Philadelphia School District and SEPTA. Attendees were able to connect directly to the procuring units and ask questions about bidding on opportunities.

On 3/22 the SBDC Incubator hosted a Lunch & Learn on insurance best practices for small businesses. John Blystone, of The Blystone Company, advised incubator tenants about the niche insurance needs for their specific industries.

The main events took place on 3/20. In the morning, Mayor Kenney and 100 members of the community convened at Morgan Hall. The Temple SBDC received a proclamation from the Mayor acknowledging March 20th as National SBDC Day in Philadelphia. Iola Harper and Councilman Al Taubenburger were honored for their work in improving the small business landscape in Philadelphia.

That afternoon, the sun was shining as the ribbon was officially cut at the new Ambler outpost of the Temple SBDC. Temple Ambler Staff and Montgomery County commissioners Val Arkoohs, Joe Gale, and Ken Lawrence Jr. welcomed the SBDC with open arms. Clients are now able to use the space for one on one consulting and business programs and events will be scheduled soon.

The Temple SBDC is grateful for all the support it received and looks forward to continuing providing valuable services to the business of Philadelphia, lower Montgomery, and lower Bucks counties.


Originally posted by Temple News

Every business, large and small, has to start from the ground up—a novel approach, a new idea, a niche left unfulfilled.

Temple University is giving entrepreneurs—military veterans in particular—a new place and an essential partner to help their business concepts become reality. On March 20 at 3 p.m., Temple’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will cut the ribbon on a new office located in the Ambler Campus Library Building.

“We want to be able to conveniently provide our services to individuals in Montgomery and Bucks counties. We also have an opportunity to focus on other business industries, such as manufacturing,” said Small Business Development Center Director Maura Shenker. “We have the opportunity to offer our non-credit programs at the Ambler Campus, to host business symposia in the Learning Center auditorium, and try new ideas such as a veterans’ cohort of our business incubator.”

The SBDC, an outreach center of the Fox School of Business and Management, has been working to help fledgling businesses bridge the gap between concepts and customers since 1983.

“Our mission is to support entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing the knowledge they need to make smart decisions and achieve prosperity,” Shenker said. “Our consultants work with entrepreneurs in one-to-one sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan and investigating funding opportunities.”

In addition to the wealth of consultancy services the SBDC provides, the Temple Ambler office will offer a business incubator specifically designed for military veteran business owners that will serve eight to 12 businesses.

“We will be working with veterans to take them through the entire business development process, from pre-venture to starting a business to building revenue,” Shenker said. “It is about a nine-month process that we will begin in May.”

The incubator, Shenker said, provides start-up businesses that don’t yet have a home of their own with shared office services.

“It provides them with ready access to computers, phones, space to meet clients while also giving them easy access to consultants and SBDC services,” she said. “It gives them a place where they can really get their business going without feeling like they have to go it alone.”

Shenker said the SBDC has been working closely with Dennis Miller, executive principal of Wheel Dog Industries, a public policy consulting firm specializing in veteran and military affairs, to develop the veterans’ cohort. Miller, a United States Marine Corps veteran, will be among the speakers at the March 20 grand opening in addition to the Montgomery County Commissioners. The SBDC is also coordinating their efforts with Temple’s Military and Veterans Service Center.

“The Small Business Development Center is a perfect partnership for the Ambler Campus and the surrounding community,” said Vicki Lewis McGarvey, vice provost for University College and interim director of Temple University Ambler. “Having a business incubator on a college campus where military veteran entrepreneurs can access an incredible wealth of resources simply makes sense. We’re very excited to partner with the Small Business Development Center to provide specialized support for start-ups in the region.”

Shenker said the Ambler Campus provides the SBDC room to grow.

“We’ll be hosting meetings every month on campus with groups designed to support local businesses, such as the Small Business Administration and the Montgomery County Commerce Department,” she said. “We’re also hoping to host a manufacturing CEO roundtable.”

The SBDC is additionally planning to offer a 10-week “entrepreneurial success” non-credit program at Temple Ambler in spring 2019.

“SBDC offers a variety of educational events and programs. The entrepreneurial success program focuses on getting a business up and running, soup to nuts,” Shenker said. “Toward the end, we bring in funders to meet with our participants to give them a chance to make crucial connections.”

Click here for the application for the Veteran Entrepreneur Training Program.

On February 19th, Temple’s SBDC hosted another successful Temple Business Roundtable (TBR) at the new IEI building on Temple Main Campus. Four expert panelists were brought together to discuss government procurement, focusing n “the why” and “the how”. Each panelist provided the up-and-coming entrepreneur attendees with insight and helpful tips regarding government procurement and general business success.

Panelist Nathan McCann, Vice President of Community Lending for Community First Fund, brought his twenty years of experience to the panel. During the discussion, Mr. McCann mentioned the importance of having equity; “without [equity], banks are less likely to provide funding towards your business idea.”

Victoria Hosendorf, Vice President at The Enterprise Center and Director at the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, offered her best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, “Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ because that is how you are going to grow.” For all entrepreneurs, she also suggested self-reflection as a key to growing your business.

Panelist Mark Jackson, the Director of Milligan & Company’s Tax and Small Business Client Services emphasized the importance of consulting with a professional and developing a business plan because “when your numbers are in order, it is so much easier to focus on your business.” He imparted insight on being cautious and precise when it comes to business taxes and tax liability.

Panelist Nick Esposito, a DBE Specialist at SEPTA, added valuable insight on the free certification process that SEPTA offers. The organization has been able to make major cuts to the processing time in order to better support local businesses.

Many aspiring entrepreneurs were present at the event and stayed after the conclusion of the discussion to network with other event attendees, staff from Temple’s SBDC, and the esteemed panelists. We look forward to next month’s TBR.

Senior Business Consultant, Karl Kraus, has been with the Temple Small Business Development Center since 2005. Karl holds an MBA in International Business and a B.S. in Chemistry.  He is Past President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Product Development and Management Association and is a member of the

Technical Advisory Committee at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Karl is a Managing Partner of Material Growth Partners, LLC, a firm focused on working with both new product

developers and the investment community in commercializing new technologies.

Throughout Karl’s time at the Temple SBDC, he has advised numerous successful business start-ups and provided insightful one-on-one business consulting and advice for many entrepreneurs seeking help with their business endeavors. He has had a great deal of experience working in multiple industries such as pharmaceuticals, air pollution control, textiles, and industrial equipment.

Below, Karl discusses his experience as a consultant as well as provides meaningful advice for individuals interested in learning or expanding their skills as an entrepreneur.

What areas do you specialize in?

I specialize in business strategy, marketing strategy, technology commercialization, manufacturing, and science & technology. I work with companies specializing in areas of manufacturing technology commercialization and bringing new technologies to market.

What is your favorite aspect of working as a consultant?

My favorite aspect of working as a consultant is learning about unique business ideas and all the different markets as well as the satisfaction about helping clients and enjoying the clients’ success.

What did you study in college? Do I need a college degree to start my business?

I obtained a MBA in International Business and received a B.S. in Chemistry.

And, No – just ask Bill Gates, Rachel Ray, Russell Simmons, or Michael Dell. There are examples of successful entrepreneurs as young as 14 years old.  Formal education and age have never been a barrier to starting a business.

Were there any obstacles you had to overcome when you entered the consulting/entrepreneurial world?

Yes – When I started Material Growth Partners, I had to figure everything out on my own. I didn’t know that the SBDC even existed! I had to build my professional network of people in order to get the word out and establish the company in the region.

What do you think are the biggest challenges in starting a business?

Realizing how much time is required to start-up and run a business, and financial issues such as a variability in week-to-week/month-to-month income and having enough funding not only to start the business but to support the growth of the business.

What are some common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when starting a business?

Some of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs making when starting their business is insufficient planning, not vetting their business concept and revenue model with an experienced entrepreneur or advisor, and not dedicating their full efforts to their business.

What was the unique business idea you have worked on?

The most unique business I have worked with created a collapsible bike helmet to encourage bicycle commuters to protect themselves: Kova Helmet Website.  Not only was this entrepreneur mission-driven to promote safety, but she also had to learn how to develop and fund a new-to-the-world product and utilize her network to get the assistance she needed to make her vision a reality.

Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

  1. Know what you are selling

  2. Know who you are targeting as customers

  3. Understand why they would buy what you’re selling rather than other solutions for their problem/need

  4. Determine how you will make money selling it

  5. In everything, double the amount of time you think it will take


Thanks to Karl for speaking with us and offering his guidance to the businesses who come to the SBDC. If you would like to set up a (free!) appointment with Karl or one of our other business consultants, please sign up here.

Maureen O’Halloran Herczeg will return to the Temple Small Business Development Center in October 2018 as the SBDC’s Financial Analyst. She previously served the Center’s clients as Government Procurement Specialist from 2000-2004.

In her role as Government Procurement Specialist, Maureen assisted small business owners from across many different industries with pursuing government contracts and subcontracts at the federal, state, and local levels by providing individual consulting, market research, and training. Additionally, she advised clients on the Small Disadvantaged/Minority and Woman Owned Business Enterprise and HUBZone certification processes. As Financial Analyst, Ms. Herczeg will work closely with the Fox School of Business to manage the Center’s budgets. She will also return to her position as Government Procurement consultant.

Maureen comes to the SBDC from the Controller’s Office at Arcadia University, and previously the Business Office at the School District of Springfield Township, where she managed both organizations’ Accounts Payable departments.

Prior to working at Arcadia University and the School District of Springfield Township, Maureen spent a number of years working in small businesses, most notably as a Research Analyst at a boutique federal market consulting firm and the Business Office Manager and Marketing Coordinator for a small, family focused legal firm.

Maureen holds a BA in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from the
Temple University Fox School of Business.

Calling all entrepreneurs and small business start-ups…

Every entrepreneur has questions. You need answers! We’re here to help.
Temple’s Small Business Development Center is hosting Temple Business Roundtables, a series of monthly business round table discussions. Our series kicks off on October 23rd at Temple University Center City. Registration is FREE
TBR will provide aspiring entrepreneurs with everything needed to make an informed decision about starting and running a small business.
Panelists will answer questions about all aspects of beginning and running a small business. We’ll have experts with the knowledge you need about legal, financial, marketing, HR, management, and funding resources.
Register for our October event here
Can’t join us in October? We’ll be hosting another TBR event on November 14 at Temple Ambler. More details and registration here

Welcome Jamie Shanker to TU SBDC

October 8, 2018 //

Temple University Small Business Development Center is excited to welcome Jamie Shanker as our new Associate Director of SBDC Business Development, starting today, Monday October 8, 2018.

Prior to joining the SBDC, Jamie managed a Women’s Business Center in Camden, New Jersey. In this position, she managed programs, grant reporting, marketing, and the coordination of small business services. She led over 50 trainings and 600 hours of one on one business counseling. Jamie understands the challenges of small business ownership as the owner/operator of a local food tour company.

Jamie has also worked with small businesses as the Development Director of the Philadelphia Mobile Food Association and as the Commercial Corridor Revitalization and Business Association Manager for Mt. Airy USA Community Development Corporation.

She is a graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law where she focused on nonprofit law and she received a B.A. in Social Justice from Franklin and Marshall College.
Although originally from Queens, NY, Philadelphia has been home since 2009. Jamie lives in Graduate Hospital with her soon to be husband, Rick. She loves riding her bike and exploring the diverse food of Philadelphia.