With over 143 total participants, 13 Temple schools and college represented, and approximately 300 attendees at the competition and 150 at the reception, the 17th annual 2015 BYOBB Finalist Presentations and Awards Ceremony was one of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute’s most successful events yet.

BYOBB was held on April 16 in the Alter Hall Auditorium. After receiving a number of high-quality business plan submissions, 12 finalist companies from across Temple University’s 17 colleges presented impressive pitches to six judges from the Philadelphia professional and investor community. In addition to cash prizes, top winners were also given the opportunity to pitch in front of the Region’s leading investor groups. To find a full list of BYOBB winners click here.

“This is an honor and an amazing privilege. I’m looking forward to the year for RatesForUs. Thanks Temple University!” – BenStucker, RatesForUs, Inc., 1st Place Upper Track and Grand Prize Winner BYOBB 2015.

Temple alumnus, Cofounder and Editorial Director of Technical.ly Philly, Christopher Wink, was the event’s keynote speaker and honored during the awards ceremony by receiving the “Temple Self-Made and Making Others Award.” Christopher shared key tips to the entrepreneurs in the crowd, advising to “Be a founder not a boss.” Connect with Christopher on Twitter @christopherwink to start a conversation and learn more about the young successful entrepreneur.

“The bar is higher every year, the companies are more seasoned and the crowd gets bigger. I really enjoyed watching this year’s competition and reflecting on my time as a BYOBB participant.” – Ofo Ezeugwu, Whose Your Landlord, 1st Place Upper Track Winner BYOBB 2014.

The BYOBB was a free and public event, allowing attendees to vote for their favorite winner via a real-time feedback platform called YORN, Your Opinion. Right Now. When the event concluded at 6 p.m., the BYOBB results were in!

Those who used the hashtag #BYOBB2015 on Twitter had the opportunity to win IEI giveaways including movie tickets throughout the event. The competition winners were Twitter users including @No_IMC, @lcvii and @DilMD. Thank you all for participating!

Look forward to BYOBB 2016 updates on our website and be sure to follow us on Twitter @IEIfox, Facebook at www.facebook.com/FoxIEI and Instagram @temple_iei. To learn more about the event, simply search the hashtag #BYOBB2015 on Twitter or email us at iei@temple.edu.


2015 BYOBB Winners

April 17, 2015 //

Congratulations to all of the 2015 Be Your Own Boss Bowl Winners


RatesForUs, Inc., Fox School of Business


1st Place- Habitat, LLC, Fox School of Business

2nd Place- Salia Inc., College of Engineering

3rd Place- Joi, Fox School of Business

4th Place- Age of Aquarius, School of Media and Communication


1st Place- ROAR for Good, LLC, Fox School of Business

2nd Place- LIA Diagnostics, School of Communications and Media

3rd Place- Cycle Clothing Co., Fox School of Business

4th Place- The Communal Kitchen, Fox School of Business


1st Place- RatesForUs, Inc., Fox School of Business

2nd Place- DevelapMe, Fox School of Business

3rd Place- Affinity Confections, Fox School of Business

4th Place- Jauntify, College of Liberal Arts




The 17th Annual Be Your Owl Boss Bowl with be held this Thursday (April 16) in the Undergraduate Auditorium, Alter Hall from 1-5pm.

Here’s where you get involved during the competition:

  • Tweet messages and photos to @IEIFox using #BYOBB2015 during BYOBB to win prizes! We will select the best tweets throughout the competition.
  • Vote for your favorite company and give them helpful comments by using your cell phone. We will give you the easy instructions at BYOBB.

Here’s is the schedule for presentations:

“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 iei.temple.edu/techconnect.

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

BYOBB Finalists Announced

April 1, 2015 //

Undergraduate Track

Age of Aquarius 
Todd White, Center for the Arts ‘15
Andrew Vuocolo, School of Media and Communication ‘15
Gabrielle Radcliffe, School of Media and Communication ‘16

Habitat LLC
Andrew Nakkache, Fox School of Business ‘16
Michael Paszkiewicz, Fox School of Business ‘16
Brandon Bahr, Fox School of Business ‘16
Kathleen Chen

Christopher Cotteta, Fox School of Business ‘16

Salia Inc.
Saliha Ahmad, College of Engineering ‘16

Upper Track

Affinity Confections
Joseph Green, Fox School of Business ’12

Cliff Tironi, Fox School of Business Administration
Tony Petrucci, Fox School of Business Faculty

Dennis Pitcock, College of Liberal Arts ’07

RatesForUs, Inc. 
Ben Stucker, Fox School of Business ’13
Alec Baker

Social Track

Cycle Clothing Co. 
Timothy Mounsey, Fox School of Business ’16
Brandon Study, Fox School of Business ’18

LIA Diagnostics
Bethany Edwards, School of Communications and Media ‘06
Anna Couturier, Tyler School of Art ‘11
Sarah Rottenberg
Frances DiMare

ROAR for Good, LLC 
Yasmine Mustafa Fox School of Business ’06
Anthony Gold
Peter Eisenhower, College of Engineering ‘11
Charlotte Wells, College of Liberal Arts ‘15

The Communal Kitchen
Lawron DeLisser, Fox School of Business ’11
Courtney Behar, Fox School of Business ‘10

BYOBB 2015 Poster

Be sure to register for the 17th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl Finalists Presentations and Awards Ceremony on April 16 from 1- 5 p.m. in the lower level of Temple University’s Fox School of Business School’s auditorium. The competition’s 12 finalists will present their business plans to both students and judges, with the goal of winning up to $200 thousand in cash and prizes, including a space in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute incubator and entrance into the business mentorship program.

Temple alumnus, Co-founder and Editorial Director of Technical.ly Philly, Christopher Wink, will be the keynote speaker and honored during the awards ceremony by receiving the “Temple Self-Made and Making Others Award.” Prior to founding his technology news networking site, he worked for a homeless advocacy nonprofit organization and was a freelance reporter for a variety of publications. Known as courageous and fierce by many, Christopher continues to provide tremendous leadership in the Philadelphia entrepreneurial and technology communities.

The BYOBB Finalists Presentation and Awards Ceremony is an open event, free for the public to vote for their favorite business to win big. Attendees will vote on a real-time feedback platform called YORN, Your Opinion. Right Now. Learn more about the BYOBB competition by visiting www.iei.temple.edu/byobb.

Connect with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute by following on Twitter and Instagram @IEIFox using the hashtag #BYOBB2015 and Facebook www.facebook.com/FoxIEI.

Click HERE to register.

The Department of Strategic Management at the Fox School of Business will host an Information Session for the Master of Science in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship degree on April 1 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the 7th floor of Alter Hall. The session will help students learn more about the Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship program and how this specialized master’s degree will equip working professionals to drive innovation within organizations and help manage R&D team processes. Go to iei.temeple.edu/ime to learn more about the master’s degree program and how to advance your career!

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 https://app.wizehive.com/appform/login/byobb2015 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 iei@temple.edu 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. 

BYOBB Mentoring

March 10, 2015 //

Tuesday, March 10 from 5pm-8pm

Wednesday, March 11 from 12pm-3pm

Join us today and tomorrow, in the IEI Lab (Alter Hall, 503D), for On-Demand Mentoring from senior executives who specialize in the following areas: finance, marketing, competition, pitch decks, and so much more! You will not want to miss this invaluable opportunity for firsthand advice.


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 http://bizclarity.com/handout-basics/. 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.



Don’t miss Ellen Weber’s Pitch Decks workshop on Tuesday, February 24 in the IEI Lab at 4:30 p.m. She will be discussing everything angel investors and early stage venture capitalists expect to see: Competition, Intellectual Property, Go-To-Market Strategy, Financial Statement, Milestones, Exit Strategy, and more.


Michele McKeone, high school teacher turned successful entrepreneur, came to speak to Fox students about her business, Autism Expressed, for a Fireside Chat on February 11. Michele began the Fireside Chat by sharing her story, explaining how her background in education as a teacher of seven years helped her understand the market of what technology worked and what failed to work for her business.

Autism Expressed is an online learning platform that is used to maximize engagement in learning for students with autism. The program prepares individuals for life after high school by helping to increase their independence and providing opportunities for post-secondary education growth.

Michele shared that the success of her company was from, “learning and talking to her customers, learning about budgeting and prioritizing to what they were going to purchase.” She knew there was a need for these services, yet with so few resources, she had to do a lot of the groundwork on her own in order for her business to be the success it is today.

McKeone shared it can be challenging to work with students with autism, but it is also the most rewarding experience. Her passion for the product reinforces the success for the program, making others love and want to utilize it for their children. She hopes one day Autism Expressed will be an international company, as there is no reason why she and her team cannot make it happen.

When first finding a team, she worked with many types of people. There is a strong social impact aspect to the company of people wanting to “do good” for others. Michele shared, “It was easy to motivate people because they knew they were doing something meaningful, by helping students learn impeccable skill sets and digital life skills.”

She wrapped up the discussion by showing a demonstration of Autism Expressed, sharing the principles of applied behavior analysis for the “student experience.” There are over 250 lessons right now within the program and students are limited to the number of lessons they can complete each week.

Connect with Autism Expressed by following the company on Facebook, and Twitter. As always, learn about daily IEI updates via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Last night, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Project Executive with Fox Management Consulting, Becca Zinn, shared her insights with students on how to segment their market and develop the best value propositions for their customers.  This IEI workshop was called “Market Segments & Value Propositions,” which took place in the IEI lab at 4:30 p.m.

Throughout the workshop, Becca explained why it is most important to focus on the segment market by grouping them into categories, including geographic, demographic, psychographic, behavioral and benefits sought.  Segmentation benefits both the buyer and the seller.

Professor Zinn shares, “If you want to be effective to market to a particular segment, you need to break down the segment into sub-segments or multiple segments (millennials).”

Students learned that relationships with customers take time. For example, to be successful, you need to understand your customers in order to match them with your business. Once you understand your customer, you then need to understand your benefits to the customer and what you have to offer.

After Professor Zinn’s PowerPoint presentation and discussion, students broke into groups and worked on determining and applying what they learned with an activity Becca had designed. She then went to each group to speak with the students about their plans.

The PowerPoint presentation from last night’s workshop will be posted on the IEI website. If you are someone who is participating in the BYOBB competition, it would be in your best interest to take a look at the presentation and reach out to Professor Zinn with any questions if you were unable to attend the workshop.

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