Through the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute at the Fox School of Business and Temple’s Office of Technology Transfer, MBA student Lev Davidson met Eric Borguet, a Temple chemistry professor. In January, they founded pureNANO to commercialize Borguet’s method of purifying carbon nanotubes. The company then won $125,000 in cash and professional services in Temple’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl. When asked to “grade your MBA school,” Davidson responded: “Absolutely an A. It was through Temple and Fox and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute Executive Director Jaine Lucas that pureNANO was possible. I came back to Philadelphia and Fox specifically because of the institute.”

GoodCompany Ventures, which has run a summer incubator program for the last three years for start-ups that address significant social issues, held its graduation Sept. 14. Fox MBA graduate Lev Davidson, chief executive officer of pureNANO Technologies, expressed his ambition to become “the Intel of clean technology.” Last spring, pureNANO won $125,000 in cash and services in Temple University’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl to develop technology to produce ultrapure carbon nanotubes that cost less, have higher quality, and can be delivered faster than current methods.

April 27 and May 2, 2011

Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute and Fox School of Business awarded more cash and prizes – totaling $200,000 – to more aspiring entrepreneurs than ever during the 13th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl, a university-wide business plan competition held April 27. This year, entrants from a record 13 of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges developed business plans in life sciences, social innovation ventures, nanotechnology and more. The grand prize, worth more than $115,000, went to pureNANO Technologies, a collaboration between Fox MBA student Lev Davidson and chemistry Professor Eric Borguet.

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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