The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute hosted it’s 19th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl live pitch competition yesterday, where Temple University students, faculty, staff and alumni pitched their companies to a judging panel comprised of industry experts—including Temple’s own Adam Lyons (Fox ’09), founder of,  and Paxton Baker (CLA ’16), Vice President of BET.

The day opened with remarks from Dean Porat and Ellen Weber, Executive Director of IEI. Then it got down to business—the pitches. Each finalist presented an 8-minute pitch followed by 3-minute judge’s Q&A. During judges deliberation, the audience heard keynote speaker and Temple alumna, Danielle Cohn (SMC ’95), Comcast Corporation’s Director of Entrepreneurial Engagement.

At 5pm the winners were announced and Strados Labs, pitched by Nick Delmonico (Fox ’17), was named the grand prize winner of the day, taking home the $40,000 cash prize.

See below for the full list of winners!

Undergraduate Track

1st Place: Vitris, Jack Perrotta, Fox School of Business ’18
2nd Place: Prohibere, Emily Kight, College of Engineering ’18
3rd Place: Pinpointer, Nigel Satenstein, Fox School of Business ’18
4th Place: Pitch, Rishi Sheth, Fox School of Business ’17

Upper Track

1st Place: ToothShower, Lisa Guenst, Tyler School of Art’ 13
2nd Place: Viral Ideas Marketing, David Feinman, Fox School of Business ’15
3rd Place: Envizzo, Ariel Maidansky, Fox School of Business ’11
4th Place: Sensifoam, Conor Vickers, Lewis Katz School of Medicine ’19

Social Impact Track

1st Place: Reels on Wheels, Anmol Gupta, Fox School of Business ’20
2nd Place: SONTEFA Power, LLC, Thierno Diallo, Fox School of Business ’17
3rd Place: Understand Your Brand, LLC, Brandon Study, Fox School of Business ’17
4th Place: Keystone Legal Incubator, Stephen Fox, Beasley School of Law ’17

Urban Health Track

1st Place: Strados Labs, Nick Delmonico, Fox School of Business ’17
2nd Place: Entoli Health, Meghan Mallouk, Fox School of Business ’18


Strados Labs, Nick Delmonico, Fox School of Business ’17


OWLympiad_1The Fox School of Business will welcome nearly 250 juniors from Philadelphia-area high schools to Temple University for the 7th annual OWLympiad math competition, to be held May 9 at the Howard Gittis Student Center.

Free to attend, OWLympiad offers cash prizes for 11th-graders who are exploring career possibilities in the actuarial science field. Actuaries leverage high-level numerical skills to assume positions in insurance, consulting, investment banking, government organizations, and more.

“This event creates awareness that actuarial science is an appealing career path for someone who loves math, and it’s a great way for local math-minded students to connect with one another,” said OWLympiad coordinator Dr. Krupa Viswanathan, an Associate Professor and Director of the Fox School’s Actuarial Science program.

OWLympiad will challenge teams of four students to demonstrate their knowledge in a range of math-related subjects, including algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. The competition, which begins at 9 a.m., will consist of a multiple-choice exam, a “24” math cardgame competition, and a Quizzo-style lightning round. The team that accrues the most points will be awarded $400. All participating students will receive a customized T-shirt, lunch, and other items provided by the event’s sponsors.

OWLympiad_2The Fox School’s Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department, as well as the Sigma Chapter of international professional fraternity Gamma Iota Sigma, will host the competition. Travelers Insurance Company and the Casualty Actuarial Society are the event’s sponsors.

Temple University offers one of the most-distinguished Actuarial Science programs in North America, and has been recognized by the Society of Actuaries as a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) – one of only 30 institutions to receive this honor. The Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management department has offered engagement opportunities for local high school students for the past 15 years, including OWLympiad.

Email Timothy Ellis ( or Viswanathan ( for more information about OWLympiad.

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.

While college seniors across the country prepared for their last undergrad finals and applied for jobs, William Thorsson and his Fox School of Business peers flew to Denver, Co., for a national competition in which they gave a presentation in front of 100 risk management industry leaders.

On April 30, moments after finalist presentations ended, Gabriel and her three teammates learned they won the Risk and Insurance Management Society’s inaugural Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge.

“I wasn’t actually in the room when our victory was announced, so I didn’t believe it right away,” the senior risk insurance and healthcare management major said. “I was beyond excited when it sunk in.”

The competition has taken place for the last three years. This was the first year the conference was hosted at the RIMS conference, and the second consecutive year Temple University’s Fox School team won.

“It’s a testament to their hard work and training,” said Professor Robert Drennan, chair of Fox’s risk, insurance and healthcare management department. “We’ve always felt our undergraduate program at the Fox School is the very best in the country. A lot of objective evidence points to that, and this victory is just one more piece of evidence.”

Thorsson and his teammates Cathleen Gabriel, Martin Leicht and Steven Costa entered the challenge back in February when they and the 14 other contestants were presented with a risk management situation for Snap-on Inc. Each team had to respond to a proposal and create a presentation to win Snap-on’s business.

Each team submitted proposals to RIMS and by March, judges narrowed the running to nine teams. The nine schools were invited to the annual RIMS conference in Denver and gave oral presentations to a panel of 10 judges.

At the conference, judges chose narrowed the competition to three finalist teams who gave their presentation in front of industry leaders and professionals on the conference’s last day.

The Fox School team was awarded $4,000 for their first place victory. Florida State University and the Virginia Commonwealth University, won second ($3,000) and third ($2,000) places, respectively.

Thorsson was also thrilled for the exposure to the industry the challenge provided to him and his team.

“It highlights how fortunate we are to have a such a great risk management program and how, as Fox students, we’re given a holistic view of business,” he says.

Gabriel, who accepted a job at America International Group (AIG) Inc., says the entire challenge experience and victory made her grateful for the quality of education she received at Fox.

“Everything I’ve learned in the classroom, I’ve been able to apply to real life situations,” Gabriel says. “Attending and winning the Spencer-RIMS Challenge with my teammates was an amazing way to end a tremendous college career.”

Neighborhood Foods, an urban farming business based in West Philadelphia that aims to supply healthy food options, create jobs and unite communities, won the grand prize at the 15th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, a university-wide business plan competition at Temple.


Founded by recent Fox School of Business graduate Dylan Baird, Neighborhood Foods took home more than $125,000 in cash, professional services and products during the April 25 finalist presentations in the Fox School’s Alter Hall.

“I’m grateful,” Baird said after winning the top prize. “I’ve had a series of great opportunities through being at Temple, including running into the entrepreneurship program and finding out about this huge business plan competition.”

Baird’s organization provides a weekly service that helps farmers manage their risks. Customers pay a fee at the beginning of the growing season and receive a box of local produce each week. Baird also has partnered with other local organizations to provide bread, honey and coffee delivery.

In addition to the weekly service, Neighborhood Foods’ products are available at local farmers markets, including those located in food deserts — areas without access to fresh food — to help make healthy living possible for people at every income level.

BYOBB2013DylanBaird3Winners were awarded in the undergraduate track, social impact track and graduate, alumni, faculty and staff track. Category prizes for best-written plan by a woman, best-written plan by a minority and best-written clean-technology plan were also presented. The annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl® is the flagship program of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI). In Fall 2012, Baird won the Nancy and Bill Baxter Social Impact Award at the Innovative Idea Competition, another competition hosted by the IEI.

The Be Your Own Boss Bowl® is one of the most lucrative and comprehensive business plan competitions in the country. This year, out of 96 total submissions, nine business plans representing six of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges were selected as finalists, and four of those were revised and resubmitted plans from prior years. They competed for $200,000 in cash prizes, products, professional services and incubation space.

On the same day, Temple celebrated its first Entrepreneurship Day. Vice President of Student Affairs Theresa Powell designated April 25 a day to “highlight the importance of entrepreneurship to this generation of Temple students.” The recognition kicked off with an open house and idea-coaching session at the IEI in Alter Hall, followed by the Temple Entrepreneurial Student Association’s Tower Takeover, a flea-market style event featuring student and local entrepreneurs

At the conclusion of the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® , IEI awarded Victory Brewing

Company co-founder Bill Covaleski the Inaugural Self Made and Making Others Award for his support of entrepreneurial activities. Covaleski is an alumnus of Temple’s Tyler School of Art.

For the fourth year, the IEI awarded the Chris Pavlides Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award to a graduating senior. Entrepreneurship and marketing major Candace Kilstein is the 2013 recipient.

The Be Your Own Boss Bowl® receives support from more than 500 senior executives
and entrepreneurs, who serve as judges, mentors and coaches.

Additional winners include:

Undergraduate Track
First place: Diverse Engineering, Moustafa El Tayeb, College of Engineering ’13;
Kamran Butt, College of Engineering ’13; Carmen Carangi, College of Engineering ’13;
and Anthony Athy, College of Engineering ’13
Second place: Sector Finance, Kevin Way, Fox School of Business ’13

Social Impact Track
First place: Education United, Jennifer Berman, College of Science and Technology ’13;
Douglas Baird, College of Science and Technology, Co-Director TUteach; and Herbert
Green, College of Science and Technology faculty
Second place: Purple Tye, Montez Smith, Fox School of Business ’11

Upper Track (graduate students/faculty and staff/alumni)
First place: Social Alliance Lending Fund, Ethan Greenberg, School of Medicine ’15;
Eli Mash, University of Wisconsin; and Marc Borden, Hobart University
Second place: MIGwiz, Jason Lamb, Beasley School of Law ’13; and Rahman Carter,
Fox School of Business ’03

Best Plan by a Woman
Education United, Jennifer Berman, College of Science and Technology ’13; Douglas
Baird, College of Science and Technology, Co-Director TUteach; and Herbert Green,
College of Science and Technology Faculty

Best Plan by a Minority
Diverse Engineering, Moustafa El Tayeb, College of Engineering ’13; Kamran Butt,
College of Engineering ’13; Carmen Carangi, College of Engineering ’13; and Anthony
Athy, College of Engineering ’13

Best Clean-technology Plan
Nimble Green, Michael Jackson, College of Engineering

Be Your Own Boss BowlⓇ Finalist Presentation

April 10, 2012 //

Don’t Hesitate! Register Here!

Did you enter the Be Your Own Boss BowlⓇ 2012? Did you miss out on submitting your plan but still want to be apart of all the action?

Register today for the Finalist Presentations and see some of the Temple’s best plans in action. The winner will take home a grand prize and other prizes will awarded to Be Your Own Boss Bowl participants.

This is one of the biggest competitions here at Temple University so you don’t want to miss out! Maybe you will even be inspired to compete next year!

Register Here

More than grades were at stake during human resource management Assistant Professor Steven Pyser’s recent Ethics Case Competition.

Six teams of undergraduates each advocated for a top-tier client competing for a multi-million dollar contract awarded by fictional “Bain and Company’s” expert hiring committee. Flashy PowerPoints wouldn’t win this bid. Pyser set a higher standard, requiring that the winning team craft a powerful, forward-looking vision for the future of business ethics.

Students hoped their company’s high ethical standards would win over the competition’s distinguished panel of judges, ranging from Philadelphia Business Journal editor Craig Ey to former Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Roderick Hills.

All groups won judges’ favor. As for the multi-million dollar contract? Well, Pyser’s Ethics Case Competition, the final project for his Business, Society and Ethics class, didn’t go quite that far. But it didn’t take millions for the case competition to prove the power of Pyser’s novel approach to business education: pracademics.

“It’s one thing to read materials in class. But students ask themselves, ‘How am I going to apply this in the workforce?’” Pyser said. “Which is why students need projects that connect rigorous academic theory with day-to-day business realities. That’s what pracademics is about, and that’s what inspired the case competition.”

Instead of giving judges prefabricated answers, students were asked to pose tough questions. Their presentations applied a focused brainstorming method called an “inquiry circle” to critically explore all sides of complex business ethics issues.

“The questions we ask are fateful,” Pyser said. “What students were invited to do through this competition was to learn to name and frame topics as well as isolate questions.”

Iris Kapo, a senior management information systems and international business double major, thanks Pyser for helping her land a dream internship with Cigna, a global health-services company.

Kapo had been applying to internships throughout the fall semester. Prior to the case competition, she had concerns about preparing for an interviewer’s tough questions. Then came the Nov. 17 competition. Kapo was thrown curveball questions in front of more than 30 classmates by a top-tier panel of judges – and performed brilliantly.

“He encouraged me to do voluminous research on my firm, Colgate, and required all students become well versed in current events,” Kapo said. “The judges challenged me with questions about Colgate’s sensitivity to low-income consumers. I was center stage and nervous at first. But I was prepared. And the judges thought my responses were seamless.”

Kapo won an award for best presenter and her team won the competition. She gained confidence, which followed her into her next interview.

“When a panel of interviewers at Cigna asked me tough questions, I was ready. I no longer felt like I was being ‘put on the spot,’” Kapo said. “I felt like I was being given an opportunity to showcase my skills.”

Applause erupted when Dr. Raza Bokhari stepped into Alter Hall’s MBA Commons. More than 200 Temple engineering and Fox School of Business students awaited the doctor-turned-entrepreneur’s vision for synergizing technology-developing engineers and business-strategizing MBAs.

Decades spent building and marketing multiple medical technology firms equipped Dr. Bokhari, EMBA ’01, with the tools to prepare students for the day ahead: Temple’s Nov.17 Senior Design Day, the second annual collaboration between the College of Engineering and Fox School of Business, in which engineering undergraduates and Fox MBAs applied their strengths to inventing new technologies and drafting wide-reaching marketing plans.

Dr. Neeraj Bharadwaj, assistant professor of marketing and supply chain management, believes Senior Design Day, also known as E2E: Engineering to Entrepreneurship, represents a powerful learning platform.

“There is an opportunity to generate tremendous learning by transcending your own discipline,” Dr. Bharadwaj said. “Interdisciplinary thinkers discover insights that those immersed in one discipline cannot see. We hope to inspire our students to harness thesynergy that resides at the intersection of disciplines.”

Senior Design Day exposed more than 50 Fox MBAs to engineering perspectives. Five teams of Temple engineers met with 10 teams of MBAs to offer insiders’ views into technical innovation. MBAs applied their marketing knowledge to engineers’ array of inventions, ranging from hyper-touch-sensitive gloves designed to enhance the video-gaming experience, to a water filtration device capable of neutralizing specific bacteria, to an electric bicycle engine that harnesses energy from pedaling and uses it to propel the bike pedal-free.

MBAs were exposed to Senior Design Day through Dr. Bharadwaj’s Marketing Strategy course, where they were tasked with building real-world marketing strategies from the ground up. Students started with a basic strategic element: the consumer.

Dr. Bharadwaj’s “day in the life of,” or DITLO, exercise challenged student groups to pinpoint an “ideal consumer” for an engineering team’s product and to then find that living, breathing consumer in the real world. MBAs spent a full day tailing their chosen consumer and discovering their “pain points,” moments when the product could improve the consumer’s quality of life.

“My working hypothesis was that learning would be enriched collaborating with the College of Engineering and providing my students with an opportunity to apply their learning to the real world,” Dr. Bharadwaj said. “The student feedback provides initial support – the learning was tremendous.”

Laura Schmidt is one of those Fox MBA students. Her experience drafting marketing strategy for the touch-sensitive gaming device, Muscle Machine, deepened her understanding of marketing’s power.

“While the development and ingenuity of a product is important, marketing is absolutely vital to the success of an innovative product,” Schmidt wrote in her evaluation. “When we first chose to market the engineers’ Muscle Machine, we felt like it could sell itself. However, we discovered that even the most innovative product requires a strategy to carry the consumer through the decision-making process.”

Dr. Bharadwaj believes that the insights his students are gaining have more than academic value – they have market value. He foresees the Senior Design Day experience putting his students ahead of the curve in job interviews and careers.

“Imagine they’re in a traditional MBA program and conduct an in-class marketing strategy exercise,” Dr. Bharadwaj said. “They can talk about that in interviews and sound like every other applicant. But my students are provided with an opportunity to help market a real working product. And that interdisciplinary, real-world experience is something that employers truly value.”

Jan 23: Be Your Own Boss Bowl® Information Session #3

December 7, 2011 //

By this time I’m sure everyone has been to our fantastic and very interesting Be Your Own Boss Bowl® Information Sessions! No? Well what are you waiting for! This is your chance to showcase your business plan in front of our judges and have a chance to win money, prices and support from your favorite IEI team!

Next semester be the first in line to get yourself a business plan 101 “How To” book, meet other potential contestants and maybe even join a team!

Don’t have a team yet? That’s ok because you can enter solo as well. Drinks and snacks will be served and if you have any questions this is the place to ask. Don’t wait until next semester to start your plan, though, register ASAP so a mentor can be assigned and some guidance can be given.


The holiday is a perfect time to start to brainstorm your plans and work out some preliminary kinks! Don’t hesitate, free to enter and you never know, you could be sitting on the next big idea! What do you have to lose? Register now for the Be Your Own Boss Bowl ®Information Session #3!

Save the Date!
Monday January 23rd 5pm-6pm under the stock ticker at the Undergraduate Commons

Register your Team HERE

Early this semester, Fox professor Krupa Viswanathan took six of her top actuarial students to the Travelers Case Competition in Hartford, Conn.

Competing against actuarial students from Bentley University, Bryant University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Connecticut, Viswanathan’s students were given five hours to analyze a case relevant to Travelers Insurance and then present their findings to a panel of executives.

This was the first time students from the Fox School were invited to participate in the Travelers Case Competition. Though they did not win, Viswanathan said they did “exceptionally well.”

Each school was asked to come up with a way to improve the Travelers model based on recent technological innovations. The Fox School’s six participants – Kelly Tietjen, Seth Ehrlich, Lauren Farrell, Kant Khatri, Richard Lee and Dong Wu – recommended ways in which the technologies monitoring driver behavior could make Travelers’ pricing models more efficient. Considering the information available on braking time, speeding and more, the students concluded that the more information gathered the better Travelers rates could be.

“Professor Bonnie Averbach and I chose students who are academically very strong and participated in class,” said Viswanathan, an associate professor in the Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management.

Class participation was critical in her decision because it showed her that the students would be comfortable working in a group and presenting their findings to a board of executives.

“This case competition really opened us up to speaking in public,” Farrell said.

Tietjen, a junior, said she became aware of the importance of this at a recent mock interview when they stressed the sometimes-overlooked importance of public speaking in the actuarial field.

“I thought it was nice to be presented with real-world experiences,” Tietjen said. She said that because she has not completed an internship yet, this experience gave her an important glimpse into the corporate culture of a company as well regarded as Travelers.

For the students, some of who had never met before, the opportunity was also a chance to socialize with their peers, and afterward they joked that the six-hour train ride to Connecticut gave them plenty of time to get to know one other.

The students said the competition is a testament to the fact that actuarial science is “not just about sitting in a corner with a calculator.” Joking aside, Viswanathan is extremely proud of the group.

“Overall, they did an outstanding job,” she said. “They made Temple very proud.”

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}

More than 100 students, faculty and senior administrators gathered in October for the Fox School of Business PhD Program’s first school-wide Awards Competition for research.

Twelve students presented their work in one of four categories – completed dissertation, dissertation proposal, second-year research paper and first-year research proposal. In each category, students competed for monetary awards and recognition during the Fox School Research Roundtable awards ceremony. The Dean’s Outstanding Publication Award, which included a $1,000 prize, was announced to reward students who publish in top-tier journals while in the PhD program.

“The idea is that we would like to organize the findings of PhD students, make them more visible and also highlight the faculty who are working with the students,” said Fox PhD Program Director Paul A. Pavlou, who helped to organize the competition and awards. “More broadly the objective is really to encourage the students and faculty to work together to produce high-quality research.”

The competition is tiered to encourage students to compete at each step in their PhD work, starting with the research proposal and culminating in the final dissertation.

“The PhD students are a very integral part of the overall research output of the school,” said Pavlou, an associate professor and Stauffer Senior Research Fellow. “These students are of a high caliber, and it really showed in the presentations.”

Winners of the Oct. 7 Fox School Awards Competition for PhD student research:

First place, First-Year Research Proposal:

Byunghoon Jin, “Financial Reporting Quality and the Impact of IFRS Adoption in Confucian Capitalist Countries”

First place, Second-Year Research Paper

Gord Burtch, “An Empirical Examination of the Antecedents and Consequences of Investment Patterns in Crowd-Funded Markets”

First place, Dissertation Proposal

Dan Zhang, “Affect, Meaning, and Recognition: Assessing the Universality of Design in a Transnational Marketing Context”

First place, Completed Dissertation

Erica Harris, “University Boards and Performance”

Dean’s Outstanding Publication Award:

Yili (Kevin) Hong, “On Product Uncertainty in Online Markets: Theory and Evidence” (co-authored with Angelika Dimoka and Paul A. Pavlou and accepted to appear in MIS Quarterly)

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

Fox School students took home the first-place prize, two individual awards and one honorable mention at the seventh annual CIBER Case Challenge in Columbus.

Hosted by The Ohio State University’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the competition brings together 15 teams from the United States, Europe and Asia to analyze and present an international business case to judges. Each team consists of four members who are split up and placed with students from other schools for the competition. Courtney Miller, Mohamed Ali Niang, Aniruddha Shyamasundar and Tereze Sinno made up the team from Temple’s CIBER, based at the Fox School.

Niang was a member of this year’s first-place team, Catalyst Solutions. Individually, Niang and Sinno both earned best question-and-answer awards in the preliminary round, while Niang also took the final round honorable mention award.

Niang said the case told the story of a company that, after several failed attempts to bring water filtration systems to developing countries, decided to focus on providing irrigation to the U.S. market. The teams’ challenge: to decide whether this was a wise, profitable move.

But with 23 hours to prepare and only 20 minutes to present in each round, their task was not easy – not to mention that the students must collaborate with peers they have known only a day-and-a-half.

The night before he presented with his team – which also included Georgia State University’s Olufunke Taiwo, Ohio State’s Kai Song and the University of Maryland’s Jennifer He – Niang only got three hours of sleep, from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Morale and energy were low. But after the team’s first round, things started to improve.

“We went from thinking, ‘I don’t want to get out of bed because we’re going to lose,’ to ‘Maybe we’re going to win,’” Niang said. His team recommended the hypothetical company continue its overseas efforts to allow for a profitable, sustainable business that “could save thousands,” he said.

“If you can’t succeed abroad, how are you going to succeed here (in the U.S.) with so much competition?” he added. “We’re not just talking about business. We’re talking about how to do well by doing good.”

The competition is not so much a business experience, but a “life experience,” Niang said. Assistant Professor of Strategic Management Arun Kumaraswamy, the Temple team coach, tried to convey that message during the seven weeks of practices leading to the competition.

“One main priority for me was to get them to remember the theories that they were taught – they are important – but, at the same time, make allowances for the uncertainty and incompleteness inherent in real-life situations,” Kumaraswamy said.

Kumaraswamy has coached the teams for the last three years. Both first-place teams at the last two competitions included one student from Fox.

“He’s the common denominator,” Temple CIBER Director Kim Cahill said of the students’ back-to-back successes under Kumaraswamy’s leadership. “Temple CIBER is very grateful for his voluntary leadership of this important initiative.”

Kumaraswamy, however, declined to take credit for these successes.

“This is like basketball. The coach can draw the plays and motivate from the sidelines. But, in the end, it’s the players who improvise and perform during game-time to get the win,” he said. “So, the students deserve much of the credit for their performance.”

– Chelsea Calhoun