Crain’s New York Business, Education Report: “Startup Factories”

New York’s colleges are stepping up support of budding entrepreneurs with courses, mentoring, networking, awards. High marks were given to Pace’s Lubin School of Business, where a 2011 pitch contest drew an audience of 400 — including venture capitalists, angel investors and bankers.

A special Education Report in the April 23 issue of Crain’s New York Business focuses on how New York’s colleges and universities have ratcheted up their commitment to supporting budding entrepreneurs in recent years.  With courses, mentoring, networking and cash awards, they are growing crops of would-be entrepreneurs that they say are far better prepared than their predecessors. 

Lubin Professor Bruce Bachenheimer,  Director of Pace’s new Entrepreneurship Lab, was interviewed by Steve Garmhausen for the article and his comments are highlighted below.  Read the Education Report in its entirety by clicking here:

  • One of the latest manifestations of the trend: the February launch, by Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, of an entrepreneurship lab that aims to facilitate collaborations between students in schools as diverse as nursing and business.  “The idea is that it will involve all Pace students and faculty from all the schools,” said Bruce Bachenheimer, director of the lab and of Lubin’s entrepreneurship program. “We’re stressing an interdisciplinary, hands-on experience to find new ways to solve difficult problems.”
  • Entrepreneurship programs are trying to teach just about everything else. The most straightforward subjects include writing a business plan and doing financial, competitive and market analysis.  “When it comes to the harder stuff, such as the ability to recognize opportunities, Pace and other schools use case studies, brainstorming lessons and other exercises to nurture that skill. “It’s kind of like teaching music or painting,” explained Mr. Bachenheimer.
  • Pitch programs—in which teams of students, alumni and others vie for cash prizes by developing and pitching business ideas—are a centerpiece of the entrepreneurship push among the city’s schools.  Pitch contests have also proved to be a great way to network and meet investors. The most recent contest at Pace drew an audience of 400, including venture capitalists, angel investors and bankers, said Mr. Bachenheimer.
  • Schools are grappling with the question of how to gauge the success of their entrepreneurship programs.  And by one definition, entrepreneurship training doesn’t have to result in a business launch to be successful. If a person is trained to size up opportunities and take initiatives, he and his employer have an edge, said Mr. Bachenheimer. “The nature of work is changing dramatically,” he said. “There’s no more ‘Give me a job and tell me what to do.’ ”

 

 

 

 

BusinessNewsDaily: “Five Technologies Your Business Should Be Using”

Looking to promote your business? Lubin Professor Paul Kurnit recommends the “very viral” Pinterest, which allows users to organize and share images of things they love on virtual boards, similar to a collage or scrapbook.

What is the latest technology you can use to boost your business?

Pinterest. This is essentially an online scrapbooking site, where people use virtual pinboards to group and post favorite images, including those of weddings, home decor, favorite recipes and more. 

“It is the new darling of the Internet, but businesses have not really tapped into its potential,” said Paul Kurnit, marketing professor at Pace University, in an interview with Kim Zimmerman of BusinessNewsDaily. “It is 80 percent female, but it is very viral and a younger audience.”

While the site is female-oriented at the moment, Kurnit added it could easily attract a more male audience, who might “pin” pictures of cars or the latest tech-gadgets they want. 

Technology Review: “Wall Street’s Search for Innovation”

Lubin Professor Bruce Bachenheimer, Director of Pace’s Entrepreneurship Lab, discusses the technology brain drain from Wall Street, how it’s become possible to be a force in financial services development without being in Manhattan, and what Wall Street is trying to do about it.

New York is investing in financial startups to make sure technologists and new ideas stick around.

After banking deregulation took off in the 1990s, it became “exciting and sexy to say you were working on Wall Street,” says Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of entrepreneurship at Pace University. Money and prestige helped lure top academic talent, including mathematicians and computer scientists, to hedge funds.

But that has changed, beginning with 2008 and the financial meltdown. 

“The perception of working on Wall Street went from positive to negative,” Bachenheimer told Erik Sherman, author of  the article, “Wall Street’s Search for Innovation,” published in MIT’s Technology Review on March 16. Wall Street reached its latest low this week when a Goldman Sachs executive resigned and publicly excoriated the company’s ethics in a New York Times op-ed.

Meanwhile, places like Silicon Valley, Boston, and other hotbeds of high tech suddenly look like the most attractive places to be. With the recent spate of Web-company IPOs, technology startups are also potentially a faster ticket to wealth than Wall Street, where bonuses fell 14 percent last year, continuing a multi-year slide.

“Perceptions of desirability are very important in entrepreneurship. [Technologists] want to go where the action is and want to be doing cool stuff,” says Bachenheimer.

In The Empire: “Pace University’s Entrepreneurship Lab Will Train People To Think Differently”

A startup blog covers the opening of Pace’s new startup Entrepreuneurship Lab. How appropriate.

This is the seed blog for InTheEmpire, a Streetwise Media site specifically for NYC, set to officially launch this March.
 
February 17, 2012
 
 

Pace University officially opened the doors to its Entrepreneurship Lab (aka, E-Lab) last night, and there to cut the ribbon was Professor Bruce Bachenheimer, who was named the lab’s first director.

“It takes innovation and entrepreneurship to develop things that are meaningful,” Bachenheimer tells us over the phone.

The big picture strategy of the E-Lab is not necessarily to incubate companies or create startups, but it’s to spur entrepreneurial and innovative thoughts and actions.

“We don’t measure our metrics by how many students launch businesses,” Bachenheimer says. “It’s the ability to come up with new and creative solutions to problems, and the ability to add value in a unique and innovative way.”

To spur innovation, Bachenheimer and his E-Lab will provide students with workspace for creative thinking, in addition to access to workshops, guest speakers, roundtable discussions, and networking events involving members of the entrepreneurial community.

“If you’re looking at very good innovators, they have to be young enough so that their minds are not so rigid in the way things are and the way things should be,” says Bachenheimer. “But they also need to have enough knowledge, skills, and abilities to find and solve problems.”

To mold a mind into innovative shape, college students need an “experiential education.” People at that young of an age need to be able to expand their horizons and question the norm, or, to borrow a line from Steve Jobs, you need to “stay hungry, stay foolish” to truly innovate.

“You need to train people to think differently, and if there are specific skills they don’t have, let them know how to get those resources,” Bachenheimer says. “Hopefully, the Entrepreneurship Lab is one of them.”

(Image, from left: Neil Braun, Bruce Bachenheimer, Harold Levy)

NEWS RELEASE: “Pace University Opens Entrepreneurship Lab to Foster Student Innovation, Initiative and Commitment; Bruce Bachenheimer Named Lab’s First Director

Pace University has deep “roots” in innovation and entrepreneurship. Pace was founded more than 100 years ago by two exemplars of entrepreneurship, the brothers Homer and Charles Pace. With a $600 loan, they rented a classroom in Lower Manhattan to teach the principles of business to men and women aspiring to a better life.

Pace University Opens Entrepreneurship Lab to Foster Student Innovation, Initiative and Commitment

Professor Bruce Bachenheimer – Serial Entrepreneur, Board Member of the MIT Enterprise Forum, and Authority on Collegiate Entrepreneurship – Named Lab’s First Director

NEW YORK, NY, February 13, 2012 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, February 16, to be attended by members of New York City’s “entrepreneurship ecosystem” will mark the official launch of the new Pace University Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab), which is expected to both nurture the entrepreneurial spirit on campus and serve as a beacon for innovation in the Lower Manhattan community. 

Those scheduled to be on hand at the inauguration of the new space on the third floor at 163 William Street in New York City and give brief entrepreneurial-encouraging remarks at the invitation-only reception include (in alphabetical order):

  • Bruce Bachenheimer, Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab and Clinical Professor of Management, Lubin School of Business
  • Neil S. Braun, Dean of the Lubin School of Business and former President of the NBC Television Network and CEO & Chairman of Viacom Entertainment
  • Gurbaksh Chahal, Founder, Chairman & CEO of RadiumOne.  A die-hard internet entrepreneur, “G” also launched ClickAgents and BlueLithium.
  • Somak Chattopadhyay, Partner at Tribeca Venture Partners – Early Stage Venture Capitalist
  • Harold O. Levy, Pace Trustee and Managing Director of Palm Ventures, Former NYC Schools Chancellor
  • Robert W. Walsh, Commissioner – New York City Department of Small Business Services

They’ll be joined by Robert Caucci (Pace BBA ‘11, Entrepreneurship; Pace BS ‘11, Business Economics) and Jeremy Pease (Pace BS ’12, Computer Science), co-founders of Reslutions, who had the 2011 Winning New Business Concept Pitch at Pace’s Seventh Annual Pitch Contest. Reslutions is a platform that digitizes and streamlines all of the processes associated with a collegiate housing department and stemmed from the co-founders experience as college resident advisors.

Entrepreneurship: The Heart of Business Education 

In addition to 163 William Street in Manhattan, Pace will be simultaneously opening an Entrepreneurship Lab at the Goldstein Academic Building on its Pleasantville, NY, campus. Both E-Labs will provide the tools and mentoring for the development of business plans and the seed capital for new ventures. The E-Labs will also host events featuring guest speakers, workshops and competitions, many of which will be open to the public.

“Entrepreneurship, in its broadest sense, is a personal approach for developing ideas into plans and plans into reality. It is interdisciplinary ‘doing.’  Entrepreneurial leadership is as important in large companies as it is in startups; it’s a mindset toward relentless problem solving that leads to successful execution” said Braun, who in his career has assumed many different type of roles, including internet entrepreneur, television network president, corporate attorney, CEO and film producer. “It is therefore at the heart of business education; it is the ultimate capstone for applying the knowledge and skills of the discrete disciplines to a product or service for a specific market opportunity. 

Professor Bruce Bachenheimer is ideally suited to lead the E-Labs and grow the program,” continued Braun.  “Bruce’s relationships throughout the New York City venture community and beyond will be an important building block as we seek to further enhance our standing in, and access to, professionals in the field.” 

Bachenheimer is the visionary behind the annual Pace Pitch Contest and Business Plan Competition, which he introduced in 2004, shortly after joining the Lubin faculty. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Directors and past Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City and has served on the organization’s Global Board. Bachenheimer also serves on the Board of Directors & Advisors of LeadAmerica and has served as a consultant to the NYC Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corp. He founded Annapolis Maritime Corp. and co-founded StockCentral Australia. 

“The Entrepreneurship Lab aims to foster an entrepreneurial mindset – a way of thinking and acting that focuses on developing new ways to solve problems and create value,” said Bachenheimer, who drafted the initial proposal of the E- Lab. “These skills are important not only for those seeking to establish a new venture, but are increasingly critical in a wide variety of professional careers given today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, where rapid technological innovation and globalization has led to corporate downsizing and a dramatic change in the very nature of work.”

Bachenheimer began his career as a Wall Street trader then had the courage to take a step back from the rat race and go sailing … for several years. After sailing through the Caribbean to South America, he headed to Annapolis, Maryland, where he launched a business importing teak lumber and taught himself yacht joinery. Bachenheimer then transitioned to a career in high-tech forensic science, where he served as the International Product Manager for an entrepreneurial venture, conducting business in over 20 countries. Several years later, Bachenheimer received the prestigious McKinsey & Company Leadership Scholarship to pursue and MBA degree, which he earned from the Australian Graduate School of Management. While completing his degree, he co-founded StockCentral Australia, which grew to become one of the largest financial websites in the country. A Pace alumni, Bachenheimer earned a BBA, Summa Cum Laude, from the Lubin School of Business.  He was conversational in Japanese and spent a semester at Tsukuba National University in Japan as an undergraduate. 

 About Entrepreneurship Studies in the Lubin School of Business at Pace University

The Entrepreneurship Labs on the New York and Pleasantville campuses (www.pace.edu/entlab) build on Pace’s well-established undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship curriculum and activities such as the Pace Pitch Contest, Business Plan Competition, and Entrepreneur In Residence program. www.pace.edu/entrepreneurship 

About Pace University 

For 105 years, Pace University has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

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Pace Media Contact: Samuella Becker, sbecker2@pace.edu; 212-346-1637 (office) or 917-734-5172 (mobile)

New York Daily News: “Your Money: Bouncing back. Laid-off NYers get fresh start wth home businesses”

While hiring seems to be picking up again, the financial meltdown that began in 2008 resulted in a surge of home-based businesses as millions of laid-off workers scrambled to find a way to pay their bills.

In 2009, 18.4 million Americans worked at home, an increase from 16.5 million the previous year.  A little over half of all small U.S. businesses are based out of people’s homes, according to the latest Census Bureau data available.

But before would be self-employed moguls get started, they need to look realistically at what they’re hoping to accomplish, Bruce Bachenheimer, a professor of management and Director of Entrepreneurship at Pace University (pictured), advised Fran Golden of the New York Daily News

“Do you have a real strategy?  A lot of people in this bad economy see home-based as a way to be employed, fill a gap on the resume or whatever,” Bachenheimer said. “But it’s not as easy as it appears.”

To start a home-based business, Professor Bachenheimer gave New York Daily News readers the following EXPERT ADVICE:

  • SET REALISTIC GOALS:  To launch a business does take capital, time and money, and always twice as much as you think.
  • FIND A MENTOR: Talk to people who have started home-based businesses, join entrepreneur and small business groups, and get feedback about start-ups. Smart entrepeneurs surround themselves with even smarter experts.     
  • THINK SALES: A lot of people have a romantic vision that working at home means making your own hours and making money.  But the reality is, no matter what you’re offering , you need someone to buy it.  Entrepreneurs are optimistic by nature, but don’t confuse passion and stubborness.  You need someone to actually open up their wallet and want. 
  • BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF.  Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.  The best are risk-takers confident in themselves and their ideas.

TeenBusinessForum: “Why Entrepreneurs Should Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week”

Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 14 – 20, 2011) is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. So why should entrepreneurs celebrate it?

7. To Celebrate The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Because entrepreneurship is a mindset — a way of thinking and acting, not simply about starting a business. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and create value. These skills are important not only for those seeking to establish a new venture, but are increasingly critical in a wide variety of careers given today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, where rapid technological innovation and globalization has led to corporate downsizing and a dramatic change in the very nature of work.

Bruce Bachenheimer, Clinical Professor and Director of Entrepreneurship, Pace University

To read the other 19 responses on TeenBusinessForum, where teens discuss entrepreneurship, click here 

Forbes.com: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy: With Grief, A Dialogue On Depression, Stress And Anxiety Takes Shape”

In the wake of the suicide of a promising tech entrepreneur this weekend, Dr. Richard Shadick helps us – and Forbes.com readers – to understand the mindset of young founders in a startup culture who may be dealing with issues of isolation/stress/depression.

In the wake of the passing this weekend of Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the four founders of much-hyped open-source social network Diaspora, an unsettling conversation has begun within the tech community. Zhitomirskiy’s death, rumored to be a suicide but officially the cause is unknown, has ignited what many see as a much-needed and long-awaited dialogue in the industry: the mental health repercussions of the immense pressure and scrutiny—both internal and external—that young tech founders weather in their quest for the new American Dream.

“These are the new masters of the universe,” says Richard Shadick, Ph.D., the director of Pace University’s counseling center and adjunct professor of psychology in an interview with Forbes.com. “We saw the same profile with Wall Streeters in the 80s: lots and lots of pressure and enough money to motivate them to keep striving for more.” Entrepreneurs, especially those in the high-risk-high-reward startup game tend to have a specific type of personality profile, he says: exceedingly driven, creative, often idiosyncratic thinkers with what can be overwhelmingly high ideals. “It takes a little bit of craziness just to undertake such a huge endeavor to begin with.”

But are entrepreneurs any more prone to depression than the rest of the world? New research does link the creative thought process and capacity for highly focused work so often seen in founders with depressive thinking. Amongst themselves, founders point to isolation, pressure and lack of adequate health care as fuel to the fire of depression. One fund-raising entrepreneur notes that looking for funding might make it especially difficult for a young founder to address any mental health issues he might face. “I do believe it is an impediment to getting investor backing,” he says. “Depression is not well understood by people who haven’t experienced it.”

In the wake of a tragedy like the death of a member of the community, an outcry for a solution is natural. By all accounts the opening of a dialogue on the mental health issues of entrepreneurs—a possible predisposition to depressive thinking and the insurmountable pressure of attempting to reach superstardom by 30—is a step in the right direction.

But Shadick thinks it’s imperative that the conversation surrounding mental health become an industry priority.“The prototype of a Zuckerberg can be quite dangerous for someone to try and attain,” he says. To that end he says it’s essential to address the issue of stress management within the community and the encouragement of realistic work-life balance. “Particularly for founders. Because if someone is starting a company, they’re going to be the model for all future employees and the health of the corporate culture.”

And if work-life balance plays even the tiniest part of the mental health of an individual, that seems like one place where the risk just isn’t worth it.

Kiplinger’s Retirement Report: “Help Your Child Launch a Business”

The tough job market has more people considering entrepreneurship. But starting a business requires capital that can also be difficult to secure, so many young entrepreneurs are turning to their parents for investments.

Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of entrepreneurship at Pace’s Lubin School of Business, provides tips to parents who are considering helping an adult child start a business in the November issue of Kiplinger’s Retirement Report.

How much due diligence should the parents do to ensure the business is doable?  Should they require a kid to draw up a business and marketing plan? Should any loan be formal with a promissory note, etc.? How often should the parent check in on their investment? Should parents put kids in touch with other experts? How do you stay far enough away so you’re not meddling?  

Professor Bachenheimer’s “tips to parents who are considering helping an adult child start a business” are embedded below.

Crunch the numbers.

Bachenheimer suggests telling the budding entrepreneur you will invest your $50,000 after he or she finds outside investors willing to put up the other $100,000.

These investors “are going to know what a business plan should look like, what the valuation of the business should be and what the privileges of the investors are,” says Bachenheimer.

Write up the terms.

It’s critical to document in writing the terms of your loan or equity investment. At a minimum, your document should spell out the amount being invested, how the funds are to be used and how the parent investor will be repaid. Bachenheimer says you can find sample loan documents on the Internet or seek advice from experts at a small business development center.

“Parents usually have a very valuable amount of social capital,” Bachenheimer says. Your accountant, lawyer, banker, business associates or golf buddies could be potential customers, advisers or investors.

 

Chatham Courier: “Women’s drive helps canning company thrive”

Professor Bruce Bachenheimer, Director of Entrepreneurship@Lubin, shares insights about starting and growing a business in this tough economic climate.

The Shaker Mountain Canning Co is a women- owned food production and co-packing facility in New Lebanon, N.Y. in Columbia County. They made it through their first year and they said business is increasing.

Lisa Connell, a reporter for the Chatham Courier, reached out to Lubin’s Bruce Bachenheimer — clinical professor of management and the mastermind behind the annual Pace Pitch Contest in which contestants in the New Business Concept and Social Venture categories each have three minutes to make his/her pitch — and asked him:

  • What skills and knowledge does it take to be an entrepreneur, particularly if the owner and staff are female? 
  • What challenges may the woman entrepreneur face that a man does not?
  • Or, is it too simplistic to talk about succeeding as an entrepreneur along gender lines? 

According to Professor Bachenheimer, finding the right people and retaining them can actually be much more of a challenge than the idea for the business itself.

“It’s hard to identify them and even if you do, how do you recruit them?” asked Bachenheimer.  “Attracting, recruiting, training, retraining and delegating — all of these factors are key to an entrepreneurial venture,” Bachenheimer said during a telephone interview.

“It’s about people and innovation and truly growing the business,” he said.