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.’ ”

 

 

 

 

MO.com: “Live Deliberately”

MO.com – a website for entrepreneurs that stands for Modus Operandi or Method of Operating – interviewed Professor Bruce Bachenheimer about his passion for entrepreneurship, early influences, how he fosters creativity and innovation in his students, mentors, social entrepreneurship, job challenges and his most important piece of advice for those ready to embark on the adventure of starting a business.

MO.com interviews entrepreneurs from all walks, across all industries, and from around the world.  The online publication recently spoke with Pace’s Bruce Bachenheimer and asked him to share his strategies and business philosophies with its readers.  The article is embedded below or read it online where you can vote for Professor Bachenheimer as giving the month’s best interview by clicking here

“Live Deliberately”

Written by MO

Bruce Bachenheimer, Pace University

Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab

http://webpage.pace.edu/bbachenheimer/

Bruce Bachenheimer is a Clinical Professor of Management, the Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab and a Faculty Fellow of the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, primarily in the areas of entrepreneurship, management, and strategy.

Bruce has been widely quoted in a variety of publications, interviewed on radio and television, and has spoken on entrepreneurship at numerous conferences, including the Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations, the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, and the Make Mine a Million $ Business program, where he also served as a judge. Mr. Bachenheimer is a reviewer for the CASE Journal, the founding faculty advisor of the Pace Association for Collegiate Entrepreneurs, a Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Sam Walton Fellow, and the organizer of the Pace Business Plan Competition and the Pace Pitch Contest.

Bruce 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. He 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.

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, he 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.

MO: Where does your passion for entrepreneurship come from? Who or what were your early influences or inspirations?

Bruce: I grew up in a somewhat rural area and there were hardly any local businesses where neighborhood kids could find part-time or summer work. Out of necessity, I created my opportunities; building things such as rabbit hutches and photographing neighborhood homes, which I printed, mounted and sold myself. I also did a fair bit of hiking and camping, which instilled a sense of independence and self-reliance. Another early influence was Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, particularly the line “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” I later bought a boat and sailed from New England to South America and back to Annapolis, Maryland – I named it Deliberate, which is how I try to live.

MO: How do you foster creativity and innovation in your students? Is creativity something that we’re born with or can it be taught and developed?

Bruce: Some people are certainly born with more creativity than others, but I believe creativity and innovation can be taught and developed. I use a variety of methods to encourage students to think and act more innovatively. Conducting engaging classroom exercises, selecting non-traditional texts, using interesting case studies, bringing in dynamic guest speakers, showing inspirational video clips, incorporating business simulations in the curriculum, assigning challenging projects, and taking students on filed trips or extracurricular activities are some examples. I try to remember something Confucius said: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

MO: Have you had any mentors during the course of your career?

Bruce: Sure, there were many and I’m grateful to each of them. Instead of a seeking an individual mentor for general career or life advice, I have turned to a variety of mentors for help in specific areas: interviewing, negotiating, presenting, managing, serving on a board, and teaching.

MO: Why do you think that the field social entrepreneurship has recently exploded? Why are people looking for more meaningful ways to carve out a career and how will this trend impact the start-up landscape?

Bruce: There are so many reasons. But in a way, I believe it is just a natural progression for people in an advanced society – a sort of move up Maslow’s hierarchy towards self-actualization. Generally, I think we are increasingly aware of important social issues and have more resources available to address them. Entrepreneurship is really about finding new ways to solve problems and add value, commercially and/or socially. More locally, it appears that the 9/11 terrorist attacks have had a profound and lasting impact on people’s desire to find meaningful careers. I’d recommend David Bornstein’s book ‘How to Change the World’ to better answer the question.

MO: You’re in constant contact with bright, young innovators. What aspects of teaching and mentoring are most inspiring for you? On the flip side, are there any aspects of your job that you find specifically challenging?

Bruce: I really do enjoy working with bright, young, motivated entrepreneurs and innovators. I am inspired by them and honestly believe that nobody learns more that the person standing at the front of the classroom. I don’t only work with my own students, but many throughout Pace and from numerous other universities. I organize the Pace Pitch Contest, which attracts competitors from schools such as NYU, Columbia, Princeton, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. It’s been great to help teams prepare for the competition and then see them ace their pitch. I’ve kept in contact with many of them and am proud of what they are accomplishing. I have also enjoyed working with young entrepreneurs as a member of the board of the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City over the past decade and as a mentor at the Kairos Society Global Summit this past year. I guess the biggest challenge is being as critical as I believe is necessary, while not dampening passion or discouraging persistence. But that’s passion and persistence, as opposed to arrogance and stubbornness.

MO: What is the most important piece of advice you have for those looking to start a business?

Bruce: Start by looking for something you’re truly passionate about. If you haven’t found that, don’t start a business – keep looking. There are so many challenges in launching a new venture – requiring so much time, energy, resources, social capital, and emotional commitment – it better be something you really love. Another thing is to find great people – great mentors, great partners, great advisors, and great employees.

 

Westchester County Business Journal: “Bachenheimer now runs E-Lab”

Pace University’s new Entrepreneurship Lab, known as the E-Lab, is available to all Pace students, in New York City and in Pleasantville.

Pace University’s new Entrepreneurship Lab, known as the E-Lab, now has a CEO –  it’s professor Bruce Bachenheimer of Chappaqua. A clinical professor of management at Pace, Bachenheimer is now also the director of the E-Lab. It is available to all Pace students, in New York City and in Pleasantville.

Bachenheimer will advise all aspiring student entrepreneurs, in everything from accounting and computer science to law and the performing arts, noted the Westchester County Business Journal.

He came up with the idea for the annual Pace Pitch Contest and Business Plan Competition, which he introduced in 2004, just after joining the Lubin School of Business faculty.

“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. “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, and then took several years off to sail through the Caribbean to South America. After that, he launched an importing business and then moved into high-tech forensic science before joining Pace.

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.

BPC/BizPlanCompetitions.com: “Pitch contests gain popularity”

For years, business plan competitions were the only option for would-be entrepreneurs seeking prizes, funding and the chance to get in front of venture capitalists via a competition framework. But now, more and more competitions are adding elevator pitch — or simply pitch — contests as an option within an overall business plan competition.

Many of the major Ivy League competitions — including Harvard, Yale and MIT — feature pitch competitions. The advantage of a pitch competition is that it’s much easier to enter, organize, participate and judge than a typical business plan competition, which typically encompasses an entire academic year, according to Bruce Bachenheimer, a professor of management who runs both the Pace University Pitch and Business Plan Competitions.

“Basically, competitors have three minutes in front of a panel of judges to sell their idea,” he told BPC/BizPlanCompetitions.com, a website which bills itself as the “world’s most complete listing of entrepreneurship contests and business plan competitions.”  He added that “there’s an audience for our competition, who can suggest questions, and who also get an education in entrepreneurship. Last year, Pace gave $50,000 in prizes to the competition winners.  The pitch competition has become very popular among business students.”

Pitch contests require different skills than business plan competitions.  In a pitch contest, you don’t necessarily need to have the fully-fleshed out idea that you need to succeed in a business plan competition. Instead, as Bachenheimer puts it, competitors need to “have excellent presentation skills, be quick on their feet, be able to provide a quick summary and be responsive to the very pointed questions of a panel of very distinguished judges.”

He’s very pleased with the way the pitch competition, which is now in it’s eighth year, has evolved. “In the beginning, some of the ideas were kind of crazy, but it’s gotten very serious,” he continues. “It’s very educational and very entertaining for the presenters and the audience. It’s a fast-paced, fun learning opportunity for everyone, including the audience.”

One big advantage of pitch contests is that they are relatively painless to enter. Instead of writing up a complicated, in-depth business plan that participants may have to revise numerous times over the months, a simple 500 word or so entry form, a brief biography and a 10-question form are the sole requirements for the Pace Pitch Contest. Not only is it simpler for the contestants, it is also much easier for the judges and organizers, he says.

And that makes it a good selling point for judges, who have to make a big time commitment to judge a business plan competition. Those can take months and judges must read multiple business plans, evaluate them at various stages and mentor competitions. With the pitch competition, it’s a one-day commitment. It’s also much easier on organizers, which is why it’s easier to start and run a pitch competition than a full business plan competition, Bachenheimer continues.

NEWS RELEASE: “Win Over Investors in 3 Minutes – The Seventh Annual Pace Pitch Contest, April 11; Keynote Speaker: Stanley S. Litow, President of the IBM Foundation”

The annual Pace Pitch Contest teaches aspiring entrepreneurs to deliver a winning business pitch within minutes. “In today’s busy world, with 140-character Twitter [posts] and one-paragraph Zagat reviews, everything has to be shorter and persuasive,” says Bruce Bachenheimer, competition founder and director of entrepreneurship at Pace.

The critical requirement, sums up Bachenheimer, is “venture capitalists need to be convinced not only that it’s a good idea, but that you can make it happen. It’s always better to bet on the jockey rather than the horse.”

SEVENTH ANNUAL PACE PITCH CONTEST

Presented by Entrepreneurship@Lubin

in association with

The MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City

WelcomeNeil Braun, Dean of the Lubin School of Business at Pace University; Former NBC Television Network President and CEO of Viacom Entertainment

 Keynote Speaker: Stanley S. Litow, President of the IBM Foundation

 Special Guest: “Bill Gates’ favorite teacher” Sal Khan, Founder of the Khan Academy

Closing RemarksHarold O. Levy: Managing Director of Palm VenturesFormer Chancellor of New York City Schools 

DATE: Monday, April 11th, 2011
TIME: 5:00pm – 8:00pm5:00 – 5:30 Registration and Reception
5:30 – 6:00 Introductions and Keynote Speaker
6:00 – 6:45 Finalists Make Their 3-Minute Pitch; Judges Question the Finalists
6:45 – 7:00 Audience Break; Judges Confer Privately

7:00– 7:30 Judging Panel Discussion/Critique
7:30 – 8:00 Awards Ceremony

PLACE: Pace University (east of City Hall) One Pace Plaza – Enter at 3 Spruce Street

Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts
New York, NY 10038

ONLINE REGISTRATION: Free to attend but must register at www.pace.edu/pitch

 

NEW YORK, NY – March 15, 2011 – Entrepreneurship@Lubin in association with the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City, will host the Seventh Annual Pace Pitch Contest on April 11, 2011 at Pace University’s New York City Campus.

“High-energy collegiate events such as the Pace Pitch Contest are valuable elements of an entrepreneurship education, not only for those that participate, but for members of the audience who may be harboring start-up dreams of their own,” said Bruce Bachenheimer, Clinical Professor of Management, Director of Entrepreneurship, and the visionary/organizer behind the Pace Pitch Contest. “While contestants learn to deliver a very clear, concise and convincing oral presentation – under a considerable amount of pressure – attendees get to witness a series of “living case studies” on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial concepts. Questions and feedback from the judges are valuable to all.”

According to Professor Bachenheimer, a total of 87 entries representing prospective startups in either the New Business Concept or Social Venture categories were received.  After careful review by the Selection Committee, six promising new ventures (three New Business Concepts; three Social Ventures) were chosen to face off for cash prizes totaling $9,000.

The companies represented by the Top 6 Finalists who will deliver a live three-minute pitch to sell the judges and up to 700 audience members on the feasibility of their entrepreneurial idea, business model, marketing strategy, competitive analysis and financial plan on April 11, are: 

NEW BUSINESS CONCEPTS

  • Reslutions – Streamlines and improves front and back office processes of collegiate housing/residential departments.
  • FitHopperOffers members access to unlimited fitness service providers anywhere in the world, without contract obligations.
  • The Lean CanteenMobile food cart that will serve an assortment of low calorie frozen entrées combined with a healthy side and bottled water to form a complete 500 calorie meal. 

SOCIAL VENTURES

  • Guiding Proud – One-on-one mentoring for LGBTQ youth, to foster self-esteem, self-confidence and a sense of worth.
  • Little Big Loan – Connecting underprivileged youth that cannot attend college due to financial challenges with individual lenders (peer-to-peer lending).
  • Malo Traders – Committed to combating extreme poverty and malnutrition by purchasing, storing, processing, and fortifying rice grown by small-scale farmers. 

DISTINGUISHED JUDGING PANEL

ABOUT THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of IBM’s Foundation. He heads global corporate citizenship and corporate social responsibility at IBM. Under his leadership, IBM has been widely regarded as a global leader in Corporate Social Responsibility and prized for its societal and environmental leadership, its labor practices and civic leadership.  Under Stan, IBM  has developed innovative voice recognition technology to help non-literate children and adults learn to read, automatic language translation and bilingual email, open source technology to help people with disabilities access the web, a humanitarian grid to power research on Cancer and AIDS and new digital imaging technology to improve water quality.  He helped devise IBM’s Global Citizen’s Portfolio consisting of matching accounts for learning and The Corporate Service Corps a corporate version of the Peace Corps that trains thousands of IBM’s future leaders.  IBM’s efforts in education have raised student achievement and won the company two Ron Brown Awards presented by the President. 

Before joining IBM, he served as Deputy Chancellor of Schools for New York City, the nation’s largest school system, and prior to that he founded and ran Interface, the non- profit “think tank” and served as an aide to both the Mayor and Governor of New York. 

His articles and essays have appeared in numerous books and publications including the Yale Law Review, Annual Survey of American Law, Brookings Papers, the American Academy of Sciences, the Journal for the Center for National Policy, Education Week, Harvard Business School’s Working Papers, New York Times and Newsday. 

Stanley is a recipient of the Council on Foundation’s prestigious Scrivner Award for creative philanthropy and awards from the Anne Frank Center, Martin Luther King Commission, Manhattanville College, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Coro Foundation, Helen Keller Services to the Blind, and the Women’s City Club. He has taught at New School University, the City University of New York and Long Island University.  Corporate Responsibility Officer Magazine voted him CEO of the Year for 2008 and 2009.

He served on the President’s Welfare to Work Commission, and now serves on the board of Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative, Citizen’s Budget Commission, The After School Corporation and the Albert Shanker Institute.

ABOUT THE SPECIAL GUEST 

Salman Khan (Sal) is the founder and faculty of the Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org) – a free online education platform and non-for-profit organization with a mission to ‘accelerate learning for students of all ages.” He has produced over 2,100 popular videos elucidating a wide spectrum of concepts, mainly focusing on mathematics and the sciences, out of a converted walk-in closet in his Silicon Valley home. The Khan Academy has, as of February 2011, attracted more than 41 million views.

Sal is a former hedge fund analyst and techie. He holds three degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: a BS in mathematics, a BS in electrical engineering and computer science, and an MS in electrical engineering and computer science. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School

In March, Sal was invited to speak at TED2011 by Bill Gates who uses Khan Academy videos to teach his own children.

ABOUT THE PACE PITCH CONTEST

During the competition’s seven-year history, hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs have registered to compete from schools around the country and abroad, for prizes totaling over $70,000. Some have gone on to turn their dreams into reality by raising additional seed money in the millions from early-stage venture capital funds, sell over 50,000 in product to stores such as Barnes & Noble and Bed, Bath & Beyond and partner with national organizations such as the National Institute of Health. The judging panel includes the “who’s who” of the venture capital, investment banking, legal, commercial real estate, philanthropic and media worlds. The Seventh Annual Pace Pitch Contest is presented by Entrepreneurship@Lubin, in association with MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City.

 ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT PACE

Pace’s entrepreneurial studies program, formally established in 1979, is one of the first of its kind and among the oldest in the world. Pace students have been selected for  Business Week’s “25 Best Entrepreneurs Under 25” and finalists in Fortune Small Business 5th Annual Business Plan Competition. In his book Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles, Peter Drucker, considered the founder of modern management, singles out Pace as among the nation’s “entrepreneurial universities,” steeped in entrepreneurial tradition and focused on educational excellence that considers societal and market needs.”

ABOUT PACE UNIVERSITY

For 105 years Pace University has produced 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 or 917-734-5172