Temple Times Online Edition
    APRIL 28, 2005
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2 centers offer help for young businesses

Temple is rich in resources, programs and role models for budding entrepreneurs. So if you want to be the next Dennis Alter (B.S. Ed. ’66), chairman and CEO of Advanta and benefactor of The Fox School’s new building, Alter Hall; or the next Frank Baldino (Ph.D. Med. ’80), CEO of Cephalon, a pharmaceutical company that just reached the milestone of $1 billion in annual revenue, Temple is a great place to be.

According to Chris Pavlides, director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, entrepreneurship begins with innovation.

“Innovation is the creation of ideas that add value or help us do things better, faster, easier and at a lower cost,” Pavlides said. “Entrepreneurship is people working together to create that value by putting innovation into practice.”

Photo by Lisa Godfrey

T.L. Hill, instructor in general and strategic management, teaches a business plan workshop in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute’s Entrepreneurship Workshop Series. The free workshops, held throughout the academic year, help aspiring entrepreneurs tackle various aspects of writing a business plan.

Resources open to all

At Temple, innovation goes beyond students taking entrepreneurship as a major or a minor at The Fox School of Business and Management. The comprehensive resources of the school’s two entrepreneurial centers, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), are open to all Temple students, faculty and staff.

In addition, these resources are open to Temple alumni, and the SBDC works with clients in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery counties. Because the SBDC is funded through a partnership between The Fox School and the state of Pennsylvania with additional funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration, it directs much of its energy outside of Temple.

Both centers assist with the planning and startup of new companies by offering individual coaching as well as workshops and seminars. They cover all aspects of entrepreneurship, from writing a business plan to making a professional presentation to exporting to China. All IEI workshops are free. Some SBDC workshops are free; others are low-cost and many have student rates.

The IEI is also home to the Innovation Lab, an open workspace for entrepreneurship projects, and the SBDC has an Incubator that provides office space for new businesses.

In the national spotlight

Recognizing Temple’s overall strength in entrepreneurship, this academic year The Princeton Review and Forbes.com ranked Temple as one of the top 25 entrepreneurial campuses in the United States, and this spring Entrepreneur magazine ranked The Fox School’s entrepreneurship program in the top 30 in the United States.

One reason The Princeton Review cited for its high ranking was IEI’s Business Innovation Competition, which includes three phases: the Idea Competition, the Feasibility Plan Competition and the Business Plan Competition. This year’s final competition, scheduled for May 3 (8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.), will end with a student or student team receiving up to a $25,000 package — a $19,000 increase in value over last year’s award — for the winning plan.

The package includes $15,000 cash and a variety of services: Web site design, legal help, free incorporation in Pennsylvania, a travel package to Costa Rica, workspace and mentoring.

The Business Plan Competition, both the competition and the May event, is open to the entire university. This year, the first phase of the competition, the Idea Competition, alone received more than 150 ideas submitted from seven different schools: The Fox School of Business, the School of Medicine, the College of Engineering, the School of Communications and Theater, the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science and Technology. After an outreach campaign to the whole University through class visits and newsletter publicity, the IEI anticipates submissions from all 17 Temple schools for the upcoming May 3 competition.

The winner of last year’s IEI business plan competition, Rebecca Davis, created a plan for a local pre-professional dance-theater training program for youths ages 12 to 18, which she has since established as the Rebecca Davis Dance Company.

“The Business Plan Competition at Temple was a great opportunity for me,” said Davis, who also won a 2004 Fulbright grant to study dance in Russia after graduation. “It bridges the gap between academics and the business community. Someone like me who’s trying to start a business can get exposure while still at a university.”

Another business plan winner whose plan has since become a reality is Steven Fabbri of Hubris Industries, an apparel company for extreme sports.

“Such success is typical for the IEI,” Pavlides said. “Our main purpose is to help students develop viable business plans. We’re ready, willing and able to assist and mentor anyone at Temple who wants to build a business from the ground up.”

It’s a great idea: Now what?

Rebecca Davis is an example of a Temple community member who benefited from the services of both the IEI and the SBDC. Her first office, which opened after she graduated, was in the SBDC Incubator at 15th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

Eustace Kangaju, SBDC director, explains, “Most Incubator tenants are startups. We offer them in-depth help and hand-holding in a professional setting.”

For a low monthly fee (cost varies according to services), along with office space, the Incubator offers printing, faxing, Internet access, voicemail and services including everything from designing a business plan to selecting the right accounting method.

“A high success rate coupled with top-quality resources has helped the Incubator reach its capacity of 15 tenants. As tenants graduate, we encourage others to submit their business plans and apply,” said Incubator manager Marcia Lyssy.

Through free consulting and legal services and free or low-cost training in, for example, management skills, the Small Business Development Center also helps clients who are not housed in the Incubator develop their ideas into small businesses. In addition, the center helps established businesses grow, increase efficiency and access new markets.

“Our main strength is our knowledgeable staff,” said Eustace Kangaju, the SBDC director. “Our staff members handle everyday as well as larger issues. We have six senior-level business consultants who have an average of 25 years experience each, and six third-year Beasley Law School students each semester who, under the supervision of a practicing attorney, work with clients on contracts and leases. In my six years here, I’ve never run across someone we weren’t able to help.

“In 2004, staff helped us achieve remarkable results, including 62 new business starts and more than 150 business plans reviewed.”

Other specific SBDC Incubator successes include Samuel Teich, who used the SBDC to find a niche for his hip-hop production company, Himalayas Records; and Eric Haeker, who used SBDC to launch Arts in Motion, a nonprofit that brings classical music to young and diverse audiences.

Summing up the benefits, Fox School Vice Dean Raj Chandran said, “For budding entrepreneurs, the right guidance and support by the well-traveled is essential for the road to success. Together, these two centers — IEI and SBDC — help The Fox School provide Temple and the greater community entrepreneurial guidance and support. I urge Temple faculty, staff and students to participate in the future business plan competitions and to let these centers help you develop your ideas.”

- By Christine Bain

Resources for entrepreneurs

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI)
201 Speakman Hall
Cultivates hands-on entrepreneurial education by bringing together students, entrepreneurs, faculty and business advisers from diverse backgrounds to work on startup businesses.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
1510 Cecil B. Moore Ave., suite 201
Guides small-business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs communitywide through all phases of business development by offering free consulting services (including legal and creative) and free or low-cost business management training services.

Business Innovation Competition
(Sponsored by IEI)
Students and alumni submit their ideas (fall), feasibility studies (winter) and business plans (spring) for new businesses to gain mentoring, learning and cash prizes.

Workshop series
Entrepreneurial Workshop Series
(Sponsored by IEI)
Eight-week free workshops each semester on various aspects of the business plan. Registration required. Participants can attend individual workshops or the whole series.

Entrepreneurial Success Workshop Series
(Sponsored by SBDC)
Thirteen-week entrepreneurial success workshops to help entrepreneurs write a business plan. $270.

“Growing Your Business with Market Analysis and a Winning Business Plan”
(Sponsored by SBDC)
Three-stage workshop helps entrepreneurs transform their business ideas into structured business plans. $270.

“The Construction Management Certificate Workshop Series”
(Sponsored by SBDC)
Nine-month series of seminars designed to provide business management tools to existing and aspiring independent contractors. $1,700.

“Preparing for Financial Success”
(Sponsored by SBDC)
Four-week workshop teaches entrepreneurs how to complete the three basic financial statements needed for business. They learn how to analyze their financial statements, make decisions based on them, project sales and expenses, and calculate the crucial break-even point. $95.


League for Entrepreneurial Women
(Sponsored by IEI, Fox School of Business and Management, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and School of Communications and Theater)
Advocacy initiative addresses the growing challenges and interests of entrepreneurial women in the Greater Philadelphia region and provides support for aspiring women entrepreneurs, particularly those from Temple. For more information, contact Monica Treichel at monica.treichel@temple.edu.

Innovation Lab
(Sponsored by IEI)
Provides a collegial and confidential space and support system for student teams working on new ventures as either entrepreneurs or consultants.

The Incubator
(Sponsored by SBDC)
Provides SBDC clients a professional setting to work, including access to printers, fax machines, the Internet and more. $25 per month for students. For more information, call 204-2375.

Graduate Student Entrepreneurship Club (SEC)
(Sponsored by IEI)
Club offers graduate students of all disciplines the opportunity to meet and network with other students.  Based on common interests, skills, and experience, students form teams to help them fulfill their entrepreneurial goals. Contact Laura Penna for more information at laurap@temple.edu.

Entrepreneurial Student Association (ESA)
(Sponsored by IEI)
Organization for undergraduate students of all disciplines focusing on entrepreneurship and free enterprise.  For more information, contact Victor Feinman, president, at vfeinman@temple.edu.

The Developing Women Entrepreneurs Speaker Series (DWE)
(Sponsored by the IEI and the Temple Center for International Business Education Research)
Aims to connect women entrepreneurs with available resources such as national women’s business organizations, government trade organizations and research on women in international business and entrepreneurship.  For more information, contact Temple CIBER director Melynda Benlemlih at melynda.benlemlih@temple.edu.

Upcoming workshops

“Marketing Dynamics”
(Sponsored by SBDC)
Thursday, April 28
1510 Cecil B. Moore Ave., suite 201
$95. Participants will learn to realize their competitive advantage, how to reach a specific target market and how to market to a multitude of diverse clients, and will receive advice on how to grow a business, benchmark progress and create evaluation mechanisms for marketing plans. Call 204-3856 or e-mail sbtrain@temple.edu to register or for more information.

“Exporting to China: Seizing Opportunity and Managing Risk”
(Sponsored by SBDC)
May 19: Westin Hotel, Philadelphia
May 20: Philadelphia U.S. Export Assistance Center
$150 is all-inclusive (breakfast, full-day conference program, keynote luncheon address, networking breaks, gala reception and May 20 follow-up one-on-one meetings). Participants will determine market entry strategies, develop sales and distributor relationships, and identify trade and project finance opportunities. Visit www.buyusa.gov/philadelphia/exportchina.html to register or for more information.

Upcoming events

Business Plan Competition Awards Ceremony
(Sponsored by IEI)
Tuesday, May 3, Speakman Hall, 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Contact Laura Penna at laurap@temple.edu for more information.
Presentations and mentor-student networking.

International Venture Fair
(Sponsored by IEI)
Thursday, June 2, Shusterman Hall, 8:30–11:30 a.m.
Contact Laura Penna at laurap@temple.edu for more information.
Seventh International Venture Fair will showcase student business plans created for global entrepreneurial companies looking to enter the U.S. marketplace.