Temple Times Online Edition
    MAY 19, 2005
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E.M.B.A. student Ludwig wins Business Plan Competition

Phyllis Ludwig
Phyllis Ludwig (left) receives the first-prize award in Temple’s Business Plan Competition from Kenneth Soprano, Temple’s vice president for research and graduate studies.

“Look for me in the marketplace,” said Phyllis Ludwig, winner of the Temple Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute’s seventh annual Business Plan Competition. She won a $25,000 prize package for her plan for Cent.$.able Kid$, a company which will provide money management programs for children throughout the United States.

Her plan for Cent.$.able Kids, is part of her ambition to do more than numbers, which is the reason Ludwig, a certified public accountant, enrolled in The Fox School’s executive M.B.A. program.

Kenneth Soprano, vice president for research and graduate studies at Temple, gave Ludwig the award, saying, “My goal is to provide an environment for faculty and students throughout Temple’s 17 different schools and colleges that promotes entrepreneurship.”

Students and staff from six Temple colleges participated in the 2005 competition.

Soprano was pleased to point out that one of the winning plans, the third-place Reels on Wheels, submitted by non-business majors. Tom McDonald (political science) and Sean Blanda (journalism) won $2,000 for their plan for a company that would provide movie rentals to the college market with a special twist: home delivery. The second prize of $5,000 went to Gunter Pfau (Fox School, B.B.A. ’05) for his plan for Stuzo, an Internet-driven business that doubles as a marketplace for college students and an advertising forum for businesses that want access to the college market.

Chris Pavlides, director of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute, said, “This year our Business Plan Competition had the highest number of submissions ever, 51— double last year’s; the most judges, 36, including senior corporate executives such as Richard Bendis and successful entrepreneurs such as Stanley Tuttleman; the largest attendance, 200 people; and the biggest prize ever, a package valued at $25,000.”

This year’s first-prize package included $10,000 in cash and a variety of in-kind services essential to establishing a business: Web site design and construction, $5,000 worth in free legal help, free incorporation in Pennsylvania, $5,000 worth of any Microsoft software products, a travel package for two to Costa Rica, workspace and mentoring. Second- and third-place finishers also received Microsoft software and Web site design services.

In her keynote address, Rieva Lesonsky, chief editor of Entrepreneur magazine, told the audience, “You have to be more than a risk-taker. You need to be a dare-taker. Dare to succeed, dare to fail, and dare to dream.”

Entrepreneur magazine recently ranked The Fox School’s entrepreneurship program in the top 30 in the United States, ranking Temple higher than any other school in the region, including Penn’s Wharton School. This past fall, citing Temple’s Business Innovation Competition and Temple’s League of Entrepreneurial Women, The Princeton Review and Forbes.com ranked Temple as one of the top 25 entrepreneurial campuses in the United States.

The Business Plan Competition is part of the IEI’s three-phase Business Innovation Competition. The other two phases are the Idea Competition and the Feasibility Plan Competition.

M. Moshe Porat, dean of The Fox School, summed up the competition in his comments: “There’s never been a better time at Temple to be an entrepreneur. The IEI promotes entrepreneurship and innovation across the entire Temple community — for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

– By Lisa Z. Meritz