Temple Times Online Edition
    JUNE 23, 2005
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I.M.B.A. students help international companies enter U.S. market at International Venture Fair


Photo by Lisa Godfrey
Andrew Dugdale, CEO of ICDL, a British company looking to enter the U.S. market, with international M.B.A. student Andreas Michligk at Temple’s seventh annual International Venture Fair.

Shortly after Temple’s seventh annual International Venture Fair, Andrew Dugdale, CEO of the British company ICDL, already knew that traveling from the Britain to the United States to attend the fair was a valuable investment.

Dugdale’s visit was the culmination of his collaboration with Fox School I.M.B.A. students Stan Ridgely and Andreas Michligk to promote his company in the United States.

Said Dugdale, “We had a full room for the presentation and were flooded with inquiries at our table. Since the fair, I have already received one expression of interest from a venture capitalist and heard from several organizations interested in marketing ICDL’s Sales Accelerator [sales software].”

The ICDL market-entry plan was one of many plans presented to venture capitalists as part of I.M.B.A. students’ Global Entrepreneurship in Technology (GET) practicum, taught by the faculty manager of Fox consulting projects, T.L. Hill.

“Serving as consultants for GET projects is an exciting and effective way for students to bring together and apply what they’ve learned in all their MBA classes, and to expand their business networks,” Hill said.

At the Venture Fair, M. Moshe Porat, dean of The Fox School of Business and Management, explained, “This experience has been so important to our I.M.B.A. program, that this year we’re introducing this real-world experience for all MBA students as the Enterprise Management Consulting Program, or EMC.”

Incorporating the EMC into The Fox School’s M.B.A. curriculum demonstrates the school’s commitment to “action learning,” gaining knowledge within the context of real business situations.

For this year’s projects, global partners — Welingkar Institute of Management in India, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chausees School of International Management in France and Ben Gurion University in Israel — helped spur relationships with participating companies.

Dennis Alter, chairman and CEO of Advanta as well as a Temple benefactor and alumnus, gave the keynote address, stressing the growing importance of right-brain skills in business.

In fall 2004, Alter and his wife, Gisela, gave a $15 million transformational gift to The Fox School for a new, state-of-the-art, seven-story facility, Alter Hall, which will be completed by 2007.

In his talk, Alter combined his own ideas on innovation with those of 20th-century figures as diverse as writer and mythology expert Joseph Campbell, screenwriter Christopher Vogler and baseball great Ted Williams.

“In an age when information is abundant, thinking can only take you so far,” Alter said. In light of these limitations, he explained to the audience, it is increasingly important to add right-brain skills to the mix — including empathy, storytelling and creativity. He shared with the audience how Advanta does this via “the orchard,” a gathering of a diverse group of employees who meet in a non-threatening, non-hierarchical environment that fosters new ideas.

Temple’s top-ranked Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute organized and hosted the fair. Chris Pavlides, the IEI’s executive director, said, “I am pleased with the large turnout of VCs and entrepreneurs for this event, and I’m proud of the performance of our M.B.A. students.”

Other international companies presenting this year included:
Biosense Ltd. (Israel), a specialized security service that uses a novel interface between software and dogs.
Dai-Ichi Karkaria Ltd. (India), a company with expertise in the development and manufacture of high-performance specialty chemicals.
Lane 4 Lane Ltd. (Britain), a leadership/high performance-consulting firm staffed by elite athletes and psychologists.
Lipton Informatique Conseil (France), a company that offers specialized IT services for European financial services firms that are looking to enter the U.S. market.
Ophthocare Ltd. (Israel), a company that is developing and commercializing special electronic eyeglasses for the treatment of Amblyopia (lazy eye) in children.

Also included were presentations from winners of Temple’s May 3 annual Business Plan Competition: winner Cent$ableKids and second-place finisher STUZO. Cent$ableKids plans to provide money-management programs for children throughout the United States. STUZO is 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.

- Lisa Z. Meritz