Archive for the ‘Freeman News’ Category
Friday, February 28th, 2014
The Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) has announced eight semi-finalists for the group’s newly revamped Tulane Business Model Competition.
The 2014 Tulane Business Model Competition will award $35,000 to startup ventures with consumer-tested business ideas.
After a 13-year-run, the contest was redesigned to better reward the practical aspects of what make startups successful – the ability to rapidly adapt to customers’ needs. It offers a $25,000 grand prize and $10,000 for the runner-up.
“From food carts and hospitality ventures to educational technology and biomedical devices, our eight finalists truly represent a cross-section of the New Orleans startup scene,” says Ralph Maurer, executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship. “I’m looking forward to seeing how these talented young entrepreneurs hone their business models in preparation for the final competition on April 11.”
The semi-finalists are:
• ComeFail, a space for college students to fail safely and a platform for supportive learning and exploration.
• CCC, a venture that offers customized volunteer and hospitality experiences for customers so that they can easily enjoy, learn, and support New Orleans like never before.
• Fleur de Latkes, a new food cart and catering business in uptown New Orleans that specializes in bringing a modern take on your “bubbe’s” Jewish cooking down to NOLA.
• InVision Biomedical, a firm that takes existing innovative procedures and implements novel medical devices, expanding patient safety and hospital cost efficiency.
• Million Dollar Scholar, an education technology and services venture that addresses higher education affordability by providing students with an online platform to learn how to become successful in the scholarship application process
• Threadix, an event management and data analytics company utilizing the latest technological innovations in near field communication to allow advertisers and event organizers new methods to expand branding opportunities.
• Tympanogen, a firm commercializing a gel patch developed at Tulane University, called Perf-Fix™, for non-surgical repair of chronic tympanic membrane perforations.
• US Fresh Cane, a sugar cane drink company that provides consumers an alternate and natural drink that can improve their health and fitness levels.
Semi-finalists receive $1,000 each and get to pitch, receive mentoring and network with a variety of lean startup experts on Tuesday, March 25, during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the sixth annual premier showcase event for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Ultimately, three finalists will present their business models at Tulane University on Friday, April 11, 2014.
Tulane is now taking after the International Business Model Competition, a contest that wants ventures to prove customer validation and adapt to the process of creating a business model. Instead of intensive library research, student entrepreneurs will get out in the field and prove their assumptions.
TEA President Adrian Mendez believes the competition provides a deeper learning opportunity and a more guided process for those interested in launching and running a company. “Essentially what we’re doing is creating an evolution of what has been established at Tulane, allowing for students to quickly prototype and execute ideas instead of just participating in a one time pitch.”
“The competition has always been a flagship event that supports local–now regional– entrepreneurs and programs,” Mendez says. “As the program grows, we hope to continue to motivate and inspire students to be on the forefront of entrepreneurial activity with the resources we provide.”
Follow the Tulane Business Model Competition on Facebook at facebook.com/tulanebusinessmodelcompetition and on Twitter at twitter.com/tulanebmc.
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
After hosting one of the region’s premiere college business plan competitions for 14 years, the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) has completely redesigned the contest to better reward the practical aspects of what make startups successful – the ability to rapidly adapt to customers’ needs.
The 2014 Tulane Business Model Competition will award more than $35,000 in prizes to new business ventures demonstrating a customer-validated business model.
Instead of rewarding the theoretical, the new contest wants ventures to show they’ve worked with potential customers to vet their services, adapted to those needs and shown the ability to quickly change course if the market disproves their assumptions. The new Tulane Business Model Competition offers a $25,000 grand prize and a $10,000 award for runner-up.
“In this contest, sleek presentations are not going to cut it,” said Ralph Maurer, executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. “Participants won’t be rewarded for overly ambitious sales projections, drawing fancy graphs or crafting the perfect pitch to venture capitalists.”
Instead the contest rewards teams for breaking down their idea into a key business model hypotheses; testing their assumptions with customers; applying Customer Development/Lean Startup principles to make sure they nail the solution; and learning to pivot until they have a customer-validated business model.
The contest is open to any team led by at least two or more students enrolled in a college or university. To enter, teams must submit a video presentation – normally a voice annotated slide deck no longer than 10 minutes – online by 11:59, Feb 14. More details on submission criteria are available at: http://tulane2014.istart.org/ .
“Entering the first round of the competition doesn’t require a significant time investment, and it’s a worthwhile exercise for anyone working on a startup,” Maurer said.
TEA will select eight semi-finalists who will win $1,000 each and get to pitch, receive mentoring and network with a variety of lean startup experts on Tuesday, March 25, in New Orleans. Ultimately, three finalists will present their business models at Tulane University on Friday, April 11, 2014.
- Keith Brannon
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
As director of the Freeman School’s Burkenroad Reports program, Peter Ricchiuti has spent more than 20 years highlighting the small, profitable companies that often fly under the radar of Wall Street. Now, Ricchiuti has collected some of the lessons he’s learned over the years in a new book.
Stocks Under Rocks shares some of the lessons of the Freeman School’s Burkenroad Reports program.
Stocks Under Rocks: How to Uncover Overlooked, Profitable Market Opportunities (FT Press), co-written with New Orleans Advocate features editor Annette Sisco, is a funny, informative guide to investing based on Riccchiuti’s experiences running the acclaimed student equities research program.
“It’s all the stories I tell in class and all the stories we get from visiting with the companies, but integrated into the funny stories is what we found that makes those companies a smart investment,” says Ricchiuti, a professor of practice in finance. “Every company represents a few anecdotes and a few funny stories but also one investment lesson learned.”
For example, don’t limit your investments to hip, sexy stocks. Ricchiuti says hopelessly unfashionable companies like pawn shops and convenience stores may not win you many points at cocktail parties, but they often generate higher returns than the latest media darling tech company.
“It’s the least attractive stuff,” Ricchiuti laughs, “but when you look at the financials, they all have great stories.”
Investors willing to look beyond the surface would learn that Cash America, for example, the pawn shop company, actually derives much of its revenue from a lucrative online loan business, while Susser Holdings, operator of Stripes convenience stores, attracts customers with a chain of high-quality in-store Mexican restaurants.
Ricchiuti says the biggest lesson of all when it comes to regional small-cap stocks is that individual investors really can gain an advantage over Wall Street.
“The conventional wisdom, particularly in academia, is that every stock is already efficiently priced, but when you get down low enough and small enough, there’s often times no other coverage,” Ricchiuti says. “If you’re willing to do the research, you really can know more than anyone else, and for an investor, that’s a great place to be.”
Peter Ricchiuti will be reading from and signing Stocks Under Rocks at the uptown location of Maple Street Book Shop on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
A class of students at the A. B. Freeman School of Business delivered their final presentations on Friday (Dec. 6), but these projects were for more than just a grade. They were to see which team would earn the right to have its marketing campaign executed by Fox Sports.
In December, Freeman students pitched 360-degree marketing campaigns to executives with Fox Sports. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
The presentations were the culmination of a semester-long project that took students in Professor of Practice John Howard’s undergraduate Advertising and Brand Promotion class and put them to work on behalf of Fox Sports New Orleans. The assignment? Create a 360-degree marketing campaign to promote the network’s coverage of Louisiana high school sports.
The students spent the semester conducting market research and developing ideas encompassing print, radio, TV and outdoor advertising as well as event marketing and social media. On Friday, representatives from Fox Sports and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) were on hand to see the results of their efforts and choose the winning campaign.
One team created a TV commercial that juxtaposed Louisiana imagery like wild alligators and flying Mardi Gras throws with football scrums and flying footballs. Another designed a clever campaign logo that added football laces to a fleur-de-lis.
In the end, after five hours of presentations and much deliberation, the judges selected “Louisiana: You Create Legends. You Make History,” a campaign built on the state’s reputation for producing future NFL stars, as the winner.
Mary Hyink, director of marketing with Fox Sports New Orleans/Southwest, said judges were particularly impressed by the team’s idea for an accompanying social media hashtag, #WheredYaGeaux, that plays on the local custom of identifying people by where they went to high school.
Fox Sports New Orleans plans to use the campaign developed by a team of Freeman School students, above, to promote its coverage of Louisiana high school sports. (Photo by Mary Hyink)
“That really struck a chord with us,” said Hyink. “There were a lot of terrific presentations. I think for us, the true benefit is that not only did we have a winning team, but there were also other teams that we will probably pull an idea or tactic from to add to what we bring to life on air.”
The high school sports campaign was Tulane’s first project in association with Fox Sports’ Creative University program, which involves students in hand-on marketing and communications projects for the network. Tulane is one of 20 universities that Fox Sports has partnered with for the program.
“Our hope is that we’re giving students some real-life, real-client, real-world experience,” said Lindsay Amstutz, vice president of marketing for Fox Sports Networks. “For us, it’s a tremendous pipeline for potential talent. We’ve hired a lot of students who went through Creative University. It just really helps us tap into these young, creative minds.”
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
The Internet is a powerful force that’s still evolving in unexpected, exciting and cool ways. The promise of the Internet is that “it actually lets us achieve our maximum for awesome,” said Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, a social news and entertainment website with 81 million unique visitors a month.
Tulane alumnus Erik Martin, right, general manager of Reddit, a wildly successful social news and entertainment website, and Alexis Ohanian, Reddit’s co-founder, discuss the advantages of being a humanities major in a tech world. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Ohanian spoke at a Tulane Entrepreneurs Association event on Friday (Nov. 1) as part of a 150-stop bus tour promoting his book Without Their Permission.
All links on the World Wide Web are created equal, Ohanian pointed out. “That means that any one of us with our Internet connections and our great ideas can spread them faster and further than ever before. We can use the Internet as an amazing stage and library for knowledge.”
Joining Ohanian on stage was the general manager of Reddit, Erik Martin, a 1999 Tulane University graduate.
Ira Solomon, dean of the A. B. Freeman School of Business, introduced Martin — named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people — as “perhaps Tulane’s favorite alum who is at the center of the tech world.”
Reddit is a bulletin board, where users post links and original text, called “selfs.” It is “an extremely powerful voice for sharing knowledge and for shaping public opinion,” said Solomon.
“Subreddits” are postings organized by subject areas. Reddit users vote up or down on postings, determining a posting’s ranking and position on the page.
Martin said that his education (he earned a BA in American studies) taught him how to recognize cultural patterns, a skill that comes in handy now as he organizes the intersections of interesting things “to unpack and explore” on Reddit postings.
“I’ve been lucky enough to do at Reddit [what he did as an American studies major] … to look and see how there’s something really interesting going on,” Martin said. “Let’s see where it can go.”
— Mary Ann Travis
Friday, October 25th, 2013
A legal studies instructor who sends her students into New Orleans courtrooms to help improve the city’s criminal justice system and a finance professor whose students are actively managing more than $3 million in Tulane University endowment funds are the first recipients of a new award that recognizes the best in teaching at the A. B. Freeman School of Business.
Sanda Groome, professor of practice in business and legal studies, received the first Teaching Excellence Award for Undergraduate Education, while Sheri Tice, professor of finance, received the first Teaching Excellence Award for Graduate Education. Dean Ira Solomon announced the awards, which include a $5,000 cash prize, at a faculty meeting in September.
“This was not an easy decision,” Solomon says. “[Senior Associate Dean] Paul Spindt and our six area coordinators submitted more than a dozen nominees, and each one deserved commendation for outstanding teaching. Ultimately, Sanda and Sheri stood out, and they stood out in large part for their efforts on behalf of Court Watch NOLA and the Darwin Fenner Fund, two unique, high-value experiential learning projects.”
Groome began teaching at the Freeman School in 2006, and in 2008, she joined the full-time faculty as a professor of practice. In 2009, she began a collaboration with Court Watch NOLA, a not-for-profit that monitors judges and reports on the efficiency of the New Orleans criminal justice system. As part of Groome’s Legal Studies service learning course, students go to court and take notes on how judges preside over criminal trials. Those notes are then incorporated into Court Watch reports, which serve as a valuable resource for voters during elections.
“Court Watch isn’t pro-state or pro-defense or even pro-court,” says Groome. “We just observe what’s going on. If you see that a judge has canceled court on many days or if he or she is always late, that will come out in the report.”
Besides helping to promote transparency and accountability in the criminal justice system, Groome says the program offers students valuable insights about the judicial system.
“Most student have never been in a courtroom before,” says Groome. “What they’re expecting is what they’ve seen on TV and in movies, and they quickly learn that it’s not really like that. I think it gives them a much better idea of the criminal court system, and it also shows them how the system affects not just the person on trial, but the victim, the families and the community.”
Tice joined the Freeman School in 1998, and has served as the A. B. Freeman Chair of Finance since 2011. In 2002, she took over the directorship of a dormant student investment fund and made it the centerpiece of an invitation-only honors seminar. Students in the Darwin Fenner Student Managed Fund course read current academic papers and use that research to develop models to screen sectors and identify mispriced stocks. At the end of the semester, students vote on which stocks in the $3 million fund to buy, hold and sell.
“I’m not a big believer in just standing up and lecturing whatever they can read in a textbook,” Tice says. “Instead, we discuss assigned academic research papers in class, and then the students apply what they’ve learned using real money and real stocks.”
Tice, seated in the center, with the Darwin Fenner Fund’s 2013 MFIN class.
Based on the fund’s performance, that approach seems to be working. Since 2002, the undergraduate-managed large-cap portfolio has beaten the market by 1.3 percent per year while the mid-cap portfolio, managed by MBA and MFIN students, has outperformed the market by 1.67 percent per year, both without taking on any additional risk using traditional risk measures. The program has been so successful that a small-cap portfolio was spun off this year to enable more students to take the class.
While a number of other schools have student-managed funds, Tice says the Darwin Fenner Fund is unique for involving both undergraduates and graduate students and for its emphasis on leading-edge research.
“To me, a great professor is someone who is able to bring research alive in the classroom,” Tice says. “I think that’s where the experiential learning component helps. Students struggle with reading the research papers, but when you tell them they have to invest a large amount of money and understanding these papers is going to enable them to be at the cutting edge and compete against the smartest people on Wall Street, it gives them an extra incentive and they learn the material.”
The Teaching Excellence Award is an outgrowth of the Freeman School’s recent strategic planning process. A faculty task force recommended consolidating the school’s various teaching recognitions into two awards—one each at the undergraduate and graduate levels—that recognize faculty members who are excellent educators and whose teaching aligns with the school’s strategic objectives.
Under the newly established system, area coordinators nominate faculty members within their respective areas, and those nominations are then supplemented with recommendations from the senior associate dean. Among the criteria to be considered are student evaluations, the extent to which the faculty member integrates academic research into his or her teaching, and whether the course provides high-impact experiential learning opportunities for students.
“Teaching is one of the most important activities in which we engage at the Freeman School, so it’s important for us to acknowledge and formally honor outstanding classroom instruction,” says Solomon. “Sanda and Sheri are true exemplars of teaching excellence, so I’m happy to be able to recognize and honor them as the first recipients of this award.”
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
To commemorate the Freeman School’s 100th anniversary, NASDAQ displayed a special congratulatory message this morning on its famed MarketSite Tower in Times Square.
For more than 20 years, NASDAQ has been a dedicated corporate partner of the Freeman School. The company has sponsored the Burkenroad Reports program since its founding and is also a sponsor of the annual Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference. In 2006, NASDAQ donated $50,000 to help restart Burkenroad Reports in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The company has also hosted numerous tours and site visits for students, including a September 2013 site visit as part of Freeman Days New York.
“NASDAQ is proud to be a partner supporting the program and all the great things Peter [Ricchiuti] has accomplished over the years,” wrote Tuan Le, director of NASDAQ OMX.
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
The Freeman School’s Burkenroad Reports program earned a national spotlight this week with a high-profile feature in Barron’s magazine.
Barron’s praised Burkenroad Reports for the impressive record of its student analysts.
In Schooling Wall Street in the Big Easy, Barron’s reporter Christopher C. Williams profiles the long-running equities research program and highlights the impressive record of its student analysts.
Williams interviewed Peter Ricchiuti, professor of practice and founder of the program, for the article along with student analyst Jimmy Dunn (MBA ’14) and David Lundgren, manager of the Hancock Horizon Burkenroad Small Cap Fund, a mutual fund inspired by the program and which uses the reports as a primary source of research.
“Ricchiuti and his students zero in on what they consider value stocks, typically trading with a price-to-earnings growth ratio of less than one,” Williams writes. “Their targets tend to be little-known outfits in the energy or industrial fields, with market value below $1 billion, but they can pack a wallop in terms of stock performance.”
As an example of that performance, Williams cites appliance and furniture retailer Conn’s. Since earning a market outperform rating from students two years, the company’s stock has gained more than 600 percent.
“Schooling Wall Street in the Big Easy” appeared in the Oct. 7, 2013, print edition of Barron’s and is also available online at Barrons.com (subscription required).
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
More than 300 Freeman students traveled to the Big Apple in September for Freeman Days New York, the Career Management Center’s annual networking and recruiting trip for students seeking jobs in New York City. This year’s event was the largest in history, with a record 92 companies hosting site visits and information sessions and taking part in networking opportunities.
More than 300 students attended this year’s Freeman Days New York recruiting and networking event.
The program kicked off on Sept. 19 at the Marriott Marquis Time Square with a series of career skills presentations as well as information sessions from ThomsonReuters, S&P Capital IQ/McGraw Hill Financial, Citigroup and Heart Publications. Capping off the day was the Freeman Days New York Alumni Networking Reception, an annual event that enables current students to mix, mingle and network with New York alumni.
The next morning students visited Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Grey Advertising, Gilt Group, Morgan Stanley and other firms, but the day’s biggest event took place on the floor of the Marriott’s Grand Ballroom, where more than 80 companies met with students and collected resumes as part of two large Focused Networking sessions.
According to Peggy Babin, associate dean for external relations, the Career Management Center introduced the Focused Networking sessions this year to give more students access to more potential employers. In previous years, much of the networking activity during Freeman Days New York took place at company-sponsored site visits, which can accommodate only a limited number of students due to space constraints. This year, the Focused Networking format enabled hundreds students to get valuable face time with dozens of companies seeking recruits in one location.
More than 90 employers participated in this year’s Freeman Days New York career event.
“The response we got from both students and employers was just overwhelming,” says Babin. “Both students and companies said they really liked the opportunity to make so many connections in one location. We may tweak the format slightly, but we definitely plan to bring back Focused Networking for next year’s Freeman Days New York.”
Among the companies that took part in this year’s Freeman Days New York events were Accenture, American Express, Atlantic Records, Barclays, BlackRock, Buzzfeed, Coach, Cushman & Wakefield, JCrew, Ralph Lauren, Lazard Asset Management, Macy’s, Moody’s Investor’s Service, Morgan Stanley, National Basketball Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers, UBS, Viacom, the Wall Street Journal and Time Warner Cable Media.
To see more photos from Freeman Days New York, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.