Posts Tagged ‘John Elstrott’

Elstrott to be honored as Entrepreneur of the Year

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

The A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University will honor longtime faculty member and entrepreneur John B. Elstrott Jr. at this year’s Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala. The ceremony will take place on Friday, April 19, at the Audubon Tea Room.

Longtime faculty member and entrepreneur John B. Elstrott Jr. will be honored at this year’s Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala.

Elstrott, a professor of practice and emeritus executive director of the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, will receive the Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the ceremony. This marks the first time in the history of the event that both awards have gone to a single individual.

Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon and Levy-Rosenblum Institute Executive Director Ralph Maurer will present the awards.

Elstrott earned his PhD in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1975. He joined Tulane in 1982 and has taught entrepreneurship at the Freeman School since 1986. In 1991, Elstrott became the founding director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, which was established to coordinate entrepreneurship initiatives at the school and in the community.

In addition to his career as an educator and administrator, Elstrott has also had a long career as an entrepreneur and investor. In the early 1970s, Elstrott was part of the management team that helped build Celestial Seasonings into the world’s largest specialty tea company. Today, Elstrott continues to be an active investor and board member in the venture capital, wetlands mitigation banking, pharmaceutical, financial services, medical and functional food, and herbal remedy industries. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading retailer of natural and organic foods. Elstrott has served as a director of the company since 1994.

The Levy-Rosenblum Institute presents the awards each year to highlight outstanding entrepreneurs. The Distinguished Entrepreneur of Year Award honors individuals who embody the true spirit of entrepreneurship and philanthropic generosity, while the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes individuals dedicated to improving their communities through entrepreneurial initiatives.

For more information about the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, visit http://freeman.tulane.edu/

 

 

 

 

 


Three Freeman staffers make Silicon Bayou 100

Friday, December 14th, 2012

John Elstrott, Ralph Maurer and Lina Alfieri Stern, the leadership team behind the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, are among the local movers and shakers to make the 2012 Silicon Bayou 100.

The staff of the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship. From left to right, Lina Alfieri Stern, John Elstrott, Terry McGuckin, Ralph Maurer and Rosalind Butler.

Silicon Bayou News, a website dedicated to covering the state’s rapidly growing startup scene, selects the Silicon Bayou 100 each year to recognize the most active and influential people in technology and entrepreneurship in Louisiana. This year’s honorees were announced on Dec. 12 at a release party at Eiffel Society in New Orleans.

Elstrott is emeritus executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute (LRI), the center he founded in 1991 to coordinate entrepreneurship programs and initiatives at the Freeman School. Under Elstrott’s guidance, the Freeman School has consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the nation for entrepreneurship. Prior to his retirement in July 2012, Elstrott provided instruction, mentorship and advice to hundreds of entrepreneurs and prospective entrepreneurs over the course of a 25-year career at the Freeman School. As emeritus executive director, Elstrott remains involved with the institute as a consultant and fundraiser, and he continues to teach entrepreneurship courses at the Freeman School.

Maurer is executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute, and he also serves as executive director of the Tulane Family Business Center, a program of LRI. A professor of practice in the area of strategy & entrepreneurship, Maurer focuses his teaching and research on innovation and strategy in highly dynamic markets, with an emphasis on both technology and the cultural industries. His work and consulting experience includes time with Apple, Daimler-Benz, Chrysler, Deluxe and multiple internet startups. In addition to his role at the Freeman School, Maurer serves as a consultant with EMH Strategy in New Orleans.

Alfieri Stern has been with the Levy-Ronsenblum Institute since its founding, and she has served as director of the institute since 2008. In that role, she plans and implements projects relating to entrepreneurial studies, urban economic development and social entrepreneurship. In addition, she places and mentors volunteer students in consulting projects for disadvantaged businesses and not-for-profit organizations. As staff adviser to the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association, Alfieri Stern also plays a major role in organizing the annual Tulane Business Plan Competition and the Domain Cos. New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge, which each year award more than $70,000 in cash and prizes to promising startup ventures.

Tulane University was well represented on this year’s Silicon Bayou 100. In addition to Elstrott, Maurer and Alfieri Stern, the list features dozens of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, organizers and services providers with Tulane connections.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as a leader in your field, but I think what’s even more impressive is the tremendous diversity of talent highlighted on the list,” says Maurer. “It’s been exciting to work with many of the people on the list over the last couple of years, and John, Lina and I look forward to working with them in the future to make the Freeman School an even bigger part of the New Orleans entrepreneurial community.”

For more information about the 2012 Silicon Bayou 100, visit Silicon Bayou News.

 


Maurer appointed interim executive director of Levy-Rosenblum Institute

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Dean Ira Solomon has named Ralph Maurer, professor of practice and executive director of the Tulane Family Business Center, to a one-year appointment as interim executive director of the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Ralph Maurer, professor of practice, has been named interim executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Maurer will replace John B. Elstrott Jr., professor of practice and founding executive director of the institute, who is retiring after 25 years at the Freeman School.

Maurer joined Tulane in 2009 and has served as a visiting assistant professor of strategy & entrepreneurship and an adjunct professor of management. In July 2011, he was appointed executive director of the Tulane Family Business Center, a program of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute that offers programming,  support and consulting services for family owned enterprises. Maurer will continue to serve in that role in addition to serving as executive director of the institute.

From October 2010 to December 2011, Maurer served as executive director of the New Orleans Startup Fund, a nonprofit venture capital fund that provides local high-potential ventures with seed capital. He is also a co-founder and principal in EMH Strategy, a strategy and management consulting firm that assists businesses experiencing periods of profound change or grappling with complex and ambiguous issues.

Maurer’s teaching and research focus on innovation and strategy in highly dynamic markets, with an emphasis on both technology and the cultural industries. His work and consulting experience includes time with Apple, Daimler-Benz, Chrysler, Deluxe and multiple internet startups. Maurer earned a PhD from Stanford University, an MBA from the University of Florida, and a BS from Northwestern University.

Founded in 1991, the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship (LRI) inspires and trains prospective entrepreneurs through coursework, community service projects and internships. Students have the opportunity to work with experienced faculty members, network with a regional board of entrepreneurs and participate in a student-based entrepreneurial association that provides a training ground for business development. In 2011, the Freeman School’s entrepreneurship program was ranked 14th in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine/The Princeton Review.


Elstrott honored with dedication of elementary school in India

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

John Elstrott’s name has been synonymous with entrepreneurship education at the Freeman School for more than 25 years. Now, thanks to a California-based company, Elstrott’s name is synonymous with education in rural India as well.

Dr. John B. Elstrott Elementary School

John Elstrott, top right, with students at the school named in his honor in Rajasthan, India.

In December, Traditional Medicinals honored Elstrott with the dedication of the Dr. John B. Elstrott Elementary School in Dayakaur, Rajasthan, India. The school, located approximately 120 miles from Jodhpur in the Thar Desert, is one of three built in India by the company, a maker of herbal medicinal teas and dietary supplements. Elstrott has been a board member and partner in the company for more than 30 years.

As part of its Revive! Project, Traditional Medicinals is investing $1 million in six Rajasthan farming villages critical to the company’s herbal supply chain. The project includes training for villagers in a variety of areas, including agricultural and conservation best practices, community organization and leadership, and, for women in the villages, health, hygiene and empowerment. In exchange for the investments in their communities, parents agree to send their children, including girls, to school.

“Education is the key to a better life for the people and their children, particularly for the women in these tribes,” says Elstrott, professor of practice and executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, who traveled to India for the dedication ceremony. “I could see in a very substantive way how these schools are changing the culture of the villages, empowering the next generation and making stronger, more prosperous communities.”

Elstrott is a longtime champion of the business philosophy known as conscious capitalism, which emphasizes the importance for organizations to consider the interests of all stakeholders as well as the environment. Throughout his long association with Traditional Medicinals, Elstrott has worked closely with company co-founder and Chairman Drake Sadler, a fellow conscious capitalist, to incorporate those principles into the company’s activities.

“For us, it’s obviously a win-win strategy,” says Elstrott. “If we strengthen these communities and strengthen their ties to us, they produce a better quality herb for us and they’re a more dependable source because there’s always going to be another generation of farmers. It’s very important to our long-term growth and profitability for all our stakeholders that we reinvest in all the communities of farmers and gatherers around the world where these herbs come from.”


Princeton Review ranks Freeman 14th nationally for entrepreneurship

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

For the sixth consecutive year, Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business has been recognized as one of the top 25 schools in the country for graduate entrepreneurship education.

The Princeton Review ranks the Freeman School 14th on its new list of the nation’s top graduate programs for entrepreneurs. The ranking appears in the October 2011 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, which hit newsstands on Sept. 20, and can be viewed online at www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges and www.princetonreview.com/entrepreneur.

The Tulane Business Plan Competition is the only business plan competition in the nation dedicated to the principles of conscious capitalism.

“We are delighted to again be recognized as one of the nation’s leading schools for entrepreneurs,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “New Orleans has earned national headlines in recent years for its remarkable entrepreneurial resurgence. The Freeman School is proud to play a part in that rebirth.”

Fueled by a post-Hurricane Katrina wave of business students eager to participate in the revitalization of New Orleans, the Freeman School has in the last decade established a national reputation for social entrepreneurship. More recently, the Freeman School has become a leader in promoting conscious capitalism, a broader concept that calls for organizations to consider the best interests of all stakeholders—including employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and community members—rather than focusing solely on shareholder returns. The Tulane Business Plan Competition, an annual presentation of the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association, is the only business plan competition in the nation dedicated to the principles of conscious capitalism.

“This outstanding ranking is a reflection of all the alumni, students, faculty, staff and entrepreneurs who have worked together to make it possible,” said John Elstrott, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship. “By devoting our passion and creativity to raising the level of entrepreneurship education at the Freeman School, we hope to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs and social innovators across the university and in the community.”

The Princeton Review surveyed more than 2,000 business schools for this year’s ranking. Each program was evaluated based on key criteria in the areas of teaching entrepreneurship business fundamentals in the classroom, staffing departments with successful entrepreneurs, excellence in mentorship, and providing experiential learning or entrepreneurial opportunities outside of the classroom as well as for non-traditional, distinguishable aspects of their programs.

The Freeman School of Business at Tulane, originally the College of Commerce and Business Administration, was established in 1914 and is a founding member of AACSB, the premier accrediting body for collegiate schools of business. Today, Freeman is a leading, internationally recognized business school with more than 2,000 students in programs spanning three continents. The Freeman School is consistently listed among the nation’s best business schools by publications including U.S. News & World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Financial Times and AméricaEconomía.

 


New fund hopes to jumpstart high-potential ventures

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

New Orleans experienced an unprecedented influx of entrepreneurial talent and energy in the wake of Katrina, but activities like meet ups and networking can take those entrepreneurs only so far. At some point new ventures need capital, and that’s just what Freeman School professors John Elstrott and Ralph Maurer hope to provide them with.

Ralph Maurer and John Elstrott

Freeman School professors Ralph Maurer, left, and John Elstrott are part of the management team for the New Orleans Startup Fund, a new nonprofit venture capital fund that targets high-potential early-stage ventures.

Elstrott, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, and Maurer, visiting assistant professor of strategy, are part of the management team behind the New Orleans Startup Fund, a new nonprofit venture capital fund created to provide local high-potential ventures with seed capital, a critical need in the local entrepreneurial community.

“We’re trying to fill a gap that too many for-profit investors are afraid to step into, and that is the proof-of-concept, early-stage businesses that in some cases haven’t made a sale yet,” explains Elstrott, who chairs the Startup Fund’s finance committee. “We’re willing to get in there early and provide them with not only capital at a very reasonable cost but also managerial and technical assistance.”

The Startup Fund is the brainchild of a group of local business leaders including Matt Wisdom, Ben Allen, Leslie Jacobs, Hunter Pierson, Rick Rees and Michael Hecht. Modeled after similar funds in other cities, most notably Cleveland’s JumpStart program, the Startup Fund’s goal is to harness the energy of young entrepreneurs and help keep their businesses—and the jobs and economic prosperity they create—in the greater New Orleans area.

According to Maurer, who serves as executive director of the fund, New Orleans has long suffered from a lack of so-called angel investors, the wealthy individuals willing to invest $50,000 to $100,000 in new, risky ventures they believe in. While the fund’s primary purpose is to fill that need with low-interest loans or equity investments, a secondary role is to help expand the city’s network of angel investors.

“We’re trying to build the capital infrastructure of the city,” Maurer says. “If we do our job well, we probably don’t even need to exist in 10 years.”

To qualify for funding, ventures must be headquartered in the New Orleans area and must demonstrate the potential to grow to $20 to $50 million in revenues in five years. The fund has so far raised about $4 million to invest through a combination of federal, state and private money, but Maurer says the goal is to grow the fund to $7 million or more.

Maurer says the fund hopes to invest in four to five companies per year at an average of about $250,000 per investment. Unlike traditional VC firms, the Startup Fund isn’t looking for a big return. Instead, it hopes to recoup its investments as quickly as possible and direct those funds to other early-stage ventures. Since its launch in December, the fund has received more than 60 applications, and Maurer says he and his staff are currently looking seriously at about 12 ventures.

Both professors plan to get students involved with the fund. Elstrott says there will be opportunities for students to provide managerial and technical assistance to the companies on behalf of the Startup Fund as well as possible  jobs and internships with the companies themselves. Maurer plans to bring in some of the entrepreneurs applying for funding to talk to students in his new venture planning course.

“I see the Startup Fund as sort of the second stage of the post-Katrina entrepreneurial rebirth,” Maurer concludes. “The first stage was developing a culture for entrepreneurs, and places like the Idea Village, Launch Pad and the IP Building have done a wonderful job with that. Now we have some very talented entrepreneurs in the city with promising ventures, but they need resources to get to the next stage. To me, that’s really what this is all about.”

For more information about the New Orleans Startup Fund, visit neworleansstartupfund.org.


Freeman ranked 13th nationally for entrepreneurship

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

For the fifth consecutive year, the Freeman School has been recognized as one of the top 50 schools in the country for entrepreneurship.

The Princeton Review in its latest survey of entrepreneurship programs ranks the Freeman School 13th on its list of the nation’s top graduate programs for entrepreneurs. The ranking appears in the October 2010 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, which hit newsstands on Sept. 21. The ranking can be viewed online at www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges. (more…)


Wilson family, Hall-Trujillo to be honored as Entrepreneurs of the Year

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The Freeman School will honor the Wilson family, owners of Barriere Construction Co., as Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneurs of the Year and Kathryn Hall-Trujillo, founding director of Birthing Project USA, as Tulane Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2010 Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala.

The gala, which also will feature the announcement of the winner of this year’s Tulane Business Plan Competition, takes place at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 16, at the Westin New Orleans at Canal Place.

The Distinguished Entrepreneurs of the Year Award was established to honor individuals who exemplify true entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic generosity, while the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes individuals dedicated to improving the community through entrepreneurial initiatives. John Elstrott, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, will present this year’s awards.

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TEA kicks off 10th annual Tulane Business Plan Competition

Friday, January 8th, 2010

As the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) hits a 10-year milestone with its annual Business Plan Competition, the group is shaking things up by more than doubling the prize money and shifting focus to the virtues of “conscious capitalism.”

The deadline to apply for the 2010 Tulane Business Plan Competition is Feb. 1.

The deadline to apply for the 2010 Tulane Business Plan Competition is Feb. 1.

This year, the contest will award a top prize of $50,000 in startup capital to the group with the best idea for a business  that seeks to positively affect both its stakeholders and the society in which it operates. The idea could involve the principles of social entrepreneurship or “right livelihood,” which is based on the belief that one can do good for the world while doing well for oneself, says TEA President Matt Dearmon, a second-year graduate student at the Freeman School.

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Freeman hosts IDEAcorps Challenge ’09

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Students from Stanford University work with Kyle Berner, center, founder of Feelgoodz.

Graduate students from some of the nation’s top business schools and working professionals from Google and salfesforce.com visited the Freeman School from March 21-28 to participate in the IDEAcorps Challenge ’09.

The Challenge, a program of local entrepreneurial consulting firm the Idea Village, connects MBA students with New Orleans entrepreneurs in need of assistance. Six local businesses–Feelgoodz, Naked Pizza, Don Kelly Productions, Alternative Housing Support Corp., Sustainable Environmental Enterprises, and InSites(s)–benefited from an intensive week of business consulting with the goal of helping the ventures grow quickly.

To learn more about the workshop, read Jacquetta White’s story in the New Orleans Time-Picayune.



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