Posts Tagged ‘John Elstrott’
Monday, February 9th, 2015
From The Advocate, Feb. 8, 2015:
Business writer Kathy Finn profiled John Elstrott, chairman of Whole Foods Market and former executive director of the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, in Sunday’s Advocate newspaper.
He has guided scores of young business students toward careers in business innovation, sometimes becoming an investor and board member in their startups.
That’s how Elstrott came to be involved in Dinner Lab, a member-based catering and events business that has quickly spread into 24 cities, where teams of highly trained chefs and wait staffs serve hundreds of guests at pop-up dinner parties hosted in unusual settings. Dinner Lab plans to enter the Baton Rouge market within the next few weeks.
Four of the company’s five founders were students of Elstrott at Tulane. “We approached John early on, and he joined our board and made the very first investment,” co-founder and CEO Brian Bordainick said.
To read the article in its entirety, visit TheAdvocate.com:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…)
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.
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.