Posts Tagged ‘Levy-Rosenblum Institute’
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.
Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Ventures with strong connections to Tulane University and the A. B. Freeman School of Business were big winners in last week’s 2012 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, an event highlighting the city’s thriving startup community. Companies founded by Tulane staff, students or alumni won three of the five major contests, each winning a $50,000 cash prize, while many more participated as contestants throughout the week.
NanoFex CEO David Culpepper, left, is congratulated by Tim Williamson (BSM ’87), CEO of the Idea Village, after being selected as winner of the $50,000 Tulane Challenge during the 2012 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.
“Tulane graduates and students continue to be at the forefront of the entrepreneurial movement in New Orleans,” said Lina Alfieri-Stern, director of the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship. “Our graduates are discovering that entrepreneurship can be the answer to finding employment in New Orleans, generating wealth for our city and solving our community’s most pressing problems.”
Tierra Resources, a company that aims to create a market for carbon credits for wetland restoration, won the week’s Water Challenge. Company founder and CEO Sarah Mack earned a PhD from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 2009.
SOLarchitect Studio won The Big Idea Challenge. Co-founded by architecture alumnus Alex Landau, the firm provides a free, web-based tool to assess the feasibility of installing solar panels on homes.
For a special Tulane Challenge dedicated to innovations of Tulane staff, students and graduates, seven ventures competed for prize money donated by an anonymous alumnus. NanoFex, started by Vijay John, professor of chemical and bimolecular engineering, and David Culpepper won for an innovative solution to remediate contaminants in groundwater using biodegradable materials like sugar cane and crawfish shells.
“The seven teams who participated represent a fraction of the many alumni and students involved in social innovation and entrepreneurship in the region,” Alfieri-Stern said.
Entrepreneur Week is an initiative of The Idea Village, a nonprofit that supports and sustains entrepreneurs and startups in New Orleans.
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
The Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) has announced the six finalists for the 2012 Tulane Business Plan Competition and Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge, which together will award $70,000 in cash prizes to two promising new ventures.
The Tulane Business Plan Competition is the nation's only business plan competition dedicated to the principles of Conscious Capitalism.
The competitions will take place at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on Tulane University’s uptown campus on Friday, April 13, with the winners to be announced later that evening during the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala at the Audubon Tea Room.
The Tulane Business Plan Competition, now in its 12th year, will award a grand prize of $50,000 to the most promising new venture that embodies the principles of Conscious Capitalism. In addition, competition partner and sponsor the Domain Companies will award a prize of $20,000 to the venture with the greatest potential economic impact on New Orleans.
“We received 52 applications from 18 universities in three countries for this year’s competition,” said Court Robinson (MBA ’12), president of TEA. “Narrowing those outstanding entries down to six finalists was difficult, but the exceptional quality of this year’s entrants is a testament to both the growth of Conscious Capitalism and the growing reputation of the Tulane Business Plan Competition.”
The three finalists in each competition are listed below.
TULANE CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION – $50,000
Calcula, Stanford University
Calcula is developing novel urological medical devices for the removal of kidney stones without anesthesia. The opportunity is a disruption in the field of urology and has significant patient impact.
EpiQi Sciences, Brigham Young University
EpiQi Sciences is a drug repositioning firm formed to reposition an already-FDA-approved drug from its existing disease to treat anemia of chronic inflammation (ACI). After a projected three-year window to complete repositioning, EpiQi Sciences will license its patent rights to pharmaceutical companies and collect royalties over an extended 20-year patent life.
SODI-CAN, Tulane University
SODI-CAN is a dual-purpose water vessel that stores and disinfects water utilizing solar energy. The project was developed through the Tulane University School of Medicine’s Medical Science Innovation Competition in 2011 with the purpose of conceptualizing a novel method of providing clean water to people. The idea began in Tanzania, where people walk miles carrying water to-and-from water springs, only to suffer from microbial related illnesses with inadequate water disinfection. The introduction of water disinfection methods has been hindered by cost-effectiveness, design limitations, community scale-ups and cultural appropriateness.
DOMAIN COMPANIES NEW ORLEANS ENTREPRENEUR CHALLENGE – $20,000
Bideo, Loyola University
Bideo.com (bid + video) is the world’s first auction exchange for real-time trading of news video and photos. Bideo allows user-creators and citizen photojournalists to protect and sell exclusive images to news publications in a competitive bidding environment. The C2B platform combines free market dynamics, digital rights management, consumer technology and transparency to provide owners of rare, high-demand footage with the framework and tools needed to monetize big media’s soaring demand for this emerging source.
Nanofex, University of New Orleans
NanoFex, a Tulane University spinout based in New Orleans, is a for-profit company that addresses the demand for groundwater treatment by providing a novel, affordable, effective method for remediating hazardous chemicals commonly found in soil and groundwater.
ReactWell, Tulane University
ReactWell develops, manufactures and operates energy efficient underground geothermal reactor systems to economically produce and sell crude oil, bioproducts and other high-value oils, while increasing biomass growth rates. ReactWell is pioneering algae-based advanced biofuel technology by combining proven geothermal technology, bulk open-pond algae raceways, and solar energy to naturally, safely, and cost-effectively cultivate algae to produce valuable crude oil. ReactWell’s proprietary technology converts total biomass and waste into crude oil and other co-products that are cost competitive compared to conventional oils derived from fossil fuels, plants, or animal fats.
The 2012 Tulane Business Plan Competition is made possible with the generous support of the following sponsors: Domain Companies, Freeman School Graduate Business Council, Freeman School Dean’s Office, Baker Donelson, Tulane Association of Business Alumni, Tulane Business Forum, Jones Walker, Legacy Capital, New Orleans BioInnovation Center, Crescent Bank and Trust/Gary Solomon, Tulane Graduate and Professional Schools Association, Oracle Capital, Ron Ondechek Jr. and Ian Jones.
For more information about the event or to register to attend, visit http://tbpc2012.eventbrite.com/
Monday, March 12th, 2012
Join the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA) on Thursday, March 15, at 5 p.m. for a Tulane Entrepreneurship Showcase and Networking Happy Hour at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center.
The showcase and happy hour culminates New Orleans Entrepreneur Week’s Tulane Day, a new program of the week-long entrepreneurship festival designed to highlight some of Tulane University’s most promising technologies, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship initiatives. The centerpiece of Tulane Day is the Tulane Challenge, in which seven Tulane-based entrepreneurs will pitch their ventures to a distinguished panel of Tulane alums with a $50,000 prize on the line. The winner of the Tulane Challenge will be announced during the event.
The Tulane Entrepreneurship Showcase and Networking Happy Hour is co-hosted by TABA, the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, Tulane Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives, the Tulane Office of Technology Transfer and the Idea Village.
For more information or to RSVP, contact Rhonda A. Brown at 504-862-8470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.