Posts Tagged ‘Ralph Maurer’
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
Monday, November 11th, 2013
From HBR.org, Nov. 8, 2013:
Ralph Maurer, professor of practice and interim executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, co-authored an article for the HBR Blog Network about how Tulane School of Medicine is embracing disruptive innovation to deal with some of the challenges currently facing academic medicine. The article was written in collaboration with Benjamin P. Sachs, senior vice president and dean emeritus of Tulane School of Medicine, Marc J. Kahn, senior associate dean of Tulane School of Medicine, and Steven A. Wartman, president and CEO of the Association of Academic Health Centers.
One solution to this problem is moving the majority of primary and secondary healthcare delivery into the community. After Hurricane Katrina, Tulane partnered with a network of Federally Qualified Health Centers in order to provide services to low and middle-income patients in community-based clinics designated as medical homes. These not only provide less expensive care, but also provide the kind of experiential learning necessary to teach expertise to trainees.
To read the article in its entirety, visit HBR.org.
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.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Have a business idea to improve New Orleans? Interested in honing your pitch? Want to network with likeminded entrepreneurs? Enter PitchNOLA, an “elevator pitch” competition for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to create value and solve pressing social problems in New Orleans.
While there is no cash prize for the winners, the competition is a great way for entrants to promote their ideas, hone their elevator pitches and network with similarly motivated entrepreneurs and business people. Coaches for the workshop part of the program will include Ralph Maurer, visiting assistant professor of management at the Freeman School, and Chris Schultz, founder of LaunchPad.
PitchNOLA is co-sponsored by SENO (Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans), the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association, Tulane University Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives and LaunchPad. Deadline for entry is Aug. 21. For more info, visit SENO’s website.