On May 25, three UMass Amherst-based startups—all recipients of advice and technical assistance from Isenberg School of Management MBA Fellows working through the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship—were among 12 monetary award recipients/graduates of the Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) Accelerator program in Springfield.
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“What’s important is that you dream,” advises IBLA honoree Earl W. Stafford ’76. “Dream not only of what is possible, but of what you consider to be improbable—and go for it,” urges the Isenberg graduate. That entails “using your success to go out and help others. It is just as important to business education as accounting or finance.”
ElectroPure, a student team and developer of a water treatment/purification device for homes, schools, and other small-scale water systems, took first-place honors in the finals of the 2017 Innovation Challenge business plan competition on April 6th.
Jeff Prost-Greene ’12 is one of two Isenberg alums honored this year in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of Social Entrepreneurs. Prost-Greene is one of three founders of Up Top Acres, which owns and operates roof-top "farms" in Washington, D.C.
Robbie Bergquist '14 and his sister Brittany have been named to Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 Class for social entrepreneurship. They founded their nonprofit Cell Phone for Soldiers as teenagers and have continued to grow the company ever since.
After making a splash with her student team in November at Princeton University’s HackPrinceton hackathon, Nabanita De, a UMass Amherst master’s student in Computer Science, turned to the Isenberg-based Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship for business advice.
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The pursuit of business and social goals in “hybrid” social enterprises was a key theme in the second annual Social Entrepreneurship Day, on December 6th in the Student Union’s Cape Cod Lounge. Coordinated by the Isenberg-based Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, the day-long event featured a keynote presentation by Cornell University/ILR School professor Marya Besharov and separate practitioner and academic panels.
The Berthiaume Center was proud to host the kickoff event for this year’s Innovation Challenge, where students from Geography, Chemistry, Management, and Mechanical Engineering took home prizes. This Minute Pitch Competition boasted a greater variety of disciplines represented, an increase in number of graduate student participants, and greater quality of ideas than we have seen in the past. Over 60 teams from across campus submitted applications to compete in the event and 31 were selected to present their ideas to an audience of approximately 150 and a panel of 5 judges.
“What are the true opportunities for cross-pollination in a world sports community? What skills and network will you need?” asked sports agent/marketing innovator J.B. Bernstein ’91 in Professor Todd Crosset’s graduate course, Social Historical Foundations of Sport. The UMass grad is best known for creating The Million Dollar Arm contest in India, which generated the first two athletes from India to sign professional sports contracts in North America.
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Isenberg News, Marketing, Sport Management, Sport Management, Undergraduate, MBA, Masters, Entrepreneurship, Alumni, Speakers, Students, Career
At his Michelin-starred Restaurant Marc Forgione, Isenberg HTM grad Chris Blumlo '99 insists that "every point during the customers stay be positive." Blumlo's m.o. calls for attentiveness to customers, business diligence, and improvisation in response to unforeseen challenges.
Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network clients and counselors were honored at the U.S. Small Business Administration's annual Massachusetts Awards Ceremony in May. Isenberg has been headquarters to the MSBDC Network since 1980.
Ten Isenberg students joined forces with 18 UMass engineering students and faculty from the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship to make their mark in the U.S. Department of Energy’s annual Collegiate Wind Competition.
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“Real founders are driven by purpose,” remarks entrepreneur and angel investor Wayne Chang. “All the other [motives], including the money itself, are waste products,” adds Wayne, who excelled as keynote speaker and received an honorary doctorate in business at UMass Amherst’s Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on May 6.
Automated Controversy Detection, a startup business founded by UMass Amherst computer science 4th-year Ph.D. candidate Shiri Dori-Hacohen earned top honors of $35,000 in seed money on April 7th at the campus’s 2016 Innovation Challenge business plan competition. Coordinated by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, an Isenberg-based initiative that promotes entrepreneurship across the UMass Amherst campus, the multi-stage Challenge, in its culminating event of the year, featured six student teams that vied for $65,000 in awards.
The campus-wide Innovation Challenge business plan competition's new seed pitch component is propelling student teams, through mentoring, workshops, and targeted financial seeding. “We introduced the new phase to elevate and accelerate the larger event’s already high level of competition," notes Isenberg professor William Wooldridge, executive director of Isenberg's Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, which coordinates the Challenge.
In a visit to WEBS, "America's Yarn Store," students in Marc Weinberger's class, Managerial Perspectives on Marketing Strategy," talked business strategy with owners Steve and Kathy Elkins. Founded by Steve's parents, Art '57 and Barbara Elkins, WEBS is the nation's largest retailer of knitting supplies and services.
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People at Isenberg, Marketing, Undergraduate, Entrepreneurship, Alumni, Speakers, Students
Coordinated by Isenberg’s Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, the daylong event on November 17th at the Campus Center offered separate panels on global and local entrepreneurship. It featured a third panel that explored financing mechanisms for social entrepreneurs. And it offered a dynamic networking opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors, and academics (including students).
Five alumni set the record straight in a panel discussion about careers in sales. In technology industries, sales have evolved to a partnership with clients that calls for strong listening and problem-solving skills. "They turn to us as a trusted advisor," said one of the panelists.