2014 - 2015

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS

Ted and Pat Levine Proof of Concept
Entrepreneurship Initiative

Pace University has established the Ted and Pat Levine Proof of Concept Entrepreneurship Initiative to provide competitive cash awards to Pace students and recent alumni/ae interested in performing proof of concept work. The award money will support work to better understand if a product or service idea can be transformed into a successful entrepreneurial venture. Managed by the Pace University Entrepreneurship Lab (eLab), the Levine Initiative is designed to provide funds and support to help promote new business development.

Proof of Concept helps to establish viability, isolate technical issues and suggest overall direction, as well as providing feedback for budgeting and other forms of internal decision-making processes.
Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_of_concept)

 

Click here to read the Stories of Giving article about this initiative

Please read the 'Award Information' tab carefully before applying.

For more information, please click the tabs below:

Award Money

Each year 2 or 3 students will be awarded up to $7,500

Application Requirements

1. To apply for Levine Initiative award students are required to be currently enrolled in Pace (full or part time in any school in any degree program undergraduate or graduate) in good academic standing or recent alumni who have graduated in the 2012-2013 or 2013-2014 academic year.

2. Applicants MUST register as an Entrepreneurship Lab Associate

3. (i) Completed or be enrolled in one of the following classes:

a. MGT 316/MGT 6322 – Venture Initiation and Entrepreneurship
b. MGT 315/MGT 635 – Small Business Management
c. MGT 320/MGT 634 – Entrepreneurial Implementation
d. MGT 416/MGT 678 – Business Plan Development

OR

3. (ii) Have completed or be enrolled in the Blackstone Entrepreneurship Boot Camp program for military veterans.

OR

3. (iii) Have competed in or plan to compete in one of the following competitions:

a. Pace Pitch Contest
b. Pace Mobile App Design Contest
c. Pace Business Plan Competition

 

Timeline

October 20, 2014 - Application Deadline
November 10, 2014 - Finalist Announcement
December 15, 2014 - Award Winner Announcement
January, 2015 -  Project Plan and Implementation Review
February, 2015 onwards -  Interaction with awardees. Meetings will be focused on the awardees’ indicated milestones and budget allocation

How to Apply

A. Complete the Online Application Form. To access the form please see the 'Application Form' tab.

B. Submit the FOUR (Executive Summary, Proof of Concept Proposal, Biography & Letter of Recommendation) required documents as outlined below.

1.    A one page Executive Summary (PDF format, single sided 8 ½” X 11” document, 1” margins all around, 10 point font minimum) sent to entrepreneurship@pace.edu

2.    A detailed Proof of Concept Proposal, including a preliminary budget (an estimate of the amount of funds needed for specific purposes), general milestones (significant and measurable events that mark your progress) and the current state of development of your product/service (i.e. concept only, working prototype, limited user testing, or commercial sales) sent to entrepreneurship@pace.edu

3.    A Biography for each member of the entrepreneurial team (250 word maximum) sent to entrepreneurship@pace.edu

4.    A Letter of Recommendation from a professor, mentor, advisor, investor, customer, strategic partner, or professional service provider (i.e. banker, lawyer, accountant) sent directly to Professor Bruce Bachenheimer (bbachenheimer@pace.edu)

C. Finalists will be contacted with further instructions

Benefactor Information

Ted M. Levine, Founder and Chairman, Development Counsellors International (DCI)

DCI is a firm that uniquely markets places for the purposes of economic development and tourism. Mr. Levine was CEO from the beginning in 1960 to 1993 when he became Chairman which he still is; he has worked with over 500 countries, states, cities and counties including 47 of the 50 US states. The firm currently has about 50 place clients and an approximately equal number of employees in its NYC Headquarters as well as branches in Denver, Los Angeles and Toronto. In other activities Mr. Levine has served as Instructor at The New School, NYU and Palm Beach State College. He currently captains courses at Iona College in New Rochelle and the Jewish Center in Boynton Beach, FL. A graduate (MA-1950) of Cornell University, he is author of more than 100 articles, many of them f+ocusing on entrepreneurialism, and for many years served as the “quizmaster” for one of Westchester County’s most popular quiz shows. He has also served as a consultant to the United Nations on Economic Development and Tourism. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Economic Development Council (over 5,000 members).


Patricia T. Levine, Vice President, Development Counsellors International (DCI)

Ms. Levine’s background includes both business and political experiences.  In the early 1970s, she was communications director for the Citizens for Sound Planning—a non-profit organization which helped win the defeat of the Rye-Oyster Bay Bridge which led her directly to political activities. She was elected three times to the Rye City Council in the late 1970s and l980s.  In the 1980s, she returned to full employment as a V.P., Account Supervisor at Development Counsellors International (DCI).   Since retirement from DCI in 2010, she has served as an officer and board member of the Milton Harbor House co-op, an 88 unit  complex on the Long Island Sound in Rye.

 


Andy Levine, President/Chief Creative Officer, Development Counsellors International (DCI)

As the son of Ted Levine, founder of Development Counsellors International, Andy was introduced to the world of economic development and travel marketing at birth. DCI is the leader in marketing places. Since 1960, the agency has served over 450 cities, regions, states and countries.     

Since joining the firm in 1991, Andy has helped launch the company into a new era:

·         Adding a much broader array of client services. 

·         Advancing the quality of client work performed.

·         Growing the DCI team from a staff of eight individuals to its current level of 53 marketing professionals.

Andy is frequent speaker at economic development and tourism conferences and is the primary author of Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing, a continuing survey of corporate executives with site selection responsibilities.

Administration

Bruce Bachenheimer


Bruce Bachenheimer is a Clinical Professor of Management and the Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab at Pace University. He is also the organizer of the annual Pace Pitch Contest and Business Plan Competition. Mr. Bachenheimer is a member of the Board and past Chair of the New York City Chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum and has served on the organization’s Global Board. He is a board advisor for several private firms, an ELabNYC Mentor and has served as a consultant to governmental organizations and a variety of new ventures. He has been widely quoted in a variety of domestic and international publications, interviewed on radio and television, and has spoken on entrepreneurship at numerous organizations, including the Youth Assembly at the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Mr. Bachenheimer began his career in investment banking and has worked for global corporations and new ventures. He has conducted business in over two dozen countries and was the founder of Annapolis Maritime Corp. and the Co-Founder of StockCentral Australia. Mr. Bachenheimer holds a BBA, Summa Cum Laude, from Pace University. He received the McKinsey & Company Leadership Scholarship to pursue an MBA degree, which he earned from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Nikhil Kalyankar


Nikhil Kalyankar is the Associate Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab (eLab). Nikhil plays the role of a mentor and a guide to students interested in entrepreneurship. He helps students fashion their business strategy and implement technology. He leads a team of student assistants to create and organize events including Annual Pace Pitch Contest, Speaker Series and Workshops.Nikhil has worked as a Graduate Assistant for the Management Department. He played a key role in organizing the Seventh Annual Pace Pitch Contest. Nikhil is tech savvy and started programming at a very young age. He has worked for Capgemini India as an Associate Consultant which involved developing an Enterprise Application Software. Nikhil holds an MBA degree in Entrepreneurial Studies from Lubin School of Business, Pace University and Bachelors in Engineering from Osmania University, India.

Selection Committee

Bruce Bachenheimer, Executive Director, The Entrepreneurship Lab


Bruce Bachenheimer is a Clinical Professor of Management and the Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab at Pace University. He is also the organizer of the annual Pace Pitch Contest and Business Plan Competition. Mr. Bachenheimer is a member of the Board and past Chair of the New York City Chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum and has served on the organization’s Global Board. He is a board advisor for several private firms, an ELabNYC Mentor and has served as a consultant to governmental organizations and a variety of new ventures. He has been widely quoted in a variety of domestic and international publications, interviewed on radio and television, and has spoken on entrepreneurship at numerous organizations, including the Youth Assembly at the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Mr. Bachenheimer began his career in investment banking and has worked for global corporations and new ventures. He has conducted business in over two dozen countries and was the founder of Annapolis Maritime Corp. and the Co-Founder of StockCentral Australia. Mr. Bachenheimer holds a BBA, Summa Cum Laude, from Pace University. He received the McKinsey & Company Leadership Scholarship to pursue an MBA degree, which he earned from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

 

Imran Chowdhury, Assistant Professor of Management, Lubin School of Business

Imran Chowdhury is an Assistant Professor of Management at the Lubin School of Business – where he teaches courses in entrepreneurship, strategic management, and international management – and a Faculty Scholar of the Pace Academy of Applied Environmental Studies. His current research and writing focuses on social entrepreneurship and, more broadly, on organizations’ attempts to balance social and economic demands simultaneously. Imran completed his graduate studies in France, obtaining a master’s degree at INSEAD (Fontainebleau) and his Ph.D. from ESSEC Business School (Paris). A native of Queens, New York, Imran is also a graduate of Hunter College (City University of New York) and Stuyvesant High School. Prior to embarking on an academic career, he worked in the field of public health and biotechnology in Malawi, Uganda and the United States, including several years at the noted social enterprise the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

 

 

50Roots.com

50ROOTS.com is an online store dedicated to selling Made in the USA merchandise. Our mission is to support the American Made Movement by connecting socially and environmentally responsible consumers with high quality, homegrown, innovative, made in America products. 50ROOTS’ product offering includes original Made in America gift items and accessories for men, women, children, pets, and the home. Each item is researched to ensure that it is 100% made in the USA and is personally tested in advance before it is available for purchase on the site. With each product, 50ROOTS indicates where in the United States it was made and tells the story of the item and its maker, with the goal of eventually featuring at least one product from each of the 50 states. 50ROOTS.com provides an enjoyable and convenient place for consumers to shop American made. 50ROOTS.com is a limited liability company organized as a partnership between Christa Gray Page and Patrick Page. It will launch in November 2013 and will be headquartered in a 2,000 square foot combined office and warehouse space in Poughkeepsie, NY. All start up funding will be provided by the two owners. Ms. Gray Page and Mr. Page are currently seeking an additional $100k for the expansion of 50ROOTS’ inventory and further development of its marketing plan. Both founders bring combined experience and knowledge of product development, merchandising, logistics, business management and entrepreneurship. For a minimum of its first three years of operation, 50ROOTS.com plans to re-invest profits into the company through the hiring of employees, the expansion of its product offering, and the development of its marketing plan in order to grow the business and bring further awareness to the American Made Movement. The timing is right for starting this new venture. There is a growing trend toward buying American made goods. Since 2000, the United States has lost approximately 5.5 million manufacturing jobs to offshoring. Consumers want to support the US economy and want to have a better understanding of where their goods are coming from. 50ROOTS.com provides consumers with a marketplace where they can easily find and learn about Made in the USA goods that are unique and innovative. In a 2013 survey of 1,000 Americans conducted for Industry Edge by market research firm YouGov, 81 percent of respondents said they would buy something made in America because they believe it will help support our economy. YouGov also found that 42% of those surveyed think buying American-made items would deliver them a higher-quality product. A 2012 Perception Research survey of U.S. shoppers shows that 83% of respondents pay attention to whether a product is labeled Made in the USA, and 76% would be more likely to purchase something with that designation. Lastly, Google Trends shows that people are seeking American made products online. Searches for “Made in USA” and “Made in America” have climbed sharply from just a few years ago. Whether out of a sense of pride and patriotism, the belief that U.S. made products are of higher quality, or the desire to help the American economy, consumers are increasingly looking for the “Made in the USA” label on the items that they purchase.

Biography

Christa Gray Page is a 2013 MBA graduate in Strategic Management from Pace University. She also holds a BPS in Fashion Merchandising and Business Administration from Marist College where she was the recipient of the prestigious Silver Needle Award. She is currently the CoFounder and President of 50Roots.com. Christa has 10 plus years of merchandising, design and product management experience within the action sports segment of the fashion industry, working for companies such as Burton Snowboards, Vans and Zoo York. She has a strong understanding of sourcing, manufacturing and product development. A few years into her career she became concerned with the various repercussions and overall effects of extensive outsourcing. In 2013, 50ROOTS.com was born from her desire for high-quality, American-made products developed through responsible business practices. Christa grew up in the Hudson Valley and currently lives in Poughkeepsie, NY with her husband, Patrick and dog, Roxanne. She enjoys volunteering weekly at the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Beacon, NY where she helps care for cats and dogs who are in need of forever homes. In her spare time, Christa likes traveling, snowboarding, practicing yoga and spending time with her family.


CodaPillar

Codapillar is a web application that allows users to easily learn basic web coding skills in a social environment. As the Internet becomes further inculcated into our daily lives, it is more important that people begin to gain an understanding of how websites are built and how the Internet works. It is also important that we use the Internet to its fullest potential to encourage global collaboration where it is possible. Codapillar makes the tools to begin learning coding more accessible than ever, and breaks down the code in a readable way. Coding should always be a creative, social, and fun venture! Codapillar is a platform to teach and learn basic web coding. Codapillar provides a curriculum around the web application, that teachers in schools and organizations as well as representatives from Codapillar will use to teach workshops and classes. By using a social platform that encourages people to look at one another’s code, people will be able to learn from each other, as well as feel incentivized to continue experimenting and become more fluent in web coding languages. Students will also see how creative coding can be, and feel the freedom to build technology around their interests and express themselves. Codapillar also breaks down components of coding that are rarely explained in an understandable way. A garbled block of single-colored characters in a foreign language is intimidating to beginners. Codapillar automatically indents and colorizes the code so that it is more easily understood by writers and readers. Codapillar for schools and organizations also includes additional resources and tutorials that explain in depth how the code is working in terms that will make sense to students. Too often certain parts of the coding languages are thought to be obvious and go unexplained, making it confusing for new learners. A rough prototype of the functionality of Codapillar will be completed by December 31st, in conjunction with research regarding how code is currently being taught, in schools around the world and in third party code schools. At this completion, Codapillar will be implemented into its first test group, students at Pace University. Codapillar provides a social and creative environment both in the real and digital world. Existing online code schools focus on memorization and copying code character for character. This is not realistically how coding is done and does not reinforce the skills. No one would become fluent in a spoken language without speaking it regularly, much like no one will become proficient at coding without actively writing code. It is important to provide students with tools that exist long after the tutorial, workshop, or class, and encourage them to continue coding to reinforce what they have learned. Code schools are growing in popularity by the week, but each school fails to address that students should be excited to keep working with their skills in a way that is meaningful to them.

Biography

Julie Gauthier is a senior computer science major at the Seidenberg School of ComputerScience and Information Systems. She has been the Executive Director at Seidenberg Creative Labs, a student-run web and mobile development agency. After gaining programming and project management skills here, Julie moved on to become a web developer for RentHackr, a start-up dedicating to simplifying the NYC apartment hunt. Embracing a love of web development and a passion for technology education, Julie has been teaching web design and development and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator workshops and seminars to hundreds of people from all over the United States. Appreciating how important design is in software development, Julie also pursuing an art minor. Julie is also an active member of Kappa Delta sorority and an avid participant in Hackathons.


Reaction Dance

New York City is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, and as a result, one can find any and all type of cultural cuisine, clothing, stores, and events. Often referred to as a “melting pot”, it’s not surprising that in New York City, these different ethnicities and cultures are beginning to fuse. While this concept of fusion is not new to the culinary world, it is entirely new to the entertainment world and Reaction Dance Company NYC intends to fill that gap. We will bring ethnically diverse entertainment into the American marketplace by offering customized dance performances in the combined styles of Latin, Bollywood, Hip-hop, and Contemporary for weddings, parties, corporate events, and private instruction. Already, Omicon Entertainment has booked Reaction for their Halloween party at Amazura Concert Hall with an additional offer to work their future events. Reaction intends to reach future clientele through a promotional plan involving the creation of dance videos to gain attention on social media outlets, and proactive networking in the entertainment and event-planning world. In order to reach the next level and fully launch the business, Reaction requires start-up funds that they hope to acquire from the Ted Levine Grant. The $7,500 grant will cover the initial costs of starting up the business, including LLC formation, paying for rehearsal space, professional filming and editing of dance videos, photoshoots for website and advertising materials, the creation and execution of a multi-channel marketing plan, and the maintenance of our website and social media. This investment would be in the capable hands of Juliette Nieves (Founder/CEO, Artistic Director), and Julia Sokolyansky (CMO, Co-Artistic Director), whose dance experience totals 33 years combined, and who each individually have extensive experience in business through employment as well as undergraduate coursework. Together, they have the connections to hire some of the best dancers in New York City, the skills to create professional and highly-artistic dance entertainment individually catered to our clientele, and the business savvy and the network to successfully land jobs and run the business seamlessly.

Biography

Juliette learned Latin dance informally in her living room and formally at Linda D’Amico’s Academy of Dance, where she also studied ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop. In her senior year of high school, she was accepted into Broadway Dance Center’s Summer Internship program and into Pace’s Commercial Dance program on merit scholarship. Since then, she has danced for Wells Fargo, Bollywood Funk NYC, Hoop Girlz, RISE, and Mint Dance Company. She has choreographed for Physha P, Broadway Dance Center, and concept videos. In her sophomore year of college, she decided to minor in Arts and Entertainment Management which opened her mind to the idea of owning her own business. This year she received the Pforzheimer Research Honors Grant for Fusion Dance and started her first year of teaching at Shooting Stars NYC.


Sheer Stock

SheerStock is a start-up, subscription-based business that offers monthly delivers of hosiery products, including pantyhose, stockings, tights, leggings, thigh-highs, and more. The subscription commerce industry is expanding as new companies enter the space; consumers are increasingly subscribing to recurring product delivers, ranging from beauty products to disposable products such as razors. The company will offer a variety of established brands, styles, colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes to tailor to a variety of customer segments. Our goal is to provide our subscribers with multiple pairs and styles of hosiery products each month that will save them from “making the trip if they’ve found a rip.” Members receive a personalized subscription based off of a preliminary style profile that outlines their fashion needs and preferences. The service is an ideal combination of convenience, reliability, and discovery, as customers will be able to discover the latest styles and trends in legwear from the comfort of their own home. Furthermore, SheerStock is on a mission to make a difference. For every new subscriber, SheerStock donates a needed hosiery product to an organization, CareerWardrobe, that supports the professional advancement of underserved women. CareerWardrobe provides women with the professional attire, educational programs, and networking opportunities necessary to help women launch their career. SheerStock ultimately values the empowerment of women, the goal that remains at the forefront of every subscription delivery. The Ted and Pat Levine Entrepreneurship Grant will help SheerStock innovate, grow, and scale. The funding will be used to fill necessary inventory orders, fuel the redesign of new packaging, and market the company by covering costs associated with providing free product samples to online influencers.

Biography

Paige Cecchi is currently a junior, B.S. Business Economics student at Pace  University. Throughout her college experience, Paige has taken on leadership positions within the Economics Society on campus and expanded her network to include prominent alumni and likeminded motivated students. She has fostered an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age with the goal of starting her own business. Paige is now focused on growing her company, SheerStock, a monthly subscription hosiery service. After many unpleasant experiences shopping for hosiery products in drug stores, Paige thought of a way to make buying hosiery online easy, convenient, and reliable, as these products are regularly disposable. Along the way, Paige realized organizations that provide professional clothing to underprivileged women were lacking new hosiery products to supply to their members.