The Fifth Annual Pace Pitch Contest
Gurbaksh Chahal, founder, Blue Lithium (acquired by Yahoo for $300 million)
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Joseph R. Baczko, Dean, Lubin School of Business, Pace University
Gurbaksh Chahal, born in India, immigrated to the US at the age of 4. He started his first venture, ClickAgents, at the age of 16 and sold it two years later to ValueClick for $40 million. In 2004, he formed Blue Lithium, another Internet advertising network, which was recognized as a top innovator in the online advertising space and was acquired by Yahoo in 2007, when he was just 25 years old, for $300 million. In his memoir The Dream, to be released December 9th, Gurbaksh chronicles his journey on the road to achieving his dreams. He will also star on the new prime-time network show "Secret Millionaire" on Fox, which will premiere on December 3rd, the night before the Pace Pitch Contest. Gurbaksh is considered to be one of the youngest and most successful entrepreneurs of our time.
Mr. Baczko has held senior management and leadership positions with a number of very dynamic, high growth public companies operating domestically, as well as in the international sector. In each of these positions, he has guided these organizations in attaining market share leadership in their respective fields and in achieving significant profitability.
Mr. Baczko is currently the Dean of the Lubin School of Business. Previously, he advised private equity firms on international acquisitions in areas of consumer services and specialty retailing. From 1997 to 2001, he was Chairman and CEO of Frank's Nursery & Crafts, a specialty retailer acquired in a leveraged buy-out which he led. After several years devoted to turn-around activities, the company reorganized under new ownership. From 1993 to 1997, Mr. Baczko was a private investor associated with the Cypress Group, LLC, a major private equity firm, and the lead investor in Frank's Nursery & Crafts. As President and COO of Blockbuster Entertainment from 1991-1993, Mr. Baczko helped lead that company to significant growth in the US and internationally, and market leadership worldwide through the expansion of company-owned operations, acquisitions and franchising. During his tenure, the company doubled its size and operated more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Mr. Baczko was the founder and President of Toys R Us-International, and led that company's successful global expansion from 1983 to 1990. He established major retail operations in Canada, France, Germany, UK, Spain, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. The growth of Toys R Us-International became a textbook case for successful global expansion in specialty retailing. From 1979 to 1983, as CEO of Max Factor-Europe, Mr. Baczko directed that company's UK- based manufacturing and marketing operations throughout Europe, and developed a network of joint ventures in the Middle East, Africa, Japan, and South Asia. Prior to 1979, Mr. Baczko held various management positions with W.R. Grace and in merchant banking.
In addition to his business career, Mr. Baczko has had significant involvement in academia. He is currently the Dean of Pace University's Lubin School of Business. Previously, he was Chairman of the Board of Visitors for the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, a position he has held for the past nine years, and during which time he has worked closely with its Dean in enhancing the School's mission and capabilities. He has been a past member of the University's Board of Regents for eight years, the last two of which were as Vice-Chairman. Mr. Baczko was an active member of the University's Capital Campaign Steering Committee, which successfully concluded its $1 billion campaign last year, of which the School of Foreign Service raised $120 million.
Mr. Baczko is Hungarian, born in Germany, raised in France, and immigrated to the States with his family in the fifties. He graduated from the School of Foreign Service with a BSFS, and received an MBA from Harvard University. Mr. Baczko was an officer in the US Marine Corps, and served in Vietnam. He and his wife have three grown children, and reside in New York City.
Bruce Bachenheimer, Clinical Professor of Management and Director of Entrepreneurship@Lubin
Bruce Bachenheimer is a Clinical Professor of Management, the Director of Entrepreneurship@Lubin, and a Faculty Fellow of the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, primarily in the areas of management, strategy, and entrepreneurship. Before joining Pace in 2002, he taught a number of courses at Mercy College as an Adjunct Professor.
Mr. Bachenheimer has served as a consultant to the New York City Department of Small Business Services and a variety of new ventures. He has spoken on entrepreneurship at numerous conferences, including the annual meeting of the National Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, the Congressional Student Leadership Conference on Global Business and Entrepreneurship, the Third and Fourth Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations, and the Make Mine a Million $ Business program, where he also served as a judge. Mr. Bachenheimer is the Chairman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Enterprise Forum of New York City, a member of the LeadAmerica's board of Directors and Advisors, a reviewer for the CASE Journal, and serves on numerous committees at Pace, including the Selection Committee of SCI2, the University's business incubator. Mr. Bachenheimer is the founding faculty advisor of the Pace Association for Collegiate Entrepreneurs, a Students In Free Enterprise Sam Walton Fellow, and the organizer of the Pace Business Plan Competition, Pace Pitch Contest and Entrepreneurship Conference.
Mr. Bachenheimer's earlier career includes serving as a Vice President of iQ Venture Partners, an Assistant Vice President of Westpac Banking Corp. and an International Banking Officer for the Bank of Tokyo. As the International Product Manager for MSI, an SBA certified 8(a) firm, he was responsible for the initial commercialization of a high-technology forensic science system. In that position, he conducted business in over twenty countries. Mr. Bachenheimer was also the founder of Annapolis Maritime Corp. and the Co-founder of StockCentral Australia. Other activities include having sailed his 36' boat from New England, through the Caribbean, to South America and back. Bruce also participated in the Sydney to Hobart race in 2000.
Mr. Bachenheimer holds a BBA, summa cum laude, from Pace University. He spent a semester at Tsukuba National University in Japan as an undergraduate and continued to study Japanese at N.Y.U. after graduating. Mr. Bachenheimer received the McKinsey & Company Leadership Scholarship to pursue an MBA degree, which he earned from the Australian Graduate School of Management.