The Sixth Annual Pace Pitch Contest
Narendra C. Bhandari, Professor of Management, Pace University
Jack Bloom, Adjunct Professor of Management/Finance, Pace University
Jonathan Hill, Assistant Dean, Seidenberg School of CSIS
Paul Kurnit, Clinical Professor of Marketing, Pace University
Yiannis Kourakis, Board Member and Operations Committee Chair, MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City
Harvey Markovitz, Assistant Clinical Professor of Marketing, Pace University
Rebecca Tekula, Executive Director, Helene and Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Narendra Bhandari is a Professor of Management at Pace University. His research interests are in the areas of small business and entrepreneurship, with a particular interest in "Trade Equilibrium" for keeping and creating jobs.
Professor Bhandari served as the editor of Cases in Small Business Management, South-Western Publishing Company, 1979. He founded the American Journal of Small Business and served as its editor from 1976 to 1980. His textbook contributions include "Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship," Chapter 23, published in William H. Newman, E. Kirby Warren, and Andrew R. McGill, The Process of Management, sixth edition, Prentice-Hall, 1987.
Professor Bhandari earned a Master of Commerce from the University of Rajasthan, and his Master of Business Administration and Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Georgia.
Professor Jack Bloom holds adjunct appointments in both management and finance on the Pace faculty. He graduated from Harvard College with honors in 1979 and from the MIT Sloan School of Management with an MBA in 1983. Bloom worked on Wall Street for 12 years, rising to Managing Director and Head of Corporate Finance for a boutique investment banking firm. In these roles, he completed numerous IPOs, private placements, bridge loans, venture capital investments, and M&A deals for growth companies. In 1995, he started and became CEO of Auto America, Inc., a retail and financial services firm, similar to CarMax, which he grew to $50 million in profitable sales. In 2005, he sold his interest in the company to a large hedge fund. As CEO of his own company, Bloom was responsible for all strategy, marketing, capital raising and finance, organizational development, locations, and M & A. Since 2005, he has been a professor at NYU Stern School of Management, Beijing University, and Pace University. He was previously twice a coach of the NYU Stern business plan competition with one of his teams winning first place. He continues to work as a senior strategic and financial advisor to many start-ups and middle market companies.
Dr. Jonathan Hill is the Assistant Dean for Special Programs and projects at Pace University's Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. With a unique combination of experience in both academia and the private sector, Jonathan combines 20 years of college teaching with managerial experience at consumer-facing internet ventures including Travelocity.com. Previously he had management engagements with United Airlines Vacations, Hertz and Aeroflot Russian Airlines. He has been a principal in start-ups including Baltia Air Lines, Worldres.com and EngineerRe.
His higher education experience includes 15 years on the faculty of the City University of New York where he developed successful educational programs in technology and entrepreneurship including the Honors Entrepreneurship program at Queens College. In addition to teaching responsibilities at Pace, Jonathan oversees the work of the Web Media Lab at the Seidenberg School which provides Web consulting to both non-profit and corporate partners. He also coordinates corporate partnerships with major technology companies including Microsoft, Verizon, HP and Apple. He was part of the team that received a Pace University Presidential Grant for community service. His research interests include technology entrepreneurship, Web development, interaction design, usability, Web 2.0, digital distribution systems, software engineering and abstraction.
Yiannis Kourakis serves as Board member and Operations Committee Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City. In that capacity, he has been involved in the planning and organizing of numerous events focused on business and innovation. He has extensive knowledge in the areas of technology entrepreneurship, media & information technology, cleantech, biotechnology, and venture capital investments.
Yiannis works as an Engineer in the New York office of Ove Arup & Partners, an engineering design, planning and consulting firm with offices in 42 countries. He specializes in structural analysis and design of high-rise buildings and has also worked in Austria, Croatia, and Hong Kong.
Yiannis obtained his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Greece, spending his final year as an exchange student in Germany, and holds a Master of Civil and Environmental Engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Paul Kurnit is an internationally recognized marketing, advertising and entertainment professional. Paul began his advertising career at Benton & Bowles and Ogilvy & Mather, where he managed a number of classic brands for Procter & Gamble, Kraft/General Foods and American Express. As President of Griffin Bacal, Paul managed businesses in virtually every consumer and service business category and also served as Executive Vice President sister company Sunbow Entertainment, a leading producer of quality children's television programming. Paul is an expert in social and cultural trends having created a number of specialty business units dedicated to addressing a diverse range of marketing initiatives, including: LiveWire: Today's Families Online&174; , Kid Think Inc.™, Licensing Works!™, Trend Walk™, TDC: The Design Group, The Digital Station.
Currently, as founder of Kurnit Communications, KidShop and PSInsights, Paul has been dedicated to delivering customized solutions across a range of marketing disciplines for companies seeking dramatic new initiatives to drive their businesses. Paul is a frequent speaker and writer for television, radio and print media (i.e. NBC/The Today Show, ABC, CBS News, CNN, Fox, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Barrons, Ad Age, AdWeek, BrandWeek, Entrepreneur and more). He has shared his expertise in consulting work for Bayer, ConAgra, Disney, General Mills, Hasbro, Mattel, McDonald's, Nickelodeon, Pepsi, Polaroid, Scholastic, Sony, Universal Studios and many other blue chip and start up companies.
Paul is on the boards and advisory boards of The Advertising Educational Foundation (AEF), The Advertising Council's Creative Review Committee (CRC), Pace University Lubin School of Business, the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Better Business Bureau and the International Journal of Advertising and Marketing to Children. He is clinical professor of marketing at Pace University, where he teaches marketing and advertising and serves as university advisor for NSAC (National Student Advertising Competition) sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF).
Harvey Markovitz is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Marketing at Pace University. He is the founder and director of the Interactive-Integrated Direct Marketing (IDM) Lab (www.pace.edu/idmlab), an "incubator internship" that provides real life opportunities for students. He previously taught at Baruch College and was the director of the Direct and Interactive Marketing Lab, where the academic discipline of marketing merged with professional marketing resources and provided assets for students, faculty and small businesses owners.
Professor Markovitz has more than 40 years experience as a direct marketing, sales, and business development professional. Before founding his own company, HBM Associates Inc. in 1981, he directed strategic planning, marketing, sales, administrative and financial activities within various departments of JCPenney and CBS, Inc. He was also the President of a major media barter company. He created innovative product, marketing and financial strategies that resulted in increased profitable sales in both domestic and international markets. He is also the author of a business pamphlet-guide "101+ steps to rapid and sustained profit change; it's your business what do you want to do about it?" published by HBM Associates, Inc. and "How to build a consulting practice within your accounting business" published on audio tape by Bisk Publishing company.
In May 2009, Professor Markovitz was engaged by the US Department of State to lead a Marketing Training Mission to Guyana to help develop the marketing skills of that country's entrepreneurs. He conducted seminars in Georgetown and Linden, Guyana to approximately 100 entrepreneurs. He also appeared on national television discussing, with Guinean leaders, how to market the brand of Guyana. In August of 2009, in Hong Kong, he conducted a one week seminar on Customer Relationship Marketing, training approximately 70 mid level executives for the world's largest exporter, Li & Fung. Professor Markovitz was awarded the 2005 DMG Award for Outstanding Service to Direct and Interactive Marketing Education presented by Direct Marketers Gateway, Inc. Since 2002, he has been an annual winner of the DMA's ECHO leadership award. Professor Markovitz earned a Master of Science Degree (with distinction) in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University in 1999. He is a specialist in profit improvement through organization development and restructuring, marketing and media planning, financial and administrative processes as well as sales and management training.
Rebecca Tekula is the Executive Director of the Helene and Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, an institute of Pace University aiming to serve students and nonprofit organizations towards the goal of more effective and efficient nonprofit management practices. Ms. Tekula is completing her PhD in Economics at the University of Lugano, Switzerland. She earned her BA at Vassar College, her MPA from Pace University, and her MBA from the University of Oxford. Ms. Tekula has a extensive background in New York City philanthropy and across the nonprofit sector