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 Entrepreneurship NYC

The role of universities in the NYC ecosystem


Pace University’s Entrepreneurship Lab and the MIT Enterprise Forum of NYC are hosting a groundbreaking forum to discuss the role of universities in the NYC entrepreneurship ecosystem.

On Thursday, November 7th 2013
5:30 p.m.—8:30 p.m.
Multipurpose Room
New York City Campus, NY 10038



5:30 – 6:00 Registration
6:00 – 7:00 Panel Discussion
7:00 – 7:30 Audience Q&A
7:30 – 8:30 Networking Reception

Free and open to public, registration required



Universities have long been integral to regional economic development. For example, the Morrill Act of 1862, which funded land-grant institutions, was a response to the industrial revolution. Universities also have a long tradition of contributing to the general welfare, which can be exemplified in the “Wisconsin Idea” that dates back to the late 19th century.

The enormous impact universities have on regional economies can be clearly illustrated by examples such as Stanford in Silicon Valley and MIT in the Greater Boston area. In New York City, the role of universities extends well beyond research and technology transfer. Local universities have been integral to the success of New York’s ‘New Economy’ by playing a special role in our entrepreneurial ecosystem.  This event will explore that unique role through a dynamic panel discussion followed by an interactive session with the audience.


Neil S. Braun, Dean, Lubin School of Business
Neil S. Braun has served as the Dean of Pace University's Lubin School of Business in New York since July 2010. He currently serves on the board of directors of
IMAX Corporation and national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength, and he has previously been President of the NBC Television Network, Chairman and CEO of Viacom Entertainment, an internet and environmental entrepreneur, a film producer, and a corporate attorney. Mr. Braun has taught an MBA course in economic models of media and entertainment at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School.



Bruce Bachenheimer, Director, Entrepreneurship Lab
Bruce Bachenheimer is a Clinical Professor of Management and Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab at Pace University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, primarily in the areas of entrepreneurship, management, and strategy. He is also the creator and organizer of the annual Pace Pitch Contest  and  Pace 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 serves on the Board of Directors & Advisors of LeadAmerica 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 and interviewed on radio and television



Eric Gertler, Executive Vice President, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Eric Gertler is currently serving as Executive Vice President for the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Managing Director, Center for Economic Transformation {"CET") for the City of New York. The CET aims to develop New York City’s major business sectors by implementing policy and programmatic initiatives that address current issues faced by each industry, create good jobs, and promote entrepreneurship and economic diversification across thefiveboroughs. Prior to his role at the NYCEDC, Eric served in leadership roles at a number of technology companies, including Altruik, PrimeAxis Media, and Privista. Prior to these initiatives, Eric worked in the magazine and newspaper industries, with his last post being the President of the three magazines U.S. News & World Report, Fast Company and The Atlantic Monthly. He is also the author of the book Prying Eyes: Protect Your Privacy From People Who Sell To You, Snoop on You, or Steal From You (published by Random House). He is a graduate of Brown University and obtained his J.D. from American University, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. Eric is a member of Young Presidents Organization (“YPO”) and recently served as the Chair for the New York Metro chapter.


Orin Herskowitz, VP of Intellectual Property and Tech Transfer,  Columbia University
Orin Herskowitz is the VP of Intellectual Property and Tech Transfer for Columbia University, as well as Executive Director of Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV).  He also is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School.  He is an active Board Member of a number of innovation and entrepreneurship-focused initiatives in NYC, including the NYC Media Lab, PowerBridgeNY, and HarlemBiospace.  Orin received his BA from Yale and his MBA from the Wharton School of Business.  Prior to joining Columbia, Orin spent 7 years at the Boston Consulting Group's New York office as a strategy consultant, and was previously an entrepreneur and a consultant to start-ups.



Debera Johnson, Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research
Debera Johnson leads Pratt’s commitment to integrate sustainability into education, research and enterprise in her role as Executive Director of Pratt’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS). She is the founder of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, launched in 2002, during her tenure as chair of Pratt’s Industrial Design program. The Incubator has launched close to 40 social and environmental enterprises in four sectors: energy, fashion, product design and social entrepreneurship. This June the Incubator launched its new Certificate in Design Entrepreneurship program and in January 2014 the doors will open on the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator with 28 studios for designers and an eco-system for innovation and commerce. The BFDA will be a citywide resource for apparel production, digital fabrication, educational programs and start-up support. Deb also founded and leads the Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS) 25 art and design colleges that are working collaboratively to advance sustainability in art and design programs. Both PALS and the Pratt Design Incubator have received national leadership awards from the ACUPCC.

Geoffrey W. Smith, Director, Center for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
Geoffrey W. Smith is the founding Director of the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a Professor in the Department of Health Evidence and Policy at the school. He is also a co-founder and general partner of Ascent Biomedical Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage life sciences investments. Having been an active founder, manager, and investor in technology-based companies since 1995, he currently serves on the boards of directors of Azevan Pharmaceuticals, Anterios, BackBeat Medical, Biomerix, Caliber Therapeutics, Coferon, TargAnox, and Vivasure Medical and is a board observer for Cara Therapeutics. Geoff is also a visiting scholar at Rockefeller University, where he founded and directs the university’s Science &  Economics Program and is an adjunct faculty member at the RU Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Geoff received a B.A. (with honors) from Williams College and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.