Pace Lubin


[Tiffany Rad]
>> Watch Tiffany Rad's pitch (Windows Media Player)
  New Business Concepts - OpenOtto - Tiffany Rad (BS Carnegie Mellon University, MA St. John's College, J.D. University of Maine School of Law, MBA University of Phoenix)

Social Ventures - - Eric Steele (BS Indiana University) and David Isserman (BS Indiana University, MBA candidate at Columbia University)

  [Eric Steele]
>> Watch Eric Steele and David Isserman's pitch (Windows Media Player)
>> View photos and highlights from the Pitch Contest


[Fifth Annual Pace Pitch Contest]
Presented by:
and the

in association with:
The Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Sponsored by Meredith Financial Group

Thursday, December 4th, 2008
5:00 p.m.- 7:45 p.m.
Schimmel Center, 1 Pace Plaza, NYC
The Pace Pitch Contest is based on the Elevator Pitch concept, popular in the venture capital community. It is an extremely concise presentation of an entrepreneur's idea, business model, marketing strategy, competitive analysis, and financial plan, which is delivered to potential investors. The premise is that it could be made in a few minutes, should the entrepreneur spot a potential investor on an elevator and have the opportunity to pitch their idea during the brief ride.
The Judging Panel includes Steve Brotman, Chief Managing Director of Greenhill & Co.; Matthew Commons, CFO of FloDesign and winner of the 2008 MIT Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Prize ($200K); William Potter, Chairman of Meredith Financial Group; David Rose, Chairman of NY Angels; and Lori Smith, a partner at the law firm Goodwin Procter LLP.


  • 5:30 – 6:00 Introductions and Keynote Speaker
  • 6:00 – 6:45 Ten Finalists make their Pitch
  • 6:45 – 7:00 Break
  • 7:00 – 7:30 Judging Panel Discussion and Critique
  • 7:30 – 7:45 Awards Ceremony

$1,000 for the winning Social Venture entrant

$1,000 for the winning New Business Concept entrant

The Fifth Annual Pace Pitch Contest
Judging Panel

Steve Brotman, Chief Managing Director & Co-Chairman of the Investment Committee,
Greenhill & Co.
Matthew Commons, Chief Financial Officer, FloDesign Wind Turbine Corp.
William Potter, Chairman, Meredith Financial Group
David S. Rose, Chairman, New York Angels
Lori S. Smith, Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP

Steve Brotman, Chief Managing Director & Co-Chairman of the Investment Committee, Greenhill & Co.

[Steve Brotman]

Steve Brotman is a Managing Director of Greenhill & Co, and co-founder and co-head of Greenhill SAVP. Prior to founding SAVP in 1998, Steve was the founder, CEO and Chairman of AdOne Classified Network, one of the nation's leading classified ad web sites which merged with Powerdz to become PowerOne Media.

While at SAVP, Steve was a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2000 and was named in Crain's 2001 Tech 100. While at AdOne, Steve, in 1997, was selected for Crain's Top 25 Players Shaping Silicon Alley and the 1995 Top 40 under 40 among New York businessmen.

Steve currently serves on the boards of ReachForce, Managed Systems, Critical Mention, Cosential, Game Trust (Observer), and Knovel (Observer) and has previously served on the boards of Medidata (Observer), DataSynapse (Observer), 7thOnline and Bla-bla (acquired by UGO in 2001). In addition, Steve has served on the board of the MIT Enterprise Forum and as a mentor and judge for the Columbia Business School Lang and Greenhouse Funds.

Steve received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Duke University and a joint JD/MBA degree with honors from Washington University.

Matthew Commons, Chief Financial Officer, FloDesign Wind
Turbine Corp.

[Matthew Commons]

Matthew has worked with renewable technologies since 2001 in positions at Enron, American Electric Power, LS Power Equity Advisors and The NorthBridge Group. His experience includes development, financing, and power sales agreements for over 500 MW of wind resources. Matthew earned BS and BA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School), and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School.

At FloDesign, he is responsible for financial management, business development and strategic planning. FloDesign designs, manufactures and sells high efficiency utility-scale shrouded wind turbines.

Matthew was on the winning team of the 2008 MIT Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Prize ($200K prize) and the 2008 MIT Ignite Clean Energy Competition ($100K prize).

William Potter, Chairman, Meredith Financial Group

[William Potter]

Mr. Potter is an investment/merchant banker with more than 30 years of experience. He has managed closed-end funds in the United States and Canada and served on the boards of more than 20 United States domiciled public companies, as well as numerous foreign-based companies. Mr. Potter has been the Chairman of Meredith Financial Group since April 2004 and served as the President of Ridgewood Group International Ltd. from June 1996 to March 2004. His current directorships include the National Foreign Trade Council, the nation's oldest lobbying organization; Aberdeen Asset Management Limited; and Alexandria Bancorp, a banking subsidiary of Canadian money manager Guardian Capital Group. Mr. Potter is also a director of the following other U.S. reporting companies: Aberdeen Asia Pacific Income Fund Inc. (1986 to present); Aberdeen Australia Equity Fund Inc. (1985 to present); and Aberdeen Global Fund Inc. (1991 to present). Mr. Potter received an AB degree from Colgate University and a MBA degree from Harvard University.

David S. Rose, Chairman, New York Angels

[David S. Rose]

David S. Rose is an entrepreneurial executive and investor with extensive experience in high technology and communications, angel investments, finance and government. He was named by Inc. magazine to the 1998 Inc 500 list as CEO of one of the fastest growing private companies in America. Red Herring magazine has described him as "a patriarch of New York's Silicon Alley" and Crain's New York Business named him one of the City's 25 most influential technology executives.

During the course of his career, Mr. Rose has supervised the creation of an intellectual property portfolio of issued patents appraised at over $100 million and negotiated both domestic and international corporate acquisitions. He was a prime author of the new data messaging protocols for the personal communications industry, and lectures frequently on issues relating to the development of the international information infrastructure.

In 1997 he was honored as a finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the New York New Media category; in 1984, Time magazine profiled him in its "Computer as Man of the Year" issue; and he has been the subject of numerous interviews and articles in print and electronic media. He is a member of the Technical Committee of the Personal Communications Industry Association as well as the Council of Communications Advisors.

Mr. Rose is Chairman of the Board of the New York Angels, Inc., the leading angel investment consortium in the New York region. Through his investment fund, Rose Tech Ventures, he provides capital and management expertise to promising early stage companies. On behalf of his own technology firms he has personally raised tens of millions of dollars in venture, strategic and institutional capital.

With over two decades of hands-on experience in founding, managing and funding diverse companies, Mr. Rose is actively involved in mentoring and advising other entrepreneurs and corporate executives. Dubbed by BusinessWeek "The Pitch Coach" for his ability to help entrepreneurs perfect their fundraising skills, he was a Founding Member of the New York New Media Association and is a frequent guest speaker at graduate business schools including Harvard, Yale, Columbia and NYU. He is also a mentor and judge of Yale University's annual business plan competitions and has judged the annual Students in Free Enterprise national finals. As a regular lecturer for New York's Industrial Technology Assistance Corporation he has taught the Venture Financing and Deal Negotiation section of the FasTrak Tech courses since 1997.

Mr. Rose is Chairman and CEO of Angelsoft, which operates a collaboration platform for early stage equity investing; and Chairman of KoolSpan, Inc., a developer of leading-edge network security technology. He also serves as an active early stage investor in companies including SignStorey, Koolspan, BioScale, DigitWireless, Metaphor Solutions, Goodmail, Content Directions, Zero-G, Critical Mention, Spotlight Data and others. Prior to founding AirMedia Corporation in 1988, for which he served as CEO for over ten years, his career included over fifteen years in real estate development, government, teaching and urban planning.

Mr. Rose was co-founder and Chairman of The Computer Classroom, one of the world's first computer training firms, and spent over ten years developing technology-enhanced commercial and residential real estate in New York, Washington, DC and Boston with the firm of Rose Associates, Inc. Earlier, he served as Deputy Director of the New York office of US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In that position, Mr. Rose represented the Senator on multiple civic and public boards and was the Senator's Special Assistant for high technology and urban planning.

A native New Yorker, Mr. Rose has a BA from Yale University and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University Business School. He is a graduate of the New York City public school system and Horace Mann High School. He is profiled in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in Business and Industry.

Lori S. Smith, Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP

[Lori Smith]

Lori Smith, a partner in the firm's Business Law Department and a member of its Technology Companies Group, specializes in representing foreign and domestic companies in various industries with regard to mergers and acquisitions, financings and general corporate matters, with an emphasis on emerging technologies. Ms. Smith has extensive experience acting as outside counsel for companies at all stages of development, from start-ups to public companies. Work for Clients

Ms. Smith has over 20 years experience representing entrepreneurs, venture capital and private equity investors and public and private companies in the structuring, negotiation and implementation of equity and debt financings and private equity transactions, private placements, acquisitions, mergers, strategic alliances, joint ventures, and licensing, manufacturing and distribution arrangements (including distribution via the Internet and wireless means). In addition to advising clients on transactional and contract matters, she regularly provides advice and assistance to companies and their investors with respect to general corporate governance and ongoing compliance matters as well as the various issues that need to be addressed in anticipation of and planning for a public offering, sale or merger.

Ms. Smith is outside general counsel to New York Angels, one of the leading angel investment groups in the Northeast and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum.

Ms. Smith was a Senior Editor of Law and Contemporary Problems at Duke University School of Law. Before joining Goodwin Procter, Ms. Smith served as a partner in the corporate and technology practice groups in the New York office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP. Previously, she was senior counsel at Proskauer Rose LLP, also in New York. Ms. Smith is a member of the New York and New Jersey Bars.

Ms. Smith received a J.D. from the Duke University School of Law (with high honors) and a BA from the University of Rochester (magna cum laude).

The Fifth Annual Pace Pitch Contest

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Joseph R. Baczko, Dean, Lubin School of Business, Pace University

Bruce Bachenheimer, Clinical Professor of Management and Director of Entrepreneurship@Lubin


Joseph R. Baczko, Dean, Lubin School of Business, Pace University

[Joseph R. Baczko] 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] 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.



Earlybird Childcare
Nyex Industries
Open Otto
Urban Ping


New Business Concept Finalists


Earlybird Childcare
Earlybird Childcare (EBCC) is an innovative premium child care provider in Germany. EBCC offers three different products. The core product is bilingual child care with a premium provider-child ratio. It is supported by classes where children can develop skills in music, arts, sports and languages. EBCC also has a playground where parents can spend quality-time with their children, meet other parents and get the EBCC staff's support.

EBCC's target customers are families where both parents pursue their career and single parent families. The target customers work in a demanding work environment; have a high income of at least 120.000 per household, a university or college degree, and speak at least one foreign language.

Germany's child care market is still largely state-run and in many areas vastly underdeveloped. Only 13% of all children younger than three years attend a day care center — in France the number is 40%. The German government recently introduced subsidies and tax breaks for using child care and to support new private childcare facilities.

EBCC's competitors are other premium child care providers and nannies. But nannies require a great amount of trust and there is no quality control. To distinguish itself from these competitors, EBCC aims for close cooperation with the employer. Companies will be allowed to buy a number of child care places in a facility and distribute these to their employees. The employer pays part of the fee in order to keep key employees and offer them a better work-life balance. The additional education and the playground services were inspired by Apple Seeds and Citibabes in New York City and will be unique in Germany.

EBCC will establish a brand that stands for high-quality child care, close cooperation with the employer and all kinds of extra services that make the parents' life easier and the time with their kids more valuable.

Full-day child care is priced at 1.500 monthly; half-day is priced at 900 monthly. At the desired level of utilization a facility creates about 900.00 in revenues. It will reach profitability in the second year. If the company is eligible for government subsidies the facility will operate with a profit margin of 9.5% and an EBIT margin of 16%. The initially required investment amounts to 1 million.

>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)


[Frederik Gieschen]


Frederik Gieschen is taking courses in entrepreneurship as an exchange student at Pace. When he compared the day care situation in the United States and Germany he had the idea for his new business concept. He also adapted unique concepts of local companies like Citibabes and Apple Seeds. After his high school graduation in Germany he started studying business administration at the University of Mannheim, Germany's leading public university for business studies (where he will graduate in summer 2009). He set up a limited corporation and started a business during his studies in fall 2007. He also worked with his father who owned a software company for several years and now works as an business consultant. Frederik assisted his father establishing a venture that supports small and growing businesses with marketing and financial controlling tools and expertise through a network of certified trainers. Apart from entrepreneurship, Frederik is a passionate value investor was the second student to become part of Germany's first centre for value investors. In 2009 he will be part of the German investor's meeting at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. Back in Germany he is part of a team of authors that published their first book project in October 2008.

Nyex Industries
Before the recent drop in energy prices, diesel fuel and natural gas prices were close to record highs making the Tar Sands of northern Canada and heavy crude of Venezuela and California much more profitable to refine; however, current methods implemented by oil companies to refine such products remain incredibly inefficient. The Company plans to effectively out compete the likes of Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and BP by innovating on the smaller scale to become a very small player in both the United States market and the global energy market.

Nyex Industries will be a premier recycling company with a focus on alternative energy created trough a unique process. Nyex would realize numerous competitive advantages through the purchase of a vacuum microwave machine purchased from Global Resources Corporation as well as partnerships with various strategic partners. The vacuum microwave unit utilizes specific microwave frequencies that would be able to "crack" the hydrocarbon structure in shredded tires. The aforementioned "cracking" process produces diesel fuel, and natural gas. Nyex Industries would be able to sell these refined products and other byproducts in a high demand market while maintaining a gross margin approaching seventy-five percent in the first year.

While other companies produce tire-derived fuel (TDF) Nyex would possess an absolute advantage over them via the unique energy-rich, environmentally friendly (zero emissions) process of microwave "cracking" that will be implemented. Nyex would experience minimal explicit costs consisting of slight transportation costs, very low input cost, as well as various fixed costs, emphasizing the already existent absolute advantage. Sales would escalate from approximately $70,000 the first month of production reaching approximately $450,000 by the fourth month; rounding out the first year we would anticipate sales approaching $3.7 million. Nyex would produce the following quantities of materials based on a conservative 8 hour per day, 250 day per year production schedule:

#4 Fuel Oil: 28,575 barrels per year — refineries and cruise ships Steel: 250,000 lbs. per year — metal recycling facilities in Chicago and Des Moines Carbon Ash: 7.5 million lbs. per year — concrete production factories in the Midwest Energy from Natural Gas: 50,000 MW — area energy providers

>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)


[Joel Nybeck]

Joel Nybeck is currently a student at NYU's Stern School of Business studying economic theory, politics, computer science and mathematics. Prior to coming to New York, Nybeck worked extensively in the commodities industry while doing commodity price analysis and advisement for Rusk Metal Company, a metal recycling firm based in Epworth, Iowa. During his time spent at Rusk Metal Company Nybeck did considerable amounts of research and analysis regarding the drivers of industrial metal prices as well as various other commodities handled by Rusk Metal, including engine oil and petroleum-based industrial cleaning products. Nybeck has strong ties to the energy industry with connections to a family-owned oil company in Houston, Texas, as well as relationships with employees of an oil-services company also based near Houston in the Woodlands, Texas.

You don't have to be David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider to have your car talk to you. OpenOtto is a platform for developing vehicle aware products for the consumer and industrial markets. While it will not ask you how you're doing this evening, most people don't realize how much information your car's computer can tell you. OpenOtto consists of a hardware interface to your car's OBD II connector as well as an extensible software platform for communicating with all networked electronic devices in the car. Designed for flexibility and scalability, it is easily expandable to future vehicle capabilities.

OpenOtto consists of two products targeted to different markets. The first is a car computer that acts as an interface between your car's computer and a 4" x 8" touch screen display that attaches to your dashboard. The interface shows easy to understand graphical output from your car's computer including, but not limited to, standard OBD II output: coolant temperature, engine speed, oxygen sensor readings, and emission related trouble codes. Advanced features include outputting suspension control, anti-lock/traction control, and air bag status.

Additional safety and security features include a remote start and kill feature for anti-theft or convenience, display warnings to users when the transmission begins to fail, individual wheel speed indicating wheel slippage, and real-time engine performance monitoring.

The second product is priced lower for the general consumer. It includes the ability to attach any cell phone with GPS to OpenOtto. Once attached, the car's computer will text message someone (e.g., a parent) if the car exceeds a certain speed and GPS coordinates will be texted, and call 911 if airbags deploy (no proprietary subscription necessary).

Safety and security is important and built into the computer engineering designs. Some features will be access controlled and transmission of all sensitive data transmitted by OpenOtto will be encrypted using industry standard best practices to ensure safety, security, and privacy of the user.

The software and hardware designs will be released as free and open source designs to encourage adoption and adaptation of the features.

For consumers, a complete dashboard mounted display with computer will cost between $300-$500.00. The closest product currently on the market costs between $1000.-$5000.000 and does not include open software and hardware platforms, graphical dash board mounted displays, or customizable features. The low cost consumer device will target a retail cost of $100-$200.

Try getting KITT for that price.

>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)


[Tiffany Strauchs Rad]

Tiffany Strauchs Rad is the President of ELCnetworks, LLC, a technology and business development consulting firm in Portland, Maine. Her consulting services include developing business plans, strategic planning, intellectual property management, market studies, and launching products for inventors and entrepreneurs. In addition to working for ELCnetworks, she is also a part-time professor in the computer science department at the University of Southern Maine teaching computer law and ethics.

Tiffany's academic background includes study of international law and policy at Oxford University in England, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, Maine School of Law, Portland, Maine as well as intellectual property at Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in public policy, ethics, and history with a double major in philosophy. Following her studies at Carnegie Mellon, Tiffany studied classic literature and philosophy and received an MA from St. John's College, Annapolis, MD. During law school, Tiffany began part-time graduate business school studies online in 2000 and received her MBA from the University of Phoenix right after her JD. Her academic and voluntary service earned her the U.S. Gold Congressional Award in 1999. She is a dual citizen of the USA and Latvia.

All too often baggage claims are filled with luggage that looks exactly the same, and many times people mistakenly pick up the wrong bag. There's nothing like getting to the vacation you've planned all year or that business meeting that can put your company on the map, and realizing you have someone else's shirts! Ug-Lug's concept is to create one of a kind, uniquely 'ugly' luggage that is almost immediately recognizable at first glance to its owner. The distinctive advantage of Ug-Lug comes from the use of environmentally friendly, recyclable and reusable materials in the creation of each piece. Each piece of handmade luggage will be made up of recycled materials, including but certainly not limited to: airplane, car and bus seats and seat belts, recycled tires and tubes, re-usable leather goods such as purses, saddles, jackets, belts, etc. Also to be included is plastics, recycled clothing and fabrics such as denim, reusable zippers, sails from boats, and recycled vinyl and mesh, to name a few. Aluminum is one of the few raw materials that need to be purchased from a manufacturer to ensure the highest quality when it comes to making the framing. As long as people continue to fill up landfills, the possibilities of usable materials are limitless.

The concept is not only limited to the luggage that one would check. The luggage industry encompasses hand luggage, briefcases, computer cases, carry-ons, garment bags and carriers, kids luggage, totes, backpacks, motorcycle packs, duffel bags and handbags. Ug-Lug will have pieces designed in sets, and separately to meet the demands, both large and small, of all types of travelers.

The uniqueness factor, coupled with the trend to go 'green' sets Ug-Lug apart from all its competitor's generic luggage products, where the only choice the consumer makes is in the color. Ug-Lug aims to spark a worldwide trend towards recycling goods and products into durable, quality luggage and accessories, thus keeping tons of non-biodegradable items from landfills. Our main goal: Enabling people to be part of the movement towards creating a better world by providing well designed, high-quality, practical products made from truly sustainable materials and supporting fair labor/fair trade practice.

>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)


[Michael Rawlins]

My name is Michael Rawlins, and I am currently a student at Pace University in the Lubin School of Business. I am in my senior year and will be receiving a BBA in Entrepreneurship upon graduation in May of 2009. My concept of Ug-Lug was created after a situation I found myself in on Spring Break. Currently I am the co-owner of a sports performance training facility out of Pearl River, NY. After having our college football careers cut short by injuries, myself and my lifelong friend and business partner, TJ, decided to take our passion for sports and help young, aspiring athletes better themselves physically. The Training Factory, which focuses on speed, strength, and flexibility training, was born out of TJ's 400 square foot basement in the Winter of 2006. We've since moved out of the basement and into a 1500 sq foot facility, with plans to relocate into a 4500 square foot building by year's end. After only two short years, many of our athletes have gone onto compete at the Division 1 level in football, baseball and basketball with full athletic scholarships. We currently have over 75 athletes, male and female, walk through our doors weekly, and their accolades and accomplishments are testaments to our results.

UrbanPing! is the mobile, social networking system enabling real-time communication between mobile system users. Using wireless signal patterns, GPS/assisted GPS, and Bluetooth to implement user tracking, UrbanPing! enables users to receive real-time, system-generated, lists of active members matching requirements for proximity and user profile specification. Imagine connecting to, and meeting with, like minded-people while out for a night on the town! UrbanPing! combines the application features of popular social networking sites with mobile technologies to create unique interpersonal experiences. By enabling users to update their availability status and profile properties in real time, UrbanPing! pairs active users with other members looking to connect, now.

How It Works: UrbanPing! user profiles include demographic information: age, marital status, proximity limit for active user connection, availability status, type of networking / relationship sought. Upon joining, the new member downloads and installs UrbanPing!'s mobile device software.

Users with "active" status are sent a list of fellow "active" users matching their profile criteria. Each user listing links to a mobile profile summary. To initiate contact, a user selects the "PingMe!" option from the selected profile. If the user receiving the "HelloPing!" wants to communicate, he or she will select the "UrbanChat!" option contained in the interface. UrbanPing! provides buddy list functionality enabling users to track UrbanBuddies! on a Google Maps-style grid. All system access and user authentication, via web or mobile device, will be managed through secure login. Initial communication is conducted anonymously via the mobile UrbanPing! chat client.

Marketing Strategy: A stand-alone, server version of the UrbanPing! system aides vendors wishing to expand their marketing / advertising efforts into the mobile space. Servers located on Bluetooth enabled billboards, retail stores and nightspots will "ping" subscribers special offers and or upcoming event information, for example. The server system also provides up- to-date campaign reporting activity from a lightweight reporting tool. Competitive Advantages:

  • Unlike Facebook and MySpace, UrbanPing! integrates mobile device implementation immediately
  • Java J2ME provides a mobile interface supported by a wide range of mobile devices
  • Competitors like Dodgeball, Mologogo and MeetMoi fail to deliver equal functionality
  • Business model includes platform licensing, fees for promotional campaigns, and charging users for value-added features

As applications for UrbanPing! expands (e.g. meet-up groups, instant services for hire, real time gaming) competitors are discouraged from entering market.

>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)


[Teresa Nicole Brooks]

Teresa Nicole Brooks is a professional software developer and a graduate student at Pace University's Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. She is pursuing her Masters degree in Computer Science and is slated to graduate in May 2009. For her thesis project, Teresa is currently developing a prototype for an application that uses AI techniques natural language processing and intelligent agents to generate RSS feeds based on observed user interests.

Teresa's professional / technical interests include (but are not limited to), mobile technology & development, web development, robotics, artificial intelligence and networking & software security. In addition to her studies, Teresa is currently writing a high level, concept paper for her new business concept: UrbanPing.

Dango: Networking the Informal Sector
First Earth
Speak Assistant

Social Venture Finalists



Dango: Networking the Informal Sector
The Market: In developing countries, the informal (unregulated, untaxed) sector is a huge portion of the economy. In Kenya, informal sector production is $17.9 billion (34% of GDP), employs 31.5 million people (86% of the population), and added 500,000 new jobs in 2007. Meanwhile, mobile phone penetration is at 34% and growing, as even the poorest Kenyans recognize the value of connectivity.

The advertising industry in Kenya is sizable and growing — $200 million per year last year. Safaricom, the largest mobile phone operator, grew its advertising budget 25% over last year. Marketers are seeking ways of reaching new customers, throughout the socio- economic spectrum.

The Need: People running informal businesses transact almost exclusively in cash, but often must provide credit to suppliers or customers. An avocado trader may need to sell to his retailers on credit and/or offer farmers credit to harvest the crop. But, the informal Kenyan economy has almost no credit assessment mechanism (scores, payment histories) so the trader has no effective way to assess counterparty risk or reputation. This makes his business riskier and growth more difficult. Informal sector entrepreneur constantly ask themselves two questions: 1) How do I know who I can trust.? 2) How do I leverage my good reputation to win more business?

The Solution: Dango will answer these questions by providing a dynamic mobile phone-based community of informal entrepreneurs that will help members broaden their network of potential business partners and customers. Based on a simple, easy-to-use SMS interface, Dango will allow members to create profiles that include information about their business, location, and needs and then link to friends, family, and business acquaintances. Members and non-members will then be able to search the Dango network to look for recognized service provides and find credit and service references.

Revenue Model: First, Dango will charge advertisers to serve its network with paid search and targeted broadcast SMS advertising. For the first time, advertisers and other content providers will reach specific segments of the informal sector with targeted messages to relevant Dango members. Second, Dango will charge a subscription fee to institutions (such as banks) for access to the most current database of Dango members and their demographic information, thus enabling them to assess the business potential and risk of soliciting business (such as microfinance loans).

>> Watch the pitch (Windows Media Player)


[Luke Davenport]



Luke Davenport spent over two years in Kenya establishing a microfinance and agricultural marketing program for smallholder farmers, traders, and informal entrepreneurs. In addition, Luke worked as a Junior Associate with Broad Cove Partners, an emerging markets private equity and microfinance advisory firm, and as a Program Officer at the Institute for SME Finance, an advisor for risk capital investors in small and medium enterprises in developing countries. He is currently co-president of the International Development Club at CBS. Luke has a BA from Wesleyan University and will graduate Columbia with an MBA and a Masters in International Affairs from the School of Public and International Affairs.


[Rich Rosenblatt]

Rich Rosenblatt: Prior to business school, Rich worked at The Richard Franco Agency, an import/export commodities broker representing exporters of tree nuts and other agricultural products from more than a dozen developing nations including Kenya. At RFA, he specialized in managing client relations and developing innovative financing and marketing solutions for exporters. Prior to joining RFA, Rich was an operations analyst at Capital One focused on maximizing customer loyalty. He holds a BS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and is an MBA candidate at Columbia where he serves as the co-president of the school's entrepreneurship club.


[Felix Macharia]

Felix Macharia is currently a second year student at Columbia Business School. Felix is a native of Kenya and a naturalized U.S. citizen. Prior to business school, Felix was a manager in PricewaterhouseCoopers' New York Audit Practice, serving clients in the Financial Services Industry. In his role, Felix was responsible for coordinating and delivering all firm services to his clients. Additionally, Felix was a member of the United States Army Reserve and served on a 12-month combat tour in Iraq under the 411th Engineer Brigade. Felix is an avid squash player and frequently runs 5-Ks in support of charitable causes.

First Earth
First Earth is an indigenous foods product line. Through our prior work with Conservation International, Rainforest Alliance, and Root Capital, we have identified a dire need among indigenous communities in developing nations for rural economic opportunities. Many of these communities live near vital conservation areas, and through the creation of sustainable agriculture export opportunities into Western specialty food markets, there is an opportunity to create a simultaneous win-win-win for their family incomes, the environment, and the health and enjoyment of conscious consumers.

First Earth will specialize in teas and dried foods. The premier product will be a line of rooibos teas sourced from the descendants of indigenous producers and the original consumers in South Africa. Their wild-harvested product is vastly superior to what is commonly on the market, yet the co-operative from whom we will source our tea are threatened with being wiped out by giant, elite-owned, mono- cropping plantations.

We have identified our target consumers in the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) market. There are 40 million Americans included in the LOHAS demographic who create a $300 billion market. With the consumption of one of our products, the consumer will engage in an act of cultural preservation, and the capture of the highest quality functional nutrients within the food. Our products will also communicate a message of "beyond organic and Fair Trade," which is a rising preference and concern in the market.

First Earth's tea products will fall under the specialty tea segment, which held 36% ($2.7B) of the market in 2007 and is projected to command 50% of the tea market by 2012 ($7.5B). Rooibos, our premier product, represents 2% of the specialty tea market ($54M). While other tea brands have a "red" tea flavor, none are dedicated to rooibos itself, nor do they offer the value of cultural preservation that First Earth offers. Thus, we expect to become the market leader in rooibos.

The marketing concept is to heavily brand each product — inside and outside the box — with the story of the aboriginal producers. We will initially target the LOHAS demographic in New York City, and will secure distribution at medium sized retailers who are committed to our cause. We have already had discussions with a Food Emporium, a potential retailer.

For First Earth, it is the fact that soil, culture, and taste quality are ultimately bound together that generates the opportunity for creating exciting new value. The value proposition offers unparalleled taste quality, unsurpassed functional-nutritional value, cultural preservation, and environmental preservation — all bound together in the overall sense of native vitality from the source.

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Diana Hardeman has two years of experience performing financial consulting for hospitals as a Senior Associate at Triage Consulting Group, a medium sized healthcare consulting firm. She is a free-lance marketing and brand consultant for Finn Jewelry, a luxury jeweler, and EmPower Clean Energy Solutions, a solar energy installer. Diana holds a BS in Business Administration from the Haas Undergraduate School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and is a second-year full-time MBA student at NYU Stern.

Expert advisors to the team include John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Markets; Betsy Powers, President of the Culinary Collective; and Hans Heer, Senior Vice President of the Food Emporium. Joshua Levin founded and scaled RedKey Education, a private education services and technology company that now operates in Boston, Providence, New Haven, and Paris France. He was worked with Conservation International, Root Capital, and the Rainforest Alliance, and owns and runs He holds an honors BA degree from Harvard University in international development and is a second-year full-time NYU Stern MBA student.

G.I.V.E. (Goals, Inspiration, Values, and Education)
G.I.V.E. was founded in the summer of 2008 at the University of Virginia. The idea originated from a group of college students who were discussing the lack of positive influences for teenagers living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. We decided the best way to take action was by creating an organization that was devoted to promoting college awareness in these neighborhoods. Our objective is to bring college students to underperforming high schools where they would give presentations and arrange local college visits for high school students. We feel that many of these high school students have grown up in environments where they have not realized the true value of a college education, which is confirmed by their low high school graduation rates. This being the case, we hope to inspire these students to graduate high school and attend college. Currently we are working at Boys and Girls High School which is located in Bedford Stuyvesant, New York and has a 35% graduation rate. Since early September, we have worked with 150 students for hour long sessions. After the presentations we gave, we were taken aback by a group of wide-eyed teenagers who showed interest in what we had to say and thanked us for taking the time to talk with them. We thought it would take longer for them to be receptive, but it turns out a few encouraging words can go a long way. The school has also agreed to sponsor a trip for 150 students to Stony Brook University, where the students will experience the college environment and see what college can offer them, something that the streets probably cannot. In due course, we want these presentations to aid in the development of the traits that are necessary once these students are out of high school. College visits in combination with our presentations, will indirectly aid in stopping graduation rates from further diminishing in schools located in underprivileged areas. We are giving the students something to look forward to after graduation. College is something that should definitely be one of them. Finally, we are taking steps toward working with all the students in the school and spreading our cause to other high schools in NYC.G.I.V.E was recently awarded a DoSomething Grant for our social venture idea and is currently involved with New York University's Reynolds Youth Venture which has helped us in developing a business plan.

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[Larri Rudma]

Larri Rudma is co-founder of G.I.V.E. He is currently a full-time undergraduate sophomore at New York University working towards receiving a Bachelor of Science in Neural Science and wishes to pursue an MD/PhD program after graduation. This is because he wants to continue to help people through a combination of knowledge from research and the skills of a clinician. Larri's ability to communicate with these students comes from his mother's profession, as a teacher in an underprivileged area. His ability to connect with the students comes from learning some of these techniques used to establish this connection from his mother. Larri is also involved with the immigrant population of New York, having worked with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society since the summer of 2007 using his own success and experience to help other immigrants, being that he and his family emigrated from Ukraine in 1994. Larri is expected to graduate from New York University in May of 2011.


[Neel Patel]

Neel Patel is co-founder of G.I.V.E. He is a full-time undergraduate sophomore at New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, NY studying Life Science. He has taken a particular interest in community service, and one day wishes to extend his passion with working in underserved communities by becoming a physician. Having worked with both physically and mentally handicapped children while volunteering in hospitals, he has decided to embark on a new approach in helping youth. In the summer of 2007, Neel met a group of peers who felt something needed to be done in order to reverse the low graduation rates of high school students. On that basis, G.I.V.E. was established. Working with the Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, G.I.V.E. has currently reached out to 150 students, and hopes to expand to more students and other schools in New York City. Neel's vision is to see G.I.V.E. spread throughout the country, so that every child is motivated to pursue a post-secondary education. Neel is expected to graduate from New York Institute of Technology in May of 2010.

Speak Assistant
Problem: There are no cost-effective communication devices that assist people who are not able to speak. This population, consist of stroke survivors or speech impaired individuals.
Solution: The device has least 10 different phrases for the disabled person. Record phrases by the person in charge of the individual. The ability to put the device on a wheelchair or on the person's hand will be suitable to carry anywhere because of the attached strapped. The size will be 6' by 6' and will weigh less than 2oz. In the back of the device will have an on and off the button. In the back of the device there will be an outlet for an AC adapter to recharge the device.
Market: There are approximately 7.5 million people in the United State not able to use their voices. This product will be directed at disabled individuals, nursing homes, hospitals and doctors offices.
Competition:: Most makers of handheld devices have priced the devices at high levels, one device is priced at $2,500. The difference with my product it will be cheaper than the rest.
Sales: My advertisement will be to setup a website. I will hope to generate information from various sources, to send pamphlets to individuals who are disable. I will have a sales team go to nursing homes and hospitals to speak to representative about the product.
Economic Model:
Team: My team will consist of following:
Sales People, Warehouse Workers (have a small unit workers dedicate to my product) - this level will be outsourced. Manager - to oversee the daily functions, Funding Specialist – To obtain necessary funding to prolong the product
Investment: The best way to fund this project will be through grants and donations. Organizations that support social entrepreneurship

  • Skoll Foundation -
  • Schwab Foundation - American Stroke Associations, American Stroke Foundation and Department of Education can assist in the funding for this project. Also, Insurance carriers can cover the cost as they cover the cost for a wheelchair, cane, and many other things to help with mobility

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[Anita Jagtiani]

My name is Anita Jagtiani I am currently a Graduate Student at Pace University and will complete my Masters in Information Systems in May of 2009. I am also taking an Advance Certification in Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Innovation. I became interested in Social Entrepreneurship after taking IS 620 – Strategy and Innovation with Dr. James Gabberty. I learned a great deal in this course and began to able to put my ideas to work.

I currently work for American International Group, Inc. within the corporate legal department where I work with databases.

I am hoping that eventually with the experiences that I have gained throughout my time at Pace as well as my work experience, I would be better able to assist people with disabilities. was founded in the summer of 2008 on the idea that there is a better way to bring together patients, families and healthcare professionals to share knowledge and personal experiences about rare medical disorders. RareShare is a social hub of online communities focused on the rare disease market. While individually these diseases affect a small portion of the population, together they affect over 30 million individuals in the United States and Europe alone. In the United States there are over 1,500 diseases that qualify for Orphan diseases status which are defined as diseases affecting less than 200,000 people.

Due to the low number of occurrences of individual rare diseases, there is often a lack of information, support and communication between people affected by these rare conditions. RareShare creates micro communities centered around individuals, families and friends affected by these ailments, allowing them to share experiences, treatment opportunities and to provide support through often times uncharted territory. While for most rare diseases there are online resources offering static information, there are few sites that offer peer to peer support and up-to-date information on treatments.

Upon joining RareShare, members can create a user profile and join individual disorder communities. Once a member of a community, members can update information (facts, resources, treatments, tips, etc.) wiki-style and post questions or comments to community forums. Healthcare professional have the option of becoming "community experts" allowing them to moderate discussions. Future feature additions to the site include personal journals, PubMed articles, clinical trial information, and advanced communication systems between members.

Since its launch in June 2008, RareShare has registered over 700 active users spanning over 500 rare disorders, a true testament to the need for this service. RareShare has been featured in multiple publications including: The Toronto Star, St. Louis Post, Read Write Web and the Genetic Interest Group. RareShare's current focus is on building its user base because as with any social network, the value is directly proportionate to the number of individuals using the service. By partnering with disorder advocacy groups and various other marketing and public relations campaigns RareShare hopes to reach those individuals searching for information and support.

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[Eric Steele]

Eric Steele graduated from Indiana University in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in finance and entrepreneurship. After graduation, Eric founded ForePoint Networks, a wireless internet service provider delivering high-speed connectivity throughout rural Indiana which grew to cover over 2,000 square miles of wireless coverage. In the summer of 2008, Eric cofounded RareShare with David Isserman who is currently pursuing his MBA at Columbia University. Eric's prior experience includes working for various technology startups and investment companies where he has assisted in closing multiple acquisitions and rounds of financing.



For additional information, please contact

Bruce Bachenheimer,

Clinical Professor and Director of Entrepreneurship @ Lubin:

Tel: (212) 618-6663
Fax: (212) 618-6664
Address: Pace University
Lubin School of Business
Department of Management, Room 342
163 William Street
New York, NY 10038


"Opportunity through Entrepreneurship" SM