The 2011 OPEL Award is befittingly given to the Venture Competition Team at New York University Stern School of Business that manages one of the country's largest competitions. Dr. Jeffrey A. Carr, Clinical Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship and Executive Director of the Berkley Center heads the talented group that includes, Professor Cynthia Franklin, Senior Associate Director, Loretta Poole, Associate Director, Professor Jill R. Kickul, Director of Social Entrepreneurship, and Patricia Miller-Edwards, Administrative Aide.
In the words of Professor Carr: "We have a very simple mission at the Berkley Center: to help our students and alumni start their ventures. Whatever their interests may be, from technology to restaurants and everything in between, we are here to help. The competitions are a wonderful format that provides a disciplined process to help entrepreneurs think through the myriad of challenges they will face. We offer a rapidly expanding set of resources -- a deep and growing mentor network, functional and industry based workshops and seminars, legal and accounting help desks, and of course, access to our wonderful staff and faculty who are always willing to share their expertise."
These inspirational NYU "super" mentors helped bring to fruition many of the visions, dreams and success stories of both the commercial and social entrepreneurial community, such as:
- Hotlist.com, a location-based platform that makes it easy for friends to coordinate and find out what's going on today, tomorrow and throughout the week at millions of venues worldwide, and was the first undergraduate team in history to win an award from the NYU Stern Business Plan Competition;
- comiXology, the pioneering and world's leading technology company for comic book digital creation and distribution;
- Pinterest (formerly Tote), a site where you can create collections of things you "love and follow" for people with impeccable taste;
- Socialbomb, a company who is creating unique "Social TV" user experiences;
- Madecasse, the only chocolate produced bean-to-bar on the island of Madagascar. Named one of the "50 Most Innovative Companies in the World" by Fast Company;
- CourseHorse, an aggregator of classes, from yoga to languages, in the New York City area;
- Butter Beans, Inc., providing healthy meals, as well as education about food and nutrition, to school-aged children and faculty;
- Profits for People Profits, aims to create an opportunity for the rural poor to participate in the growing Indian economy, by creating community-owned and operated enterprises; and
- GKIDS, Inc. (formerly NYCIFF), bringing cutting edge independent and international films that the New York International Children's Film Festival champions to a national audience through theatrical distribution, home entertainment, broadband/mobile, consumer product licensing and TV/VOD programming.
These companies are just a few of the many winners that have been showcased at the NYU Berkley Center Venture Competitions over the years. To view past winners please connect to: http://bit.ly/NYUWinners."It's simple, comiXology would not exist without the NYU Berkley Center. They connected us to invaluable advisors that have helped comiXology from the ground-up in all facets of our business," said David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology, and 2008 competition winner. "The coaching and mentoring was unbelievable…the passion and conviction evident in their efforts was inspiring. We owe a great deal of thanks to all our mentors…" - CourseHorse, 2011 competition winner.