Professor Bruce Bachenheimer

Print and Internet - 2004-2011

Bruce Bachenheimer, program director of entrepreneurial studies at The Lubin School at Pace University, adds, “Build a real board of advisors, not just people who agree to let you use their name as ‘window dressing’ for a business plan or investor pitch – rather, experienced entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals who will dedicate the necessary time to understand your business and formulate meaningful advice. The young entrepreneur should not only assemble such a board, but must understand what is required to keep the advisors engaged and committed.”

Meanwhile, skilled workers in traditionally low-wage developing countries, such as India and China, are beginning to demand higher pay and benefits — moves that will take yet another bite out of businesses’ profits, says Bruce Bachenheimer, a clinical professor of management and director of the entrepreneurship program at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York. “Some firms might opt to stay domestic as the profit margins resulting from hiring overseas workers narrows.”

SmartMoney.com

The majority of 2,007 customers polled said they were more likely to buy from companies that make energy-efficient products, promote health and safety, and support fair labor practices. That sentiment, however, should not influence your marketing game plan, warns Bruce Bachenheimer, a professor of management and director of the entrepreneurial program at Pace University's Lubin School of Business in New York City. "A lot of people say, 'Yes, I want to buy things that are socially conscious,'" he explains. But "the bottom line — no matter what we consumers say we'd like to do — is that it has to be similar [to competitors] in terms of price and ease to purchase."

 

Building Your Brand
When it comes to branding, a social enterprise should wear its heart on its sleeve, Bachenheimer says. Your associations with your values become just as important as those with your goods or services. You can inherently brand your values by forming relationships with socially-conscious retailers (think Whole Foods, the natural-foods grocer) who are known for vetting their vendors. A social enterprise's "emotional" branding can also be bolstered by labeling from various certification agencies, such as Fair Trade's FLO International, says Bachenheimer.

 

Communicating the Mission
Educating consumers about your social impact is perhaps one of the biggest and most delicate challenges of marketing the enterprise. "When people understand it, they might be willing to go a little bit out of their way and pay a little more money," says Bachenheimer.

SmartMoney.com

Business is booming
Young medical school students aren’t the only ones recognizing the importance of an MBA in today’s changing healthcare environment. Professor Bruce Bachenheimer, director of entrepreneurship at New York’s Pace University, says quite a few established physicians are returning part-time at night for their MBA.

 

“The doctors coming in recognize that insurance and medical billing are making it much more difficult to be a doctor,” Bachenheimer explains. “They’re part of a cog of a much larger wheel, and [healthcare] is much more of a business. That has prompted some doctors to say, ‘Let me understand the business so I can play this game better.’”

 

Some of the physicians Bachenheimer has spoken with don’t want to work directly in medicine, but instead want to use medical training and an MBA to help launch new medical start-ups. Others are interested in wireless medical technology, so they need to be aware of the business side of the equation. And some simply want to take over an existing practice and need to better understand the business aspects that are involved.

 

“Other doctors are just tired of medicine,” Bachenheimer admits. “I had one family doctor say to me that when patients walk in, he can tell in two minutes what their problem is, and it almost gets mundane. He just wants to do something else.”

Getting attention (and cash) from VCs and angel investors

December 30, 2008

By Heather Huhman

Starting Up: 'Made in the USA' Is Back in Style for Businesses

September 8, 2008

By Diana Ransom

How to Market a For-Profit Social Venture

July 1, 2008

By Rachel Solomon

MBA Pursuit Opens New Doors, Opportunities for Physicians
June 6, 2008

By Ed Rabinowitz

In addition to Uncle Sam's resources, Bruce Bachenheimer, a professor of management and director of the entrepreneurial program at Pace University's Lubin School of Business, recommends contacting like-minded programs from the foreign markets you aim to enter. "Just as the U.S. has all these services to help exporters, virtually every foreign country in the world [has] some kind of trade development office," he says.

 

An international partner can make or break your global endeavor. And finding the right one is not always obvious. "It doesn't mean finding the biggest and the best in the country," Bachenheimer explains. "It's [about] finding someone whose interests are most closely aligned with yours."

 

A database of trade events searchable by country, state, industry and date is available at export.gov. No matter how you find a partner, though, conduct due diligence, Bachenheimer says. "Ask who their customers are, how long they've been in business and seek out their references.”

SmartMoney.com

Time to Test Foreign Waters

May 16, 2008

By Rachel Solomon

“The focus was social entrepreneurship, how to use entrepreneurship to alleviate poverty in some of the poorest countries in the world,” said Professor Bruce Bachenheimer, who led the trip.

College students give back on spring break

April 3, 2008

By Ben Rubin

On Dec. 6, Pace University’s Lubin School of Business held its fourth annual Pace Pitch Contest in New York. Open to full- or part-time college students, recent college

graduates and first-time entrepreneurs, the contest is one of many like it nationwide that’s based on the popular “elevator pitch” concept.

 

“Basically, imagine you’re in the lobby of a building where there happens to be a bunch of venture capitalists,” explains the contest’s director, Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management at Pace. “You get in the elevator and notice a partner at a big VC firm who’s riding up with you to the 40th or 50th floor. You have three minutes of captive time with this venture capitalist; can you tell him or her about your idea in a very concise, convincing, complete way?”

 

Not many people can, according to Bachenheimer. The contestants in his pitch contest, however, are notable exceptions. They’ve mastered the art of entrepreneurial persuasion. It doesn’t matter what they’re presenting, Bachenheimer insists; they can sell it.

 

“It’s not about the idea itself,” he says. “It’s the way of thinking and the process of doing it that’s important.”

 

Still, the ideas are pretty great. Take this year’s winners, for instance. In the “Social Venture” category, MBA student Sarah Lipkin proposed a nationwide art program for mentally disabled individuals. In the “New

Business” category, meanwhile, entrepreneur Joe DiPasquale presented his online start-up, CollegeWikis.com, which provides user-generated information about schools across the country.

 

Both ideas are indicative of promising start-up trends—social entrepreneurship and Web 2.0—that are poised for continued growth in 2008.

Eight Smart Start-Up Ideas for 2008

December 20, 2007

By Matt Alderton

“A lot of people do a plan because it is a requirement to get money,” said Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management at Pace University in New York. “The key, though, is to step back and not think of it as something you have to do to get a loan, but something to teach you what you don’t know, something you can use to prove and demonstrate that there is alignment of a business with opportunity and resources.”

 

Central to a workable plan, Bachenheimer said, are these five steps:

1. Determine wht you don’t know, what assumptions need to be tested and what research needs to be conducted;

2. Put it all down on paper in a coherent, complete and convincing style;

3. Focus the plan on the customers’ needs and any critical market conditions, industry dynamics or macro-environmental factors;

4. Demonstrate an alignment of the opportunity, entrepreneur and resources that coincides with current market conditions, including appropriate levels of risk and return;

5. Provide meaningful milestones and realistic means of achieving them, explaining how you will actually achieve sales.

 

“In many cases, the real value of writing a business plan is the process of actually creating it,” Bachenheimer said. “Don’t do it because someone needs it; do it as if your business depends on it.”

The Business Plan – Where Vision Meets the Nuts and Bolts of Success

Winter 2007/2008

By Nathaniel Sheppard Jr.

“In the area of social entrepreneurship, the impetus for starting a company is to further or advance a cause or purpose,” says Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor and program director at Pace’s Lubin School of Business. “It’s about a mission to address any number of ills, from AIDS to world hunger or environmental issues. And it’s about having a sustainable type of business. It’s something larger than just making money,” he continues. “It’s using entrepreneurship—the same skills and concepts you would apply to a commercial business—to solve important problems.”

 

Sherri Muth, who earned a social entrepreneurship certificate at Pace, said she picked up important business skills through the program, which she applies to her work as the director for a nonprofit rehabilitation center that develops and finds jobs for people with disabilities. “One of the assignments was to write a business plan,” she recalls. “It made me realize that we need to run nonprofits just like any other kind of business. I took courses in law, strategic planning, business planning, budgeting, IT.”

Can you be an entrepreneur?

November 9, 2004

By Abigail Klingbeil

Bruce Bachenheimer teaches entrepreneurship. He's also a student of it.

 

After years on Wall Street, he bought a 36-foot sailboat and set off for the Caribbean and South America. Upon his return in 1993, he began a teak-importing and specialty woodworking company in Annapolis, Md. Later, in Australia for graduate school, he started an online financial company.

 

Now, the 43-year-old Dobbs Ferry resident teaches entrepreneurship at Pace University. He cites three traits, commonly recognized in academia and exemplified by his own endeavors, necessary to becoming a successful entrepreneur:

- A need for achievement,

- Self-direction,

- Comfort with taking risks.

 

Bachenheimer said that entrepreneur traits can be taught.

 

Nearly four out of five new businesses fail in five years, but the rate decreases dramatically for businesses started in "business incubators" where the owners are given resources and mentoring, he said.

"That's a good demonstration that entrepreneurship not only can be taught, but you can take something prone to high failure rates and closure rates and really make it successful."

Schools are preparing students to make a difference in the world.

Issue CE07: Aug 17–23, 2007

Step 3: Outwit Bad Buyers
Sure, the 80/20 rule – where 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients – applies to almost any distributor, but firing bad customers indiscriminately is a dangerous move, says Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management at Pace University in New York. For years, experts have suggested small-business owners dump the deadweight. Instead, Bachenheimer says, keep the marginal clients – you never know when a small order or difficult customer might pay off handsomely down the road – but make them turn their drain on your company into a potential profit center.

 

For example, Bachenheimer says, when electronics retailer Best Buy noticed certain types of shoppers would buy a TV to watch the Super Bowl and return it the next day, the money it cost to service the returns and restock those items was a drain on its profits. So it started charging a restocking fee to discourage customers who had no intention of keeping the products they bought. Distributors might consider imposing fees, for example, for clients that repeatedly demand multiple samples, art proofs, shipping returns and other profit-reducing services.

Tip of the Day - 4 Tips to Increase Your Profits in 2011

November 15, 2010

By Betsy Cummings

Advertising Specialty Institute

“In today’s busy world, with 140-character Twitter [posts] and one-paragraph Zagat reviews, everything has to be shorter and persuasive,” says Bruce Bachenheimer, competition founder and director of entrepreneurship at Pace.

 

Your pitch must also convince investors that you won’t burn through money. “This is the era of the lean startup,” says Bachenheimer. “If the idea costs $1 million, you need to show $100,000 milestones, a working model of how you will get and grow customers to make investors more comfortable.”

 

And the winners are …

The critical requirement, sums up Bachenheimer, is “venture capitalists need to be convinced not only that it’s a good idea, but that you can make it happen. It’s always better to bet on the jockey rather than the horse.”

Trigger their imaginations. "Expose them to possibilities through travel, talking about the environment, talking about the news and things that impact the world, and opportunities that may exist for business from all of that," says Bruce Bachenheimer, director of entrepreneurship at Pace University. Drawing their attention to a few magazine profiles of interesting entrepreneurs wouldn't hurt, either.

15 Tips For Raising A Young Mogul

September 20, 2010

By Dale Buss and Melanie Lindner

Many entrepreneurs have trouble “mixing up stubbornness and arrogance with passion and persistence,” says Pace University professor of management Bruce Bachenheimer. You can’t throw in the towel every time things don’t go your way, but you also can’t ignore circumstances that call for a change in your business plan, no matter how ingenious you may think it is.

 

Entrepreneurs “just overestimate everything,” says Bachenheimer, citing customer appeal and investor enthusiasm as two areas new business owners typically exaggerate. “They can’t put themselves in other people’s shoes and separate themselves from their own optimism.”

 

“People underestimate virtually every expense associated with starting and running the business,” says Bachenheimer. He adds that this is particularly true of Web entrepreneurs, who often think a new site can be started with nothing more than a laptop and a $20 domain registration. Actual expenses are exponentially larger.

 

The book of blunders -The most common mistakes entrepreneurs make

August 30, 2010

By Brian Moore

FlightTrack Pro

This business-traveler favorite provides up-to-the-second information on flights’ statuses, gates, cancellations and area weather. It often posts info “before airline personnel appear to have it,” notes devotee Bruce Bachenheimer, a Pace University professor. For Android, iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch; $9.99.

At Pace University Lubin School of Business, opportunity for inspiration sometimes comes from outside the classroom—even outside the country. In "Special Topics in International Entrepreneurship: Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Israel," Professor Bruce Bachenheimer will take students to abroad in spring 2011 for a week to study opportunities in the young country's advanced technology infrastructure.

 

Bachenheimer has taken entrepreneur students to Tanzania and India in years past. These international opportunities often lend a life-changing perspective of business opportunities in other countries, he says. For Pace graduate Melissa Lopez, this revelation came when she saw Tanzanian women selling handmade clothing to tourists at Mount Kilamanjaro.

"It made it pure to see entrepreneurship at a very small level, but [to see] how big people's ideas are," Lopez says. "Prior to taking the course, I had never thought I would have any interest in entrepreneurship. I had always thought I'd be working for a large company.

 

"After that course, I wanted to see if I could do something for myself."

 

Classes in entrepreneurship are becoming more universally attractive, Bachenheimer says. About 15 percent of students in his entrepreneur classes are M.B.A. students. The rest are students from different academic disciplines who are considering what an entrepreneurial focus could do for their careers, he says.

 

"They're all [saying], 'I want to be more entrepreneurial. I don't want to just work in an office or count on a job, especially when the economy is bad," Bachenheimer says. "[They say], 'I want to have more control of my destiny."

Even if a region does welcome foreign entrepreneurs, the local infrastructure may not live up to U.S. standards, especially in developing nations.

 

"Here, we take it for granted that if our business is broken into, we can call the police," says Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and program director of Pace University's entrepreneurship program. "But in other countries, the rule of law may not be what we expect."

 

Likewise, Bachenheimer adds, in some locales, the roads, electricity, phone service, internet service, shipping companies and court system may be sorely lacking.

Entrepreneurial activity in 2009 was at a 14-year high nationwide, with the highest growth coming among 34- to 44-year-olds, according to the Kauffman Foundation, of Kansas City, Mo., which promotes entrepreneurship.

 

That's the demographic - with many well-educated, high-wage, middle managers - who were hard hit during the recession, said Bruce Bachenheimer, director of entrepreneurship at Pace University in Manhattan. "They are not the people you generally think of as entrepreneurs," he said.

Entrepreneur: Start & Grow Your Business

To be sure, starting a business in midlife and beyond is different than doing so right out of college. There's the endurance factor, for starters.

 

“Entrepreneurs in their 20s can work 20 hours a day and have all sorts of energy,” said Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of the entrepreneurship program at Pace University.

But the financial responsibilities of a startup can still mean that late bloomers must live in a state of sleep deprivation—at an age when that's tougher.

 

But there's at least one big advantage that midlife entrepreneurs bring to the table: “Connections,” Mr. Bachenheimer said.

It's easier and cheaper than ever to do so, thanks to the emergence of so many online sites — LLC.com and LegalZoom.com, for example — offering cut-rate legal services, says Bruce Bachenheimer, director of entrepreneurial studies at Pace University.


The pros and cons of business structures for an individual business have to be determined on a case-by-case basis, says Pace's Bachenheimer. "The choice of ownership structure is not a 'business strategy' type issue," he maintains. "It is purely a legal/tax issue and has very specific, detailed implications and consequences."

The dressmaker is a good example of how to balance two important entrepreneurial qualities: creative passion and a sensible inclination to follow the market’s lead, says Bruce Bachenheimer, management professor and director of entrepreneurship at Pace University.

 

“Entrepreneurs are close to the customer and in touch with what the market needs and wants—they have to be, in order to survive,” he says. “On the other hand, they need their passion and commitment to keep going and be successful.”

“What really makes for great incubators is the mix of the companies and the synergies they can create, the energy and buzz that surround them,” says Bruce Bachenheimer, management professor and director of entrepreneurship at Pace University.

App stars—The best smartphone programs for taking care of business

August 16, 2010

By Linley Taber

Schools add new entrepreneur programs for M.B.A. Students

July 21, 2010

By Katy Hopkins

Becoming an Entrepreneurial Expat

July 14, 2010

By Michelle Goodman

Reinventing yourself after a job loss

July 5, 2010

By Carrie Mason-Draffen

Better late than never

December 18, 2009

By Elaine Pofeldt

LLCs? S Corps? How Do You Decide?

October 8, 2009

By Eve Tahmincioglu

Dress designer commits to weddings

July 10, 2009

By Steve Garmhausen

Using an incubator to hatch a business

April 12, 2009

By Elaine Pofeldt

Some small businesses grow too fast, which can trigger their downfall, says Bruce Bachenheimer, director of entrepreneurship at Pace University's Lubin School of Business. In order to expand, these businesses must establish a solid "infrastructure including accounting, inventory and payroll systems and a system of checks and balances," he said.

Investors.com Logo

New York's Magnolia Bakery Offers Lessons On Small-Business Success

March 19, 2010

By Gary M. Stern

Win over Investors in 3 minutes or Less

October 18, 2010

By Joanna Krotz

Bruce Bachenheimer, a professor of management at Pace University in New York who teaches about international entrepreneurship, believes foreign startups’ local domestic markets are not big enough to sustain the ventures they’re trying to accomplish.

 

“They have to be born global from the beginning,” said Bachenheimer, who has taken his students to Tanzania and will take more to Israel in 2011.

 

“They know they have to sell to several markets and have to look at the whole globe as a market. The domestic market is just too small.”

New Firm Connects Overseas Entrepreneurs with U.S.-Based Partners

October 22, 2010

By Brian Anthony Hernandez

Help wanted
Five years ago, I might have gotten one call every four or five weeks,” says Bruce Bachenheimer, program director of entrepreneurship at Pace University's Lubin School of Business. “Now, it's more like one a week, at a minimum.”

Social-media needs spur student hires

November 14, 2010

By Anne Field

Also featured on Fox Small Business on December 8, 2010

 

Also featured on Entrepreneur.com on January 14, 2011

 

Entrepreneur: Start & Grow Your Business

Professor Bruce Bachenheimer, director of entrepreneurship at Pace University, offers the following guidance on managing the mentor relationship:

 

“Do some research before seeking a mentor — to help find an appropriate candidate and to be able to ask that person to serve as a mentor in a meaningful way.

 

“Once you have a mentor, be sure to demonstrate that you value the relationship and are taking affirmative action (i.e. not just saying “thanks” regularly, but really letting the mentor know the efforts are worthwhile).

 

“Always try to find ways to reciprocate — to demonstrate your gratitude and commitment. Little things that may be of assistance to the mentor can go a long way.”

Mentors offer unique career support

January 30, 2011

By Lee Miller

 

Advertising Specialty Institute

Profit Builders: Six ways to improve your company’s profitability in 2011

December 2010 (page 67)

Also featured in

 

That's not necessarily a disadvantage for new entrants, including men, who “aren't [stuck] in the way things are typically done,” said Bruce Bachenheimer, professor of management and director of entrepreneurship at Pace University's Lubin School of Business. “They may have the ability to recognize and capture an opportunity others don't see.”

'Mompreneurs' lead the way in infant-goods market

May 1, 2011
By
Cara Trager

2. Do a small-scale test.

A pilot hike will help you gauge customer reactions and mitigate risks, according to Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of the entrepreneurship program at Pace University.

 

For example, if you have two stores, raise prices on select items or at just one location, Mr. Bachenheimer says.

Tips for tricky task of raising prices

May 8, 2011
By
Elaine Pofeldt

Putting Leadership Skills into Action

“To position themselves for a valuable career, college students need to demonstrate how they can add value to a prospective employer,” says Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of entrepreneurship at Pace University.

 

“They need to be able to solve problems creatively and to effectively implement solutions in a rapidly changing environment. To accomplish this, they will need to think entrepreneurially and take on a leadership role early in their career.”

 

“The role of a leader is to take people to a new place, to inspire them to do something they otherwise would not have done or even thought they could do,” adds Bachenheimer. “Think about how you can inspire fellow students and motivate them to take action!”

LEADERS WANTED How to become the leader employers will want

May/June 2011
By
Jacqueline Bodnar

With all of the uncertainty, tight purse strings and risk-aversion, people are waiting until the last minute” to make purchases, said Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of the entrepreneurship program at Pace University. Increasing globalization has intensified competition in many fields and destroyed traditional business hours.

 

“You may have to work on Sunday at 2 a.m. to fill an order going outside of the U.S.” Mr. Bachenheimer said.

How to handle, and profit from, last-minute jobs

August 12, 2011
By
Elaine Pofeldt

The increased startup activity in New York state most likely is because of an increase in women-owned startups in New York City,” said Bruce Bachenheimer, director of entrepreneurship and clinical professor of management at Pace University.

Number of startups led by women rising

August 8, 2011
By
Anne Field

Be honest with yourself. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. “The best are risk takers confident in themselves and their ideas,” says Bruce Bachenheimer, a professor of management at Pace University in New York.

Take time to consider what you’re giving up or getting into. Do you need a structured environment? A steady paycheck? “Are you fleeing a boss only to find all customers will be your boss?” Bachenheimer asks. “Are you dumping a time clock but investing 100 hours a week?”

 

Buying an existing business can be a good route. “Sometimes owners run out of capital or enthusiasm,” Bachenheimer says. “You can get a lot of assets, inventory, and a client base.” Still, he warns buyers to perform due diligence to prevent getting stuck with someone else’s bad debts.

 

Smart entrepreneurs surround themselves with even smarter experts. Find a financial consultant or lawyer for advice, but choose advisers carefully. “Don’t pay hucksters to do things that are free – like obtaining an employer identification number,” Bachenheimer says. “Anyone can sell themselves as an expert, so get references and proposals.

 

Once your business has some cash flow, you might find it easier to get a small-business loan, Bachenheimer says.

Want to be your own boss?

June 2011, Volume 8 Issue 6, pages 12-13

Promoting entrepreneurship is also a goal of the Pace University Business Plan and Pitch Competitions, says Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of Management, who runs both of the competitions. “One of our goals is to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset, which is important in today’s hyper competitive global economy, whether you work in an established business or not.”

 

The brevity of the university’s Pitch Competition is one reason it attracts a 400 person audience and a substantial number of actual competitors. That’s impossible to accomplish in a business plan competition because of the nature of business plans and the sheer length of the competition.

 

“The participatory nature of the pitch competition means that it’s benefitting the audience as well as the competitors,” he says. “Everyone gets to hear about the ideas and follow the give and take between competitors and the judges as questions are asked and answered.”

 

Is a bigger jackpot better in business plan competitions?

September 22, 2011
By
Amy Buttell

New York exports its entrepreneurial expertise

September 27, 2011
By
Eilene Zimmerman

Although the new semester had barely begun this year at Pace University's Lubin School of Business, Director of Entrepreneurship Bruce Bachenheimer already had teaching requests from groups and institutions in India, China, Norway and Israel.

 

Mr. Bachenheimer returned from India in early September, spoke to a Chinese delegation at Pace immediately afterward and then taught a course on writing a business plan for students visiting from the BI Norwegian Business School. He will travel to Israel in early January.

 

Colleges and universities abroad, especially those located in developing nations, are increasingly trying to establish the kinds of entrepreneurship programs that exist here in the U.S.

 

Generations of immigrants may have fueled American entrepreneurialism, but, according to Mr. Bachenheimer, entrepreneurship education on the college level is primarily an American export. And local professors are seeing the demand for their expertise grow beyond the occasional request to teach overseas while they're on a school break or a sabbatical. Foreign universities are more and more willing to pay a premium for the know-how of professors from entrepreneurship centers such as Silicon Valley, New York City and Cambridge, Mass., the Lubin professor says.

 

Reflecting the growing international interest in entrepreneurship education, the Bloomington, Ind.-based Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, whose members are university-based, switched to its current name three years ago, notes Mr. Bachenheimer. Founded in 1996 as a national consortium, the organization made the change in response to interest from international institutions.

 

Although students obviously can't absorb everything about running a business while in a classroom setting, the fastest way to get started and learn to manage risk is often with the guidance and assistance available through universities and colleges. (Other kinds of structured support can be invaluable as well: Research from the National Business Incubation Association and the U.S. Small Business Administration show that businesses coming out of incubators have a much lower failure rate than that for startups overall, says Mr. Bachenheimer.)

Pitch contests gain popularity

September 28, 2011
By
Amy Buttell

The advantage of a pitch competition is that it’s much easier to enter, organize, participate and judge than a typical

business plan competition, which typically encompasses an entire academic year, according to Bruce Bachenheimer, a

professor of management who runs both the Pace University Pitch and Business Plan Competitions.

 

“Basically, competitors have three minutes in front of a panel of judges to sell their idea,” he says. “There’s an audience

for our competition, who can suggest questions, and who also get an education in entrepreneurship.” Last year, Pace

gave $50,000 in prizes to the competition winners, he says. The pitch competition has become very popular among

business students.

 

Pitch contests require different skills than business plan competitions. In a pitch contest, you don’t necessarily need to

have the fully-fleshed out idea that you need to succeed in a business plan competition. Instead, as Bachenheimer puts it, competitors need to “have excellent presentation skills, be quick on their feet, be able to provide a quick summary and be responsive to the very pointed questions of a panel of very distinguished judges.”

 

He’s very pleased with the way the pitch competition, which is now in it’s eighth year, has evolved. “In the beginning,

some of the ideas were kind of crazy, but it’s gotten very serious,” he continues. “It’s very educational and very

entertaining for the presenters and the audience. It’s a fast-paced, fun learning opportunity for everyone, including the

audience.”

 

One big advantage of pitch contests is that they are relatively painless to enter. Instead of writing up a complicated, indepth business plan that participants may have to revise numerous times over the months, a simple 500 word or so entry form, a brief biography and a 10-question form are the sole requirements for the Pace Pitch Contest. Not only is it simpler for the contestants, it is also much easier for the judges and organizers, he says.

 

And that makes it a good selling point for judges, who have to make a big time commitment to judge a business plan competition. Those can take months and judges must read multiple business plans, evaluate them at various stages and mentor competitions. With the pitch competition, it’s a one-day commitment. It’s also much easier on organizers, which is why it’s easier to start and run a pitch competition than a full business plan competition, he continues.

Finding the right people and retaining them can actually be much more of a challenge than the idea for the business itself.

“It’s hard to identify them and even if you do, how do you recruit them?” asked Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management at New York’s Pace University.

Attracting, recruiting, training, retraining and delegating — all of these factors are key to an entrepreneurial venture, Bachenheimer said during a telephone interview.

“It’s about people and innovation and truly growing the business,” he said.

Women’s drive helps canning company thrive

October 5, 2011
By
Lisa D. Connell

Crunch the numbers.

Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of entrepreneurship at Pace University in New York City, suggests telling the budding entrepreneur you will invest your $50,000 after he or she finds outside investors willing to put up the other $100,000.

 

These investors “are going to know what a business plan should look like, what the valuation of the business should be and what the privileges of the investors are,” says Bachenheimer.

 

Write up the terms.

It’s critical to document in writing the terms of your loan or equity investment. At a minimum, your document should spell out the amount being invested, how the funds are to be used and how the parent investor will be repaid. Bachenheimer says you can find sample loan documents on the Internet or seek advice from experts at a small business development center.

 

“Parents usually have a very valuable amount of social capital,” Bachenheimer says. Your accountant, lawyer, banker, business associates or golf buddies could be potential customers, advisers or investors.

Help Your Child Launch a Business

November, 2011
By
Meghan Streit

7. To Celebrate The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Because entrepreneurship is a mindset — a way of thinking and acting, not simply about starting a business. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and create value. These skills are important not only for those seeking to establish a new venture, but are increasingly critical in a wide variety of careers given today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, where rapid technological innovation and globalization has led to corporate downsizing and a dramatic change in the very nature of work.

Bruce Bachenheimer, Clinical Professor and Director of Entrepreneurship, Pace University

Why Entrepreneurs should celebrate the Global Entrepreneurship Week #GEW

November 14, 2011
By
Jack Liu