Touro College Graduate School of Business Launches 'Entrepreneurial Institute'

Date: April 12, 2007
Charles Snow, Touro's dean of business programs, with Robin Herman, President of
Charles Snow, Touro's dean of business programs, with Robin Herman, President of "The Fit Pit," Inc.
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"Incubator" Services for Start-Up Ventures Offered.

New York, N.Y. - Dr. Bernard Lander, founder and president of Touro College, has formally announced the launch of an "Entrepreneurial Institute" by the Graduate School of Business to help aspiring entrepreneurs start up new businesses.

Among the activities planned or underway are "Incubator" services for promising start-up ventures; an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program; a business plan competition for cash awards; and an entrepreneurial lecture series. Presently the School offers two courses in entrepreneurship: one for undergraduates at Lander College for Men in Queens, and an advanced course at the Graduate School of Business.

Lawrence Bellman, an associate professor of management and director of the Entrepreneurial Institute, is teaching both of Touro's courses in entrepreneurship.

"The purpose of the Institute is to foster an entrepreneurial spirit within the student body, forge ties with the business community and provide assistance to start-ups," Dr. Bellman said. "We hope the Institute will make a significant contribution towards raising the visibility of Touro both in the academic and business communities."

Dr. Bellman was recruited to Touro last summer by Dr. Charles Snow, Touro's dean of business programs. The two previously worked together at Yeshiva University's Sy Syms School of Business, where Dr. Snow was dean and professor of accounting, and Dr. Bellman was director of the School's Entrepreneurial Institute. Dr. Snow's appointment at Touro was announced in October 2005, just as Touro welcomed its first MBA class.

Already the Institute's incubator program has signed its first 'client' - Robin Herman, a recent college graduate who plans to start a fitness center with exercise and nutritional programs for obese children. Ms. Herman, who hopes to open her first facility on Long Island, is using the School's phones, computers and office space to work with potential customers and is receiving help with her business plan. The School is also forming a board to advise her. Dr. Bellman said that negotiations with a second party for the incubator program – a group that provides technical software solutions to the legal industry – are underway.

Recently the Institute sponsored a business plan competition to challenge students to present new business plans to a panel of judges composed of corporate leaders. Cash prizes were awarded. Any students from five of Touro's schools were eligible to participate: the Graduate School of Business, Lander College for Men, Lander College for Women/The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School, Lander College of Arts & Sciences – Flatbush, and the New York School of Career and Applied Studies (NYSCAS).

"Our goal is to encourage and support an entrepreneurial mindset and offer an alternative career," Dr. Bellman said. "Many students would like to start their own business and we would like to stimulate their interest in doing so and give them a leg up."

In the same vein, the Institute plans an Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, where successful entrepreneurs will mentor and advise student entrepreneurs and meet with them to provide feedback on their business ideas. Similarly, the Institute plans to develop an entrepreneurial lecture series that will allow students to meet and hear from the founders and senior leadership of successful start-up and well-established businesses.

Recently the budding entrepreneurs had the pleasure of hearing from Daniel Gryfe, the young operations chief of Gryfe's Kosher Bakery near Toronto, who formerly was a student of Dean Snow and Dr. Bellman and whose entrepreneurial pursuits were written up last May in The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Gryfe launched a frozen kosher pizza in the United States and is now at work on a pizza with soy-milk cheese and veggie pepperoni.

Dr. Snow received a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Yeshiva University, and a master's and doctorate in accounting from the Stern Graduate School of Business at New York University. In addition to his teaching and administrative posts at Yeshiva's Sy Syms School of Business, Dr. Snow previously taught accounting at Baruch College and served as vice president and director of training for Morgan Stanley and Co. Inc.

Dr. Bellman previously taught courses in entrepreneurship, management, international business and marketing at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Hofstra University, Pace University, and Yeshiva University. He received his doctorate in international business from Pace, and his master's and bachelor degrees in business administration from Baruch College. He has published in numerous business publications and recently launched a new column in The Jewish Press titled "The Entrepreneur's Corner."