Internship Connects Theory with Reality
Is floating equity the only way to secure capital for your growing venture? How do you find talented people and keep them? Are you spending enough on technology?
Recognizing the unique challenges facing today’s emerging technology companies, Wharton this summer offered students an innovative new program run simultaneously from the East and West coasts.
The Technology Entrepreneurship Internship launched in June and continues until late July. The program has two key features: a summer internship at an emerging growth technology company or a venture capital firm, and an interactive weekly class session. A team of Wharton faculty members travels between Silicon Valley and Philadelphia to meet with MBA students in each location one evening per week. The interactive workshop format of the classroom experience allows students to share summer work experiences with other students, faculty and practitioners from each coast’s technology venture community.
“People always ask whether entrepreneurship can be taught. Our goal for this program is to link entrepreneurial management theory with true practices of emerging growth technology firms,” says Raffi Amit, academic director of Wharton’s Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program. “And because we are holding the class on both coasts, this program provides a great opportunity for students to compare East and West coast perspectives on major technology entrepreneurship issues.”
The seven-week course addresses the realities of starting, financing, growing and managing a technology company. Course sessions covered key topics such as business and revenue models, technology development and intellectual property issues, financing approaches, culture and human resources development, and alliance strategies.
Treasury Secretary Speaks at MBA Commencement
U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers spoke at MBA commencement ceremonies on May 21. Summers, named the 71st Secretary of the Treasury in July 1999, previously served as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under Secretary Robert E. Rubin. Prior to joining the administration, he served as vice president of development economics and chief economist for the World Bank and as a professor of economics at Harvard University.
Harker Announces Appointments
Three key administrative appointments were recently announced by dean Patrick T. Harker. Thomas Dunfee has been named vice dean and director of the Undergraduate Division, Anjani Jain becomes vice dean and director of the Graduate Division and Richard Herring is director of The Lauder Institute.
Dunfee joined the Wharton faculty in 1974 and was named the Joseph Kolodny Professor of Social Responsibility in Business in1982. He served as chair of the Legal Studies Department in 1979 to 1984 and again from 1987 to 1991 and has been the director of the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research since 1997.
Jain has been deputy vice dean and director of the MBA program since 1998 after five years as director of academic affairs for the Graduate Division. He brings extensive administrative experience, particularly in academic programming, to his new position.
Herring, the Jacob Safra Professor of International Banking, has served as dean of the Undergraduate Division for the last four years. A steadfast proponent of a broad, global curriculum and high-quality international study opportunities for students, Herring also served as director of the Financial Institutions Center from 1988 to 1995 and director of the Program in International Banking and Finance from 1982 to 1988.
Website Offers Insight on Dot-Com Leadership
A senior executive with many years of high-level corporate experience takes a post at a nine-month-old West coast dot-com run by two Wharton alums. But despite his stellar track record, the executive quickly finds himself struggling to fit in.
His traditional corporate background, it seems, does not serve him well in this new, freewheeling and hyper-charged environment: he has a “command control” method of managing people, keeping a very tight rein on his charges and insisting on a hierarchical communication style. All information, he tells his staff, must first flow through him. He will then decide what is communicated to those above him, and how it is communicated.
But his approach quickly backfires when his staff rebels against his choke-collar ways. Seeing the writing on the wall, the executive and the dot-com part ways. The lesson: dot-coms, by their very nature, attract employees who scoff at rigid structure and hierarchy and thus require an entirely different approach to leadership.
This anecdote, gleaned from an interview with a West Coast dot-com founder, is one of many insights found on a new online resource created to provide perspective on the unique challenges of leading in an e-commerce setting. The Leadership and E-commerce website of Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management – http://leadership.wharton.upenn.edu– explores practices and future trends in Internet-based practices of leadership. The site includes case studies, profiles on industry leaders and interviews with dot-com founders as well as entrepreneurial divisions of established firms, and video clips, articles and links.
The site, created by management professor Michael Useem and MBA students John Joseph and Kelly Jo Larson with support from McKinsey & Co., began to take shape after Useem began searching for e-commerce/leadership materials to use in his classes, but found very little available. “There’s not much out there, and the lack of good materials forced us to create our own,” he says. Joseph and Larson interviewed e-commerce leaders including Mark Walsh, president and CEO of VerticalNet; H.S. Hamadeh, WG’97, founder of Vault.com; Jeffrey Grass, WG’99, co-founder and vice president of PayMyBills.com, among others, who offer candid reflection and insight on managing in the new economy.
And the Winner Is
eTechtransfer.com, a global B2B marketplace for technology transfer in the life sciences industry, emerged as the top winner of the second annual Wharton Business Plan Competition this spring. The winning team – Yujiro Hata, WG’01; Myung Sea Lee, WG’01; Richard Hanbury, WG’01; Jeff Gruneich, Everett Alexander, Ted Yang, Tchun O, Stephan Jenn, WG’01 and Daniel Blatt, WG’01 – was awarded a $25,000 prize ($15,000 in cash and a $10,000 investment in the company) by Safeguard Scientifics, a Pennsylvania- based venture capital firm. eTechtransfer.com team members say their company will enhance the patent licensing process via a Web site that will simplify the now-cumbersome matching process between licenser and licensee by uniting both on one common site. The site also aims to shorten the entire licensing period from months to weeks. The company has already registered companies such as Abbott Laboratories and Celera Genomics, had nine managers as of May and opened a Philadelphia office this spring.
Sponsored by Wharton’s Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program, the competition included more than 420 students in 226 teams from across the University of Pennsylvania. eTechtransfer.com was one of eight finalist teams – dubbed the Great Eight – culled from the student teams in a winnowing-down process that began last October. Though students’ ventures were heavily weighted toward the Internet – seven of the eight finalists were e-commerce or Internet businesses – their ideas covered a range of industries, including IT, communications, media and entertainment, services and biotechnology.
A crowd of 250 gathered May 1 to hear the Great Eight present their business plans to a panel of judges that included entrepreneurs, investment bankers and venture capitalists. Other top winners among the Great Eight include: NovaEx.com, an online B2B pricing exchange for natural products, won the $15,000 E*Entity E-commerce Prize. In addition, eTechtransfer.com and
NovaEx.com will be offered convertible loans of $15,000 and $10,000, respectively, from the Paul P. Dosberg Foundation.
Digipad (also called Patient Interview Software for Physicians), which produces patient interview software and supplies it to doctors via the Internet, won the Wharton Business Plan Competition Silver Prize and received a $10,000 cash award.
Lead sponsors of the 1999-2000 Competition include Safeguard Scientifics, E*Entity, Booz Allen & Hamilton, and Innovation Factory. For more information, visit the Wharton Business Plan Competition web site at whartonbpc.com.
Forum Ushers in Virtual Millennium
Wharton’s first-ever North American Regional Alumni Forum, “Entering the Virtual Millennium,” hosted nearly 350 participants from five continents for two and half days of social activities, educational panel discussions, networking opportunities and celebratory events. Held in San Francisco on March 30 through April 1, the event included 12 panels that brought together more than 50 senior executives from top companies to discuss various business and high-tech issues.
Keynote speakers included Alfred Berkeley, WG’68 and president of the NASDAQ stock exchange; venture capitalist John Doerr, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; and Terry Pearce, co-author with David Pottruck, WG’72 and CEO of Charles Schwab & Co., of the new book Clicks & Mortar: Passion-driven Growth in an Internet-Driven World. At the New Millennium Gala, Lew Platt, WG’66, CEO of Kendall-Jackson Winery and the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, was awarded The Dean’s Award for his long-standing commitment to Wharton.
Faculty Lauded for Teaching Excellence
Undergraduate and graduate students this spring recognized several Wharton faculty for their outstanding teaching. Among the most prestigious honors given is the David W. Hauck Award for Outstanding Teaching on the undergraduate level. Each year, two faculty members receive the award for their ability to stimulate and challenge students, their knowledge of the latest research in their field, and their commitment to educational leadership.
This year’s recipients were Madhav Rajan, associate professor of accounting, and Alan Strudler, assistant professor of legal studies. Larry Hunter, assistant professor of management, received the Marc and Sheri Rapaport Undergraduate Core Teaching Award.
On the graduate level, the Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award, given for teaching quality and commitment to students, went to Karl Ulrich, associate professor of operations and information management.
Also on the graduate level, eight faculty won Excellence in Teaching Awards on the basis of student evaluations. The professor with the highest rating among the eight also receives the Class of 1984 award. This year, William Tyson, associate professor of legal studies, won the Class of 1984 award for the eighth time. The others winners were Franklin Allen (finance), Suleyman Basak (finance), Michael Brandt (finance), Robert P. Inman (finance, public policy and management and real estate), Felix Oberholzer-Gee (public policy and management), Nicolaj Siggelkow (management) and Richard P. Waterman (statistics).
Awards for teaching excellence on the undergraduate level went to Jamshed Ghandi (finance), William F. Hamilton (management), Lorin Hitt (operations and information management), Kenneth Kavajecz (finance), William S. Laufer (legal studies), Philip N. Nichols (legal studies) and Jeremy Siegel (finance).
A new award, called the William G. Whitney Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching in the Affiliated Faculty, was also initiated this year to honor William G. Whitney, who is retiring after 36 years. Whitney, an adjunct assistant professor of public policy and management and associate director of the Wharton Undergraduate Division, is the award’s first recipient.