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Friday News – USC Hosts Venture Summit, FSU’s Master’s of Business Analytics Class Graduates, and More

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories from this week, including the USC Venture Summit.


Venturing Ahead – USC Marshall Hosts 8th annual Venturing SummitUSC Marshall News

The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC Marshall hosted the 8th annual University Venturing Summit this month.

The event gave Future entrepreneurs from USC’s MBA community the chance to meet with VCs and supporting businesses such as accounting and law firms. USC faculty also took part in the Summit, including Patrick Henry, Assistant Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship and organizer of the Summit.

“The perception of a lot of university ventures is that they are still in the ‘good idea’ stage…But the reality is that the university venturing world is more market-ready than ever, and university ventures are more ready to launch than ever,” Henry says.

USC MBA alum Jessica Schleder presented her venture, Adoptimize, which allows insurance providers to increase their volume of leads through streamlining the pet adoption process. Other student ventures, including a data security tool, addressed the trends present in the L.A. economy and beyond.

Sponsored by EY, among other private firms, the Summit also hosted student entrepreneurs from UCLA Anderson, UC Irvine, and Cal State University Northridge. Click here for more on the Summit and its participants.


Inaugural Class of Master’s in Business Analytics Students Set to GraduateFSU College of Business News

Florida State University College of Business’ first Master’s in Business Analytics (MS-BA) class graduated this month from the School of Business.

The program was created in order to meet the demands of an economy increasingly driven by data, and its analysis and application in helping businesses grow. Students in the program combine a strong command of quantitative skills in various backgrounds with a desire to develop their powers of analysis.

One graduate, Jessie Tolbert, started his career as an environmental scientist. Curious about how the data he gathered was used to improve environmental conditions, Tolbert decided to pivot into analytics with the MA-BS degree. “I’ve learned in-demand technical skills and built my professional network with other students, distinguished professors and FSU alumni who are in the industry,” Tolbert says.

The degree comes on the heels of such studies as one by McKinsey, showing a 60 percent gap between the demand for talented analysts and the supply of qualified people in the workforce. For more on Florida State’s MS-BA, read here.


Village of Oak Park Partners with Graduate Marketing ClassQuinlan School of Business News

In an effort to retain both the rich history and the future growth of the Oak Park neighborhood, Loyola University of Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business MBA alum have teamed up with Oak Park residents and current Quinlan grad students.

Loyola Quinlan alumni Eric Pedersen (left) and Jeff Prior (right) / Photo via luc.edu

Eric Pedersen (MBA ’01), of the Oak Park Neighborhood Services team, sought to improve the visibility of the community’s housing rehabilitation loan program. “The need was a short, consistent, and readily understandable message, combined with a visually appealing ad campaign … And we needed it in less than 60 days with a very modest budget.”

The loan program assists those in need—the recently unemployed, people with disabilities, seniors, and single parents—obtain interest free loans to make necessary home improvements.

Quinlan Professor of Marketing Katie Hession’s class was able to work under the tight deadline and budget to create the program’s ad campaign. Using the tagline of “Brick by Brick, Chip by Chip, Panel by Panel, and Picket by Picket,” the ad package contains visually striking images and bold messages regarding the program. For more on the ads and Oak Park’s community improvement efforts, read here.


Wharton School Forms Analytics at WhartonWharton News

The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School announced the establishment of Analytics at Wharton, which unites industry leaders, researchers, and faculty with the goal of harnessing big data to help businesses grow.

An anonymous $15 million gift has allowed the creation of the Data Science and Business Analytics Fund. Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett says, “In the 21st century, leaders will increasingly use data and analytics to develop insights that will help them make better decisions and become better leaders. The creation of Analytics at Wharton demonstrates our commitment to using big data to transform how business is done.”

Along with the fund comes the creation of a new leadership position at Wharton, the Vice Dean of Analytics. Eric T. Bradlow, the K.P. Chao Professor and Professor of Marketing, Economics, Education, and Statistics will hold this position.

The new initiative will bring five existing Wharton programs: Customer Analytics; the Penn Wharton Budget Model; People Analytics; Wharton Neuroscience; and Wharton Research Data Services. For more on Analytics at Wharton, read here.


Brookings Institution Appoints Lemma Senbet to Africa Board –  News at Smith School of Business

University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business has appointed Professor Lemma Senbet to the Distinguished Advisory Board of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.

The Advisory Board is responsible for guiding members of the Africa Growth Initiative on key economic and social issues faced by the continent. Lemma W. Senbet is the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the Smith School of the University of Maryland and the founding director of the school’s Center for Financial Policy. He also serves on the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund’s Advisory Board, and he is the former executive director and CEO of the African Economic Research Consortium.

Africa Growth Initiative Director Brahima S. Coulibaly says of Senbet’s appointment, “[Senbet joins a distinguished] panel of select, high-level policymakers, academics and practitioners on African socio-economic development issues.”

You can read here for more on Senbet and the Africa Growth Initiative.

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About the Author

Maggie Boccella
Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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